The great philosopher Kanye West said in his song ‘Paranoid,’ “You worry bout the wrong things,” and I think this is true for the city of Augusta, Georgia and any other city that has passed or is thinking about passing this “sagging pants ordinance.” The questions that I have for those leaders are, where is sagging on the list of issues that need to be addressed in the city? Why does sagging seem to be so high on that list? What is the correlation of making, or strongly suggesting, people not sag their pants to creating opportunities for themselves?
I want to tell you about younger me for a minute. The earliest memory I have of me sagging my pants is about seventh grade. Why did I sag you may ask, I have no idea but I speculate that I thought it was cool then and that most of my friends were doing the same thing. I was sagging my pants all the way up until about the age of 22 (in the picture above I was 20 and sagging); so, for about 10 years sagging was a part of my style of wearing my clothes. Of course, I had people during that time tell me to pull my pants up, and I did to appease them but when I wasn’t around them, I put my pants at the level I was comfortable wearing them at.
At 27 years old, I have no desire to sag my pants, partly because I want to represent myself in a different way, but I see sagging as something I did when I was younger and I don’t even wear those types of clothes anymore. I can tell you though, it was not because somebody suggested, strongly or not, that I pull my pants up, it was because I aspired to be in the business environment, something different than I did before, and to be there, I needed to dress a certain way, and that didn’t involve sagging.
Here is my advice to the leadership in Augusta, but this can be applied to leadership in other cities; a sagging pants ordinance is not a solution to the overall problem. A couple of problems that others see is the lack of role models, access to economic and financial freedom, and education specialized for them to learn. Find those individuals who come from those places and have progressed past it and find out what helped them and see if they will talk to them and see if the change happens. Give people information about economic freedom and what steps they can take to get there. Focus on how to educate the youth in a way where it is beneficial to them specifically. A sagging pants ordinance doesn’t help any of those things so why focus on it? I see that some people are happy that the city leadership is taking this stance but what overall goal is it accomplishing, who is that goal benefitting, and after that is in place, what is next for the people this ordinance affects? Maybe this will help further the conversation or help city leadership reconsider this ordinance but IDK THO.