Are Saggy Pants Really a Threat to Flight Safety?

On Wednesday, a college student was removed from his U.S. Airways flight and arrested at San Francisco International Airport. The scholar-athlete, Deshon Marman, was attempting to return to the University of New Mexico after attending a childhood friend's funeral when he was arrested for "trespassing" after being removed from a plane that he had a ticket to be on.

Lots of people Deshon's age choose to wear their pants the way one airline employee described as "below his buttocks but above the knees." The style hardly constitutes a threat to flight safety.

We are required to take off our belts and outer-layers of clothing going through airport security. And you'd be hard-pressed to tour a high school or college campus without seeing a great deal of exposed boxer shorts peeking out of sagging pants. So are we really to believe that the partial visibility of Deshon Marman's boxers is what made these airline employees uncomfortable to the point of calling the police? Or was Deshon's mother, Donna Doyle, closer to the truth when she guessed that the real impetus was "the way he looks- young black man with dreads and baggy pants"?

The implications of this incident stretch much further than the fellow passengers who were forced to deplane and delayed in their travel over a young man's pants. And much further than Deshon, who was held in jail until posting $10,000 bail for his release and still faces the possibility of criminal charges. This is another life touched by the embarrassing legacy of racially biased targetingWhen 1 in every 8 black men in their twenties is in prison or jail on any given day, and three times more black people live in prison cells than in college dorms, we cannot write off ridiculous incidents like this as random.

The absurdity of turning to the police for sagging pants is just emblematic of a pervasive national issue: overreliance on imprisonment. As a nation, we have spent increasingly exorbitant amounts of money putting people in prison, almost half of which are for nonviolent offenses. What's worse, as the world's largest incarcerator, we have locked up record numbers of individuals with no benefit to public safety.

Black men, one out of three of whom can expect to go to jail at the current incarceration rate, are the main targets of this addiction to overincarceration. Deshon Marman's is now another story among the staggering legions.

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Anonymous

Is it against the law to wear sagging pants or does the airline have a policy prohibiting the wearing of sagging pants? Was it posted anywhere? Was he made aware of it when he purchased his ticket? No one has boarded this plane before with sagging pants? I am 62 years old and I know this is ridiculous. This young man rights have been violated. What about the other things people wear that we might not care for, like covering the face with veils? Will they be allowed on the plane?

SteelToad

The airline has a dress policy, he violated it, he was asked to correct it, he refused, he was asked to leave the plane, he refused, he was told he was trespassing, he refused to leave, security ordered him off the plane, he refused.

Anonymous

What I dont understand is why he meaning Deshon, when asked couldnt simply pull them up till he reached his destination and then go back to wearing them however he wants, but NO he starts a riot with words and actions making it 100% worse. Grow up, it doesnt hurt u to pull the shorts up for a short while and follow the rules which are meant to protect us all.

Anonymous

I personally do not like to see other individuals underwear!

Anonymous

ITS NOT ABOUT BEING A THREAT OR PREJUDICE. ITS PLAIN TACKY. PEOPLE HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE MODELS ON BILL BOARDS SAYING THAT THEY ARE IMPROPERLY DRESSED SO ON AND SO FORTH. SO WHY SHOULD ANY PERSONS MALE OR FEMALE BE ALLOWED TO WEAR THEIR PANTS PAST THEIR BUTTOCKS? I FEEL THAT THERE SHOULD BE A BAND AGAINST THIS AND FINES TO BE PAID. BLACK, WHITE, YELLOW, BROWN, NO MATTER THE COLOR OF PEOPLES SKIN I HAVE SEEN THIS IN ALL RACES AND GENDERS. GET OFF TELLING PEOPLE THAT ITS ONLY BLACK PEOPLE WEARING PANTS/SHORTS IN THIS STYLE. CAN SOMEONE ANSWER ME THIS.... WHY IS IT WHEN A WOMAN WEARS PROVOCATIVE CLOTHING OR DRESS/SKIRT TO SHORT SHE IS A HOOKER. GET OFF IT PLEASE.

Anonymous

TURNING TO THE POLICE BECAUSE OF SAGGY PANTS WAS NOT THE REASON...... HELLO! IT WAS BECAUSE HE WAS ASKED TO PULL THEM UP BECAUSE OF THE AIRLINES DRESS CODE.

Maggie

While I doubt if this is a security issue. I am TIRED of seeing kids with their A*S*S* hanging out. If the front falls down isn't that indecent exposure and a crime?

Josh

Will there be a follow-up to this? I'm interested in the outcome.

Thank you.

Mona

As someone who works in the retail industry, saagy pants always means we watch them just a little bit closer because they slip merchandise into their pants and then slip out the door. Black AND white, it makes no difference.
My own personal view is that these idiotic young men will have hip issues when they are older from adating an unnatural walking stance so that their pants don't fall down completely. Seriously...if they have to hold their pants up when they walk, WHAT IS THE POINT!?

Anonymous

It is not just Afro-Americans who wear saggy pants, other kids do it too, even girls! I find it disrespectful & is offensive! I do not want to see some-
one's underpants, male or female. This might be the now fad, but it is a stupid one. I'm glad you ARE wearing underpants, but I don't care to see them! This is just like when someone pulls up beside you at a red light & has their music blasting, even rattling windows. I don't want to listen to your music any more than you want to listen to mine. People just don't seem to have self-respect any more & if they don't have it, why do they expect anyone else to respect them! I know each generation has their fads, but now they are getting down right stupid!

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