Video: Pull your pants up, Dallas!

NBC Universal Anchors and Correspondents
By Josh Mankiewicz Correspondent
NBC News
updated 10/24/2006 8:03:19 PM ET 2006-10-25T00:03:19

Ron Price wants to grab the city of Dallas by the seat of its pants.

“My problem is when grown men walk around our cities with their pants well below their buttocks with all their underwear exposed,” says Price, a trustee of the Dallas Independent School District. “No one needs to see anyone else’s underwear.”

And Price thinks there ought to be a law.

“Pull it up, or pay up!” he says. “Either you can pull your pants up, or get a ticket and pay up.”

He's proposing that low-riding violators get hit with a fine of up to $50. Price, who as a school board trustee pushed through a dress code for Dallas public schools, says it's time for citizens of every color to literally tighten their belts.

“It's not about race,” he says. “It's not about gender. It's an issue of respect and honor.”

It's not a new look. You can trace it back to a rap video by Kriss Kross and underwear ads, both circa 1992. And like long hair, miniskirts and grunge, it's a trend lost on those above a certain age.

The concept of a crackdown on low-rise pants isn't unique to Dallas. It's an idea that's already been floated in Florida, Virginia and Louisiana, with no success. Turns out it's always easier to deplore fashion than to legislate it.

“I think you have to be retarded to have your pants sagging, but I don't know, it's kind of tricky ground,” says one man. “You might be stepping on personal freedom.”

And that's the issue, coupled with the crime problem in Dallas. Cops here need to be more than the fashion police.

“I think you have to set your priorities,” says city councilman Ed Oakley. “I’m not sure that we should be going down the road of inhibiting individual behavior.”

No, says Ron Price. We should.

How would the proposed law apply to women or to the occasional plumber? Price doesn't know, but it would put the “under” back in underwear. No ifs, ands or ... well, you get the idea.

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