Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

September 6, 2013

No shirt, no shoes ... NO SAGGING!

Local minister campaigns to prevent youngsters from wearing droopy britches in public

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Calvin Brown is sick and tired of those unwanted glimpses of underwear from youngsters wearing droopy britches.

At one point enough was, quite simply  — UGH — enough. “Sagging” had to stop. The Jacksonville outreach minister urged City Council members at a July meeting to consider legally prohibiting the practice.

But in this particular case, “legally” is a tricky word. City Manager Mo Raissi and Police Chief Reece Daniel say any Jacksonville ordinance or law prohibiting sagging would probably be ruled unconstitutional.

“Legally, the city cannot be involved with any ordinance that won't hold water,” Raissi said.

Chief Daniel in particular described “sagging” as a social issue best dealt with in homes, churches or businesses rather than at city hall.

Brown — founder of the recently-established men's outreach ministry “Brothers On The Move” — said he has a new strategy. He is circulating special yellow “no sagging” signs about town, handing them out  as he speaks to local business representatives about banning sagging in their respective stores.

The store policy could be modified to something along the lines of, “No shoes, no shirt, no properly-pulled up pants, no service.”

Brown, who grew up in Jacksonville and graduated from Jacksonville High School,  said he has for some time worried about the negative influence sagging could have on the work ethic and functionality of local youngsters. (He has been married to his wife Crystal for five years and has six children.)

“Could you bring yourself to hire someone whose pants droop like that?” Brown said recently. “I really don't think that I could.”

Brown, 41, intends to personally create a website to help monitor the issue through his new outreach ministry. He can be reached at calvinlbrown39@yahoo.com or by cell at 903-372-6080.

Bottom line, said Chief Daniel: Passing a law that prohibits sagging would be no more legal than passing one against heavy people who wear spandex or shorts in public.

Raissi said he thinks Brown's alternative plan  — going for the wallet rather than the ballot — makes more sense.

“I think it is a good idea — especially if the local businesses want to do it,” Raissi said.