In the Blog

Asking for racial profiling

August 5th, 2008     by Jessica Yee     Comments

Flint, Michigan has now joined the ranks of several other US states who have passed bylaws that make the the wearing of baggy, sagging, or low-riding pants illegal.

Police chief David Dicks said that wearing pants below the waist is a crime — a violation of the city’s disorderly conduct ordinance — and can give police probable cause to search saggers for other crimes, such as weapon or drug possession.

You could get 93 days to a year in jail and fines of up to $500 for wearing your pants low (a larger sentence than some sexual assault perpetrators are getting these days).

Now say what you want about agreeing or disagreeing with baggy pants, but believing that’s enough evidence to search people thinking they all must be thugs who commit crimes is just asking for racial profiling.

It’s no secret that youth in communities of colour are going to be the ones feeling the brunt of this racist, ludicrous law, and hey, why not since they are already incarcerated at soaringly higher rates than White youth?!

And trust me, I was equally as angry in my Catholic high school when they prohibited low-cut or belly shirts telling me I looked “promiscuous” and could “distract the boys’ education”. I actually believe in freedom of expression and think there are bigger battles we have to wage in this world.

Thankfully the ACLU has threatened to file suit against the city of Flint if this ordinance sticks and is asking citizens who are being targeted to come forward and tell their stories.

Tags: news flash, race and racism

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