President elect Barack Obamas strong affinity for Hip-Hop culture doesnt extend to the street fashion of sagging, although the Illinois senator disagrees with legislative bans.
According to the smokinggun.com, Riviera Beach, FL has already made 17 arrests since enacting a ban on sagging in mid-August.
The first dozen of those arrests came within the first two weeks of the law being decreed, while 5 arrests have happened since the end of October.
In a recent MTV interview with Sway, Obama equally criticized states considering ordinances banning sagging, and individuals who practice the style, which is widely believed to have originated in prison due to the prohibition of belts.
Heres my attitude: I think passing a law about people sagging pants is a waste of time. We should be focused on creating jobs, improving our schools, getting health care, dealing with the war in Iraq, Obama detailed. Any public official who is worrying about sagging pants probably needs to spend some time focusing on real problems out there.
Available mug shots of those arrested for sagging reveal that nearly all were young, African-American males.
According to police records, many of them were incredulous at the fact they were being arrested simply for a fashion style.
What the f**k are you stopping me for, I aint did s**t! one man allegedly barked to Riviera Beach officer J. Campbell after being taken into custody.
Despite frowning on these laws and the use of taxpayer money, Obama expects that young men who adhere to the style to have more respect for themselves and their family.
Brothers should pull up their pants. Youre walking by your mother, your grandmother, and your underwear is showing. Whats wrong with that? Obama explained. There are some issues that we face that you dont have to pass a law, but that doesnt mean folks cant have some sense and some respect for other people. And, you know, some people might not want to see your underwear. Im one of them.
Cognizant of other popular fashions in Hip-Hop such as dreadlocks and tattoos, Obama feels these styles can still be achieved with class, something young adults must be aware of as they enter and move up in the workforce.
You have locks but you look clean, man, Obama said in reference to Sways dreads. Its tight. My little girl has twists, Malia. I think, to me, it looks great. Obviously, Id be upset if she were discriminated against on that basis.
On the other hand, if youre working at a fancy store, and you show up to work in jeans and a shirt and you have a tattoo across your neck like Mike Tyson, for them to say, You know what, thats sort of not the image were trying to project, obviously thats within their rights as well. Any business has a right to say, This is the tone we want to set, as long as they arent discriminating on the basis of things people cant control.
Last night (November 4), Barack Obama made history as the United States first African-American president in the nations 232-year history.
Obama will be sworn in as Americas 44th president on January 20, 2009.