Last week, I took aim at Albany City Commissioner Tommie Postell regarding his efforts to attack saggy britches here in Albany. Elsewhere, there’s been discussion about teachers with tattoos and how they need to hit the road. There’s a lot going on here, and there’s been plenty of discussion. Unfortunately, both of these are prime examples of smoke and mirrors. We need to focus on what’s important, and these issues are the kinds of things that distract people from the truly important.
Saggy pants are annoying, but so were leisure suits and parachute pants. For that matter, so is Paris Hilton. Postell doesn’t seem to want to ban her (though I’d probably consider supporting him on that measure). Tattoos are less than delightful to see in many circumstances, though I know several people with them. However, neither is truly indicative of anything except someone in need of a belt or someone who got a tattoo.
What’s more important are issues like actual gang activity, not how the gang members choose to dress. It’s especially important when the so-called fashion statement isn’t exclusive to those who run with gangs, but for an entire subculture of youth – many of whom have nothing to do with gangs. In the classroom, it’s far more important for a teacher to be ethical and effective rather than whether they got some ink at some point in their life.
Once upon a time, it was hoped that people would be judged on their ability, not their appearance. It was hoped that people wouldn’t be labeled as criminals simply because of how the looked. Both efforts will take us backwards in many ways when it comes to passing along important lessons to our children.
Instead of worrying about this kind of thing, let’s focus on busting up the gangs in this town. Let’s focus on quality teachers and quality education. Let’s focus on finding jobs for those who want to work and quit sweating all this silly stuff. I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping for better things for our community. Cracking down on fashion faux pas and signs of a misspent youth won’t have any appreciable value. Actually solving real problems? Now that would have a real impact on the community in a positive way.
I guess that’s too much to ask for from our benevolent leaders, isn’t it?
Written by Tom Knighton. Read his blog at TomKnighton.com, as well as SWGAPolitics.com. A lifelong political junkie, Tom started out his adult life as a journalism major at Darton College before leaving school to serve his nation as a U.S. Navy Corpsman. Through the years, he has watched government from outside and inside. A former Reagan supporter, then later a Democrat, Tom now finds himself quite comfortable as a card carrying Libertarian and currently serves as Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Southwest Georgia.