In Defense of the Baggy Pants Bill

From Frank Cagle comes a defense of the bill that lots of folks have criticized (including Gov. Bill Haslam, before he signed it into law):
‘ll be the first to admit that some legislators in Nashville and in state capitols across the country have been proposing controversial bills to provide solutions for problems that don’t exist. But I would point out that it is possible for serious people in the Legislature to be doing important work while the clowns are out in the hall getting all the press attention.
I rise today, however, to defend a bill that has met with almost universal derision and has often been used as an easy example of frivolous meddling. I’m talking about the baggy pants bill. You might think a law to stop schoolchildren from wearing their pants hanging off their hips was the idea of an uptight white Republican who hates hip hop.
Joe Towns, the principle sponsor of the legislation, is a black Democratic legislator from Memphis. Why has he pursued this idea for some years?
The style of pants around the butt with several inches of underwear sticking out the top began in prisons and jails, where inmates are not allowed belts. Is it a good thing if our high school students look at convicts as role models? That they want to identify with thugs and drug dealers, ’cause it’s, like, cool?
It seems a trivial thing unless you think about it. Baggy pants won’t get you a job. It won’t help you have an attitude conducive to learning in school. It is a way of identifying with losers.
Do you understand why a black legislator from Memphis finds such an ethos troubling?

Note: Cagle is not alone, reports the Columbia Daily Herald.

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