Lawmaker makes a 'pants' point on New York skyline

Lawmaker makes a 'pants' point on New York skyline

A ‘Stop the Sag!’ billboard is seen on the side of a building in the Brooklyn borough of New York. AP

Brooklyn residents awoke on Thursday to the sight of two “Stop the Sag” billboards — and more were on the way. The signs show two men in jeans low enough to display their underwear. The billboards were bankrolled by state Senator Eric Adams, who also made an online video to send his message: “You can raise your level of respect if you raise your pants.”

Adams is the latest in a series of politicians and public figures to lambaste the slack-slacks style that has been popular in some circles since the 1990s and amplified by rappers.
President Barack Obama, as a candidate, came out against low-sitting trousers in 2008. “Some people might not want to see your underwear. I’m one of them,” Obama told MTV News. Some communities have tried outlawing saggy slacks, though such regulations have often faced questions about their legality.

Yet the trend has hung around and Adams decided he had enough. The black retired police captain tapped his campaign coffers for $2,000 to put up the billboards. He elaborated in his YouTube video, which juxtaposes images of minstrelsy and other racial caricatures with shots of sagging pants — all fuel for troubling stereotypes, in Adams’ view.

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