Nanny State

Droopy Drawers Foes See Cracks in Opposition

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After a Virginia state senator endured national ridicule for proposing a law banning low-slung pants two years ago, opponents of droopy drawers bans are gaining new momentum:

As states, cities, and activists across the country either outlaw or hold belt rallies to draw attention to the trend of "saggin'," Delcambre, La. (pop. 1,700) last week took the boldest step yet. Getting caught with one's pants too far down could now cost $500 in fines – or six months in jail – at least on this side of Bayou Carlin.

"It's just unbelievable what they do with their pants," says Carol Brous

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Moreover, civic organizers in Atlanta, Detroit, Nashville, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala., are planning antisagging rallies, says Pastor Dianne Robinson of Jacksonville, Fla., who last week handed out 78 donated belts at a "belt rally." "This sagging of the pants is to me a defiant act, and it has all kinds of implications," says Ms. Robinson, who is black. "If you can't get up in the morning and pull your pants up, that says a lot about you, even if I don't know anything about you."

"Saggers" generally have branded boxers on under their jeans, meaning this isn't about indecent exposure. These laws are aimed pretty squarely at hip-hop culture, and probably not constitutional.