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America Faces a New Threat

Brooke Burger
Editor-in-Chief

   It seems America may be on the brink of a new war. 

   Unlike terrorists and druggies, the menace of this war may be lurking in your home, hiding in your closet waiting for the right moment to rear its ugly head. However, don't fret; our men in blue have plenty of time and resources to fight this new danger to America despite the wars on terror and drugs. 

   States such as New Jersey, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana and Arkansas took steps to protect their citizens from this terrifying new threat to all that is good and decent in America. “What threat could be so dangerous to the country?” you may ask. Global warming, hurricane season, gas prices, the health care crisis? What, pray tell, is threatening the fabric of American life? 

   Fashion victims. 

   Before you celebrate the end of your mother’s 1980s wardrobe or the end of Wranglers and Speedos, you must know our lawmakers do not consider every fashion victim a threat. 

   According to an Aug. 30 article in the New York Times, lawmakers in Louisiana claim “pants wore low enough to expose underwear poses a threat to the public.” 

   Delcambre and Mansfield, La., passed indecency ordinances to put a stop to sagging pants. Citizens sporting oversized pants in Delcambre may face up to six months in prison or fines up to $500. Mansfield, though less strict, threatens up to 15 days of jail time or fines totaling $150 in addition to court costs. 

   The Pine Bluff Commercial reported the City Council held a meeting Sept. 4 to discuss the current sagging ordinance that would fine people upwards of $200 for letting their britches drop below the waist.

   Despite the obvious violation of freedom of expression, only one of the three citizens who showed up to voice their opinions cried out against the discriminatory law. Barbara Blunt Muhammad, the lone protestor, emphasized sagging pants is nothing more than a fad among young people. 

   While an ordinary citizen such as Muhammad sees the trend as teenagers experimenting with their own style, President and Chair of the Board of Family Community Development Corporation Steven Mays sees sagging pants as a clear indicator of the type of fashion victims who threaten American life. 

   According to The Commercial, during the meeting Mays said, “Most of the ones who wear pants that are sagging are thugs. They smoke weed all day. They steal.” 

   While Mays seems to support the idea that Pine Bluff can profile all the thugs, pot smokers and thieves by looking for teens whose pants just don’t seem to fit, lawmakers in Stratford, Conn., felt differently about the criminal fashion trend. 

   The Times reported Stratford’s City Council determined the proposed dress-code ordinance was “unconstitutional and unjustly encouraged racial profiling.” 

   However, Stratford may be in for a rude awakening when their lax views on dress codes create a city full of pot-smoking thieves wearing sagging pants; even more so when they realize sagging pants is not the only criminal offense in the fashion arena. 

   In addition to city lawmakers, airlines also worry about the influx of criminal fashion victims. Thanks to a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, we now know these dangerous trend-setters can look like anyone, not just those exposing their undergarments. 

   Earlier this month, a flight attendant accused 23-year-old Kyla Ebbert of being dressed too provocatively to fly on a plane. Apparently, cute girls in mini-skirts may hijack a plane and kamikaze it into another beloved American symbol. 

   Between teenagers with no fashion sense and young women with short skirts and tight tops, America is in a state of emergency. Raise the fashion alert to code Periwinkle!  How are we supposed to focus on important issues like corporate and government corruption if we’re constantly distracted by underwear? 

   According to a draft of Pine Bluff’s ordinance, displaying one’s underwear creates “an unnecessary distraction and an offensive visual condition to others.” American Airlines also feels the need to ban passengers who are “clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers.” 

   Despite the laws on sagging pants and scanty outfits, these fashion police show some restraint. Several fashion faux pas I would consider “visually offensive” have yet to show up on the agenda of dress-code laws. 

   In addition to sagging pants, we need to ban other fashion crimes for the sake of Americans’ visual pleasure: 

  • Toupees:  When it looks like an animal crawled on your head to die, you should pay a fine.
  • Spandex:  Anyone caught wearing spandex in public should attend a rehabilitation clinic to kick their spandex addiction.
  • Small Sizes:  If you’re wearing a small and should be wearing a large, you deserve to go to jail.
  • Camel-toe:  Come on, ladies. Camel-toe is just offensive, and we don’t take kindly to offenses in America.

   These and other visual offenses threaten everyone and are clearly taking over. Forget the War on Drugs, forget the War on Poverty and Terror, even push aside violent crimes and crimes against nature – fashion crimes will be the ruin of America as we know it. 

   According to Pine Bluff’s ordinance draft, these crimes even pose a hazard to the offenders: “those who wear the style risk personal injury from tripping on their clothes.” 

   If this is the case, then mullets should be banned as well. According to MulletMadness.com, a gang of inebriated men beat a man in Reno, Nev., when they mistook his mullet for a turban in their drunken stupor. The Globe & Mail in Canada reports that Iran, already aware of the dangers the mullet poses, banned the infamous and atrocious hair-do. 

   As good Americans, we cannot stand by and let these fashion sins go unpunished. Sagging pants and scanty outfits do not stand alone as threats to our freedom and visual bliss. We need to stand up and cry out against all fashion crimes everywhere!  Why punish some and not all? 

   The Pine Bluff City Council will read the proposed ordinance on sagging pants at the next two meetings. I can only hope that everyone attends to let the council know that if the government has the power to look at our lives via the Patriot Act, they should be able to also look at our closets. How else can we make sure we do not harm ourselves or others with senseless fashion crimes? 

   It is not only our duty to dress in accordance with the law, but to also help lock up America’s style hazards. 

   Don’t become a victim of a fashion crime!  The next time your plumber visually offends you, don’t tell him crack kills. Call 9-1-1.

 

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ŠThe Voice 2007
Revised
09/15/2007 05:56:16 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/5_3/threat.htm