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Halting Urban Development Is As Simple As Getting Dressed

July 21st, 2008 at 10:41am

That’s what Eugene Williams, Mayor of Lynwood, Chicago would have you believe.

Village leaders have passed an ordinance that would levy $US25 ($A25.72) fines against anyone showing three inches (7.62cm) or more of their underwear in public.

Eugene Williams is the mayor of Lynwood. He says young men walk around town half-dressed, keeping major retailers and economic development away.

It’s not the first time such laws have been considered in the US, but this is the first time that I’ve heard anyone try to blame visible underwear for a lack of urban development. Usually such laws are considered either for reasons of personal taste (eg. the mayor or a lobby group don’t like looking at underwear) or “safety” (although I’m not sure how that argument works…and I’m pretty sure it’s a cover for the personal taste reasoning).

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have trotted out their usual line about the ban having to do with racial profiling and being an attempt to discriminate against young black males (oddly referred to as “young men of colour” by ACLU)…it’s entirely possible that the media contact number for ACLU diverts to an answering service on weekends as their argument doesn’t seem to address the reasoning provided by the Lynwood council and sounds more like a recorded response to “press four if your town has just banned visible underwear”.

I think that 21-year-old Lynwood resident Joe Klomes hit the nail on the head when he suggested that, instead of banning visible underwear, the council should “spend money on making the area look nicer”, an idea which might just spark that urban development which Mayor Williams seems to be so concerned about.


Entry Filed under: Bizarreness

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