**Checkout This Historic Conversation: The Fight for Justice** On September 8, 2023, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) had the distinct privilege of hosting a conversation…
It appears a social media campaign to shame the NAACP into stepping up in Ocala, Florida to stand up for the rights of young people who “sag”. Citing racial profiling, the NAACP has threatened a lawsuit which now has the Mayor pulling his support for the ordinance recently passed by the City Council. The NAACP is not endorsing the clothing style promoted to youth via corporate rap artists like Lil’ Wayne and others, but it recognizes that the clothing style is a form of expression and protected by the First Amendment.
Other opponents of such laws have cited all the crazy looking styles of the 60s when a lot of women were burning their bras and one woman stated that she does not like to see young men sagging but she does not want to see women walking around with their breast spilling out of their tops and if you are treating everyone equally, then where are the ordinances prohibiting other things that people do not want to see in public? One NAACP representative pointed out that grown men are cutting grass in speedos and that those sagging most of the time have another pair of pants or gym shorts under their pants.
As we have stated in the past on this issue, you can not legislate clothing styles and this is just one more way a racist society demonizes and criminalizes young Black men. Ironically, the only Black city council person is the proxy racist who pushed for the law being voted down the first time but eventually passed in a second attempt which calls for a $500 dollar fine and/or 6 months in jail.
Michael Brown was reportedly sagging when he was gun downed by Ferguson cop Darren Wilson and we pointed out that such laws are giving racist cops another opportunity to harass and possibly kill young Black men and that many in the media used the hoodie Trayvon Martin was wearing as justification for his murder saying he looked like a criminal or thug. Trayvon Martin was also a teen who was caught up in the sagging fashion statement worn by some of today’s youth.
If society wants to stop sagging or reduce the frequency it is seen in public, then just like there are public service campaigns against smoking, it would be more appropriate to treat sagging the same way or any other behavior the public seems to take an issue with concerning individual freedom and liberty.