Note: we are republishing this story amid a nationwide conversation about race and racial justice in America.
A liquor store in Oklahoma City has made headlines after it created a sign and posted it in its store demanding customers to “Pull your pants up!” Not only does the sign provide this message, but it also tells customers who decide to sag their pants, that they are not welcomed inside the establishment. Although this policy was seen as controversial and even racist to some people, the store management stands by it because they simply find the fashion statement disrespectful and disgusting.
In an interview with KFOR, the management at Midwest Wine and Spirits said they were compelled to put the sign up because far too many customers were coming in with their pants hanging down their behinds so that their underwear and cracks could be visible.
“Pull your pants up or don’t come in!!! the sign reads. “Try to have some decency & respect for others. No one wants to see your underwear.”
Because the management doesn’t like the idea of people exposing their behinds inside the liquor store, they figured it was best to put the sign up before a sexual assault resulted from the “invitation” that sagging pants provide to viewers.
“I realize wearing pants low is a fashion statement for some, but it doesn’t work for me, and I find it somewhat offensive,” Chad Gilbert, one of the managers said.
However, one customer takes issue with the sign and argues that since the establishment is a liquor store, they have shaky moral grounds on which to judge people.
“I can see that if it was like a church,” Sunshine Weatherby (above) said. “There are families there, you might have a problem with that, but this is a liquor store. I’ve seen worse at a liquor store.”
Weatherby did not say that the store should take down the sign, arguing that they have a right to serve the customers they choose. However, Weatherby believes that as long as the store treats all customers the same, she can be okay with it. However, if the sign is used as a way to discriminate against people of a certain race, then it would be wrong.
Employees believe that sagging pants also pose a security risk.
“Usually, when people come in with their pants sagging, it’s easier for them to steal bottles,” Shana Wiessner said.
She always keeps a close watch on any person who comes into the store with sagging pants. She finds that when she watches those people with more attention, they are more likely to get caught with a bottle in their pants.
While the sign is certainly direct and to the point, most people can agree that sagging pants are disturbing. Because men are walking around with their butts out in public, it is a weird fashion statement that seems inappropriate. If these men want to show off their butts, they should do that in their own homes or in an establishment where others might want to see that like certain nightclubs or bars.
Do you think this sign should stay up or be ripped down?