Target: Terrebonne Parrish Eight Council Members
Goal: Remove the ban on wearing low-slung jeans
Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana recently passed a law banning people from wearing low slung and often, underwear revealing, jeans. This ban has sparked controversy as to whether or not governmental authorities have the right to make certain attire illegal, and this parish is certainly not the first place to do so. One of the ways that people tend to express themselves with is through their clothing and thus, any establishment should not be allowed to infringe on people’s rights. Furthermore, low-slung jeans are often associated with a particular racial and age group, which is young African American men and this ban could be interpreted racially. Terrebonne Parish cannot tell people what to wear because clothing is a form of expression.
The law banning low-slung jeans will fine first-time offenders 50 dollars. That fine increases to $100 for second-time offenders and by the third time, the punishment will be $100 plus 16 hours of community service. The law was passed on the basis that council members wanted young men to learn how to dress properly. Council member Russell Hornsby told Yahoo! that the new ban will “hopefully…get these young men to pull up their pants.” Despite viewing this style choice as improper, the parish should not have the power to define it as such and subsequently ban it. Fining people for the way they dress is unjustified and should not be allowed.
The ban was approved overwhelmingly with only one council member, Beryl Amedee, out of a total of nine opposed to it. Amedee stated that although she was not a fan of the particular style, she did not “think government should legislate style.” It was first introduced by council member John Navy, who wanted to correct the growing problem of saggy pants. Navy specified that his definition of saggy pants was below the butt, but the ban is on anything below the waistline. Despite this change in definition, telling people how to dress should not be a law.
There are other ways, such as advertisements and campaigns, of discouraging this kind of style if governmental authorities do not approve of it. The government cannot simply ban it. Thus, Terrebonne Parish should reconsider this ban and repeal it.
Dear Council Members of Terrebonne Parish,
The recent ban on low-slung, baggy pants and jeans is an infringement upon people’s rights. Clothing and how it’s worn allows people to express themselves as individuals and thus, a ban on a particular kind of style is really censorship. Although the majority of the council members felt that saggy pants are improper, it does not mean that the government can define what is right versus what is wrong in terms of style.
People who choose to wear their pants lower than what others deem normal should be allowed to do so. They should not be fined or subjected to hours of public service. Wearing clothes a certain way should never be considered a crime. Furthermore, wearing jeans below the waistline does not pose a threat to others.
Please repeal this ban on saggy jeans and pants.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: VF6745 via Wikimedia Commons