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Fort Worth Public Transit Cracks Down On Low Riding Pants

Photo by Fort Worth Transportation Authority
Images such as this one have already been splashed on public buses in Fort Worth. Now, a ban on the practice gives riders the option of pulling up their pants or not getting on the bus.

A style popularized by hip hop artists in the 90's is now banned on public transit in Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports on the city’s transportation authority enforcing a new dress code on buses and trains.

The T is putting posters in each bus that read: "Grandma says 'Pull 'em up' or find another ride." The advertisements feature caricatures of two grandmotherly figures -- one light-skinned and one dark-skinned -- and the lower half of a person wearing pants low enough for drawers to be seen.

The New York Times, in a report on a similar 2007 ban in Louisiana, noted that not since the zoot suit craze in the 1940's has there been such a backlash against a particular fashion. 

The exaggerated boxy long coat and tight-cuffed pants, started in the 1930s, was the emblematic style of a subculture of young urban minorities. It was viewed as unpatriotic and flouted a fabric conservation order during World War II.

 That Times piece notes that while some African Americans perceive saggy pants bans as racially motivated - because they tend to target young black men - the prohibitions are often supported by members of the African American community, suggesting a generation gap.

That’s what is happening in Fort Worth. The driving force behind the saggy pants ban there is City Councilman Frank Moss, an African American who has long said that saggy pants hurt the ability of young people to find jobs. He has led a campaign that has included billboards, bumper stickers, ads on city buses, even events sponsored by community groups, WFAA reports.

Moss should perhaps consider recruiting 62-year-old Larry Platt to deliver his message against droopy trousers. Platt experienced a short burst of fame last year when he auditioned for American Idol with a song lambasting people whose pants ride low.