Caraway takes renewed anti-saggy pants campaign to City Hall

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by CYNTHIA VEGA, SHON GABLES and CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 13 at 11:34 PM

DALLAS - Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway is firing up his campaign against  young men wearing saggy pants once again.

Four years after Caraway made national news for his very public crusade urging young men to "Pull 'Em Up," Caraway said it's time for a different approach.

"Sagging" is technically when a person, mostly males, wear their pants so low you see their underwear or bare flesh.

The phenomenon actually started in prison, spilled over into the inner city and is now popularized in movies, music videos and popular culture everywhere.

Even President Barack Obama took time to address the saggy pants phenomenon back when Caraway first pushed to put a stop to the trend among teen boys, especially. However, Obama criticized Caraway's initiative, saying city leaders should spend more time focusing on "real problems."

But Caraway is back, with renewed focus, relaunching his initiative to pull up your britches.

Caraway held a news conference at noon at Dallas City Hall with politicians, community leaders and even former Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders. He said this time, he wants to challenge young men to pull up their saggy pants as a show of respect for themselves, but also as a show of respect to women in their midst.

Caraway and hundreds of his friends and supporters crowded the Flag Room at Dallas City Hall and outlined his plan for the fight against saggy pants.

But it might have been an uninvited guest who caused the biggest stir.

A young man wearing saggy pants addressed Caraway as he stood at the podium.

"We sag our pants because we're comfortable feeling this way, not because we want to feel uncomfortable," the man, who called himself Nathan, said.

He said they have no right to tell him how to wear his pants, no matter how many billboards of t-shirts they spill across North Texas.

"It's just one person's opinion," Nathan told reporters after the press conference. "That's it. It's just an opinion, really."
 
Caraway said his 2008 campaign made a difference. In Fort Worth, for example, bus drivers on board the "T" can force passengers wearing saggy pants off the bus. But, Caraway said it's time to do more.

This time, Caraway challenged DART to adopt the same policy as Fort Worth's equivalent. He said you can also expect to see more billboards, signs on buses and female ambassadors driving home the message that saggy pants are a sign the person wearing them has no self respect or respect for women.

Caraway told News 8 he also wanted to drive home what he calls the health issues of wearing saggy pants. Caraway questioned whether bus passenger want to sit in a seat formerly occupied by a saggy pants wearer. He said it's a matter of hygiene.

The council member also said he wants to point out the importance of eliminating saggy pants for the sake of the city's image. He said tourists are fearful when they see teens wearing saggy pants because of the stereotyped images that come with it.

As for Obama's comment made years ago, Caraway told News 8 the president doesn't recognize just how widespread the practice is in the Dallas area, calling it a crisis that Obama and his daughters are sheltered from because they travel with the Secret Service, far removed from people wearing saggy pants.
 

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