Monday, April 26, 2004

America’s Crack Problem

From the Sun-Sentinel:

BATON ROUGE, La. — People who wear low-slung pants that expose skin or “intimate clothing” would face a fine of up to $500 and possible jail time under a bill filed by a Jefferson Parish lawmaker.

State Rep. Derrick Shepherd said he filed the bill because he was tired of catching glimpses of boxer shorts and G-strings over the lowered belt lines of young adults.

The bill would punish anyone caught wearing low-riding pants with a fine of as much as $500 or as many as six months in jail, or both.

“I’m sick of seeing it,” said Shepherd, a first-term legislator. “The community’s outraged. And if parents can’t do their job, if parents can’t regulate what their children wear, then there should be a law.”

The bill would be tacked onto the state’s obscenity law, which restricts sexual activity in public places and the sale of sexually explicit items.

Joe Cook, head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Louisiana chapter, said the bill probably does not meet the U.S. Supreme Court’s standard for the prohibition of obscene behavior under the First Amendment.

“What about a woman who is wearing a bathing suit under her garment or she has something like a sarong wrapped around her and it’s below her waist,” he said. “I can think of a lot of workers, plumbers, who are working and expose their buttocks …”

Much as I agree with the sentiment – seeing kids running around with their pants around their knees is a fashion trend that I wouldn’t be sorry to see go away – I can’t think it’s any more “obscene” or provocative than fashions that emphasize physical attributes; i.e. the Wonder Bra for women or the well-placed sock for men, and those trends go back through time immemorial.

I hope this State Representative Shepherd is a Republican. He’d be yet another entry in the Hypocrisy Hall of Fame under the category of “Less Government Unless It’s Icky.”

Update: Greg at News from the Sixth Borough found out this dude is a Democrat. But a Louisiana Democrat is just a Republican in drag at Mardi Gras.