Youths to Sen. Adams — keep your hands off my pants!

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When it comes to wearing your pants, no one should tell you how low you can go.

So said high school students on Wednesday as they bashed state Sen. Eric Adams’s “Stop the Sag” campaign — the Fort Greene Democrat’s attempt to get local kids to hitch up their drawers.

“I think what we wear is our opinion,” said 16-year-old Jemel Wilson, a student at George Westinghouse HS, as he adjusted his low-hanging jeans outside the Fulton Mall. “People shouldn’t tell us what to wear.”

Fellow student Kiara Dowdye, 16, added that, given his position in power, Adams should actually be supporting the youths’ free speech.

“People have the right to wear whatever they want,” she said.

But Adams sees something more dire in the annoying fashion trend: Wearing your pants so low could one day “morally bankrupt society” he said.

That’s why he thought up the billboards, which started appearing in Fort Greene, Crown Heights and East Flatbush this week. These “public service announceme­nts” depict two youths with their pants hanging off their thighs, showing off the boxers. On the side will read phrases like “Stop the sag,” “You’re better than this” and “Raise your pants, raise your image.”

Adams said he put up $2,000 from his campaign coffers to pay for the billboards with the non-profit group Fully Persuaded for Children and Families. He hopes these messages will put a dent in this underwear-flashing “epidemic” that was inspired by clothing trends in state prisons, picked up by hip-hop artists in the early 1990s, and each year seem to drop lower and lower.

“You can’t lead if you can’t walk straight — and you can’t walk straight with your pants down around your feet,” said Adams. “If our youth can’t navigate a belt loop, then they won’t be able to navigate the complexities of American Express and corporate America.”

In addition to the billboard campaign, Adams has sent a letter to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein asking him to introduce a dress code “that prohibits saggy pants attire.”

Some kids learned the lesson without help from Albany.

Jose Lopez said he used to wear his pants low as a youth, but the 33-year-old said he grew out of it. As a result, he thought Adams shouldn’t get his pants in a bunch.

“It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a style,” Lopez said, adding that he resented the placement of the billboards in minority neighborhoods. “They should put them up everywhere. In Bensonhurst, the kids are doing the same thing.”

— with Stephen Witt

Updated 5:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Hank from Ingersoll Houses says:
As long as I don't see any skidmarks or bum crack, I don't care.
April 1, 2010, 10:57 am
Stupidisasstupiddoes from NYC says:
I say let them continue to dress like that!
Only an idiot would run around with most of their underwear hanging out and their pants about to fall off.

But I support their right to do it! Mainly because this is a tough economy. Lots of people are out of work. And no company or manager I know would hire a dip s h i t e that runs around with his pants down! So...these clowns won't be competition for the job I want.
April 1, 2010, 1:18 pm
Jamal from PLG says:
Eric Adams- what an idiot! Massive budget problems, insane unemployment, mismanaged education system, Albany a wreck, cut backs in public transportation, AND THIS GUY IS WORRIED ABOUT SAGGY PANTS! We've got to wake up people! These are the people we elect?!
Let the bums look like losers, more jobs for people trying who are trying to make something of themselves. Sure it's your right to look however you want, but that doesn't mean you don't look like loser.

PS - in jail the style went from individualism to a sign that the lower your pants are, the more available you are for another guy. Yeah.
April 1, 2010, 10:20 pm
Carty from Park Slope says:
Wear them lower - we like the view :-)
April 3, 2010, 8:40 pm
Williams from Bed-Stuy says:
I just cannot understand the reason these kids want to wear their clothes like this. It is harmful to their legs (bounding you natural walking stride) will have negative effects. The look if of a loser. And the sadder part is that the young girls do not mind walking down the street with these loser? What is the real problem?
April 3, 2010, 11:23 pm
SayItAintSo from around the way says:
The problem is youth are emulating a "prison" trend. And while many of you state that is better for those who are out looking for jobs, that is the point, these folks aren't out looking for jobs, but committing crimes to end up in jail to earn their stripes for street cred.

The crimes they commit might be against you & yours. We are perpetuating and condoning this behavior if we don't address it. Hell, if you want to more of your tax dollars to sustaining prisons and building more just say you don't care. One you have gun pointed at your head or your house is robbed say this is NYC.
April 5, 2010, 7:48 am
yourdignitycomesfirst from bronx says:
Students think that this is way of making themselves known as avant-garde dressers, or trendsetters. Unfortunately, it's time that will make them realize how tremendously foolish they look by having their pants sag in an unbecoming way. The prison look is not a fashion statement and you would not see that look in any fashion magazine.

I would like to know how many of those saggers wear their pants in that form at their job? Most likely, they would be too ashamed to admit that they don't dare lower their pants for fear of being fired.

So those saggers who are think they have bragging rights in public but won't dare do it in their job, pick up your pants. Your dignity comes first.
April 5, 2010, 10:44 am
cookie from clinton hill says:
April 11, 2010, 7:33 pm
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
I was going to leave this one alone, but here I go. The youth in our communities have nothing to look forward to so they gravitate to things they can identify with, same thing we did when we were young but at least there were churches, organizations and jobs out there for us to keep us off the streets. So all you adults out there complaining ( I do not like it either)but we own nothing of consequence that these young folk can strive for. When our churches are open everyday of the week to support the communities they take tithes and offerings from every Sunday, food banks are good but there is so much more they can do. Adults need to start opening businesses to employ them so they get use to dressing respectably. Only people over 21 can sign contracts so lets open some businesses and some schools, and take responsibility for the problem.
April 14, 2010, 1:29 am

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