COLUMBIA -- A prominent black state senator has filed bills banning profanity-laced songs and droopy pants in an effort to ignite debate about the behavior of young people, particularly in the African-American community. Sen. Robert Ford, a former civil rights worker, readily admits he's picking on young black men. "I am. I am. It's a disgrace," Ford said Thursday. "I mean, this is supposed to be the proudest age in African-American lives ... and we've still got these young men, instead of trying to look like somebody who's got it made, or somebody who's looking out for their community, they want to look like prisoners." The Charleston Democrat said he knows the proposals would attract lawsuits if they pass, and he doesn't expect them to be approved. He just wants a spirited discussion. The saggy pants bill would make it illegal for people to wear pants more than three inches below their hips. He wants civil fines ranging from $25 for the first offense to $75, plus up to six hours of community service, for three or more offenses. "When older black people go to the mall they cry when they see that stuff," Ford said. Antoine Medley, executive director and founder of Raleigh, N.C.-based Future Black Men of America Inc., said saggy pants are just a way, good or bad, for young people to express themselves. "All kids who wear their clothes like that aren't juvenile delinquents," he said. "It's just a fashion thing." But Ford said a style that should have faded away decades ago -- in which teens, perhaps unknowingly, mimic prison garb -- is particularly foul as President-elect Barack Obama takes office. "You've got an African-American president," said Ford, who supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in her primary against Obama, saying he never imagined a year ago Obama could win the presidency. "That should give hope to a lot of people. You don't have to emulate prisoners no more. You can emulate somebody like Barack Obama." Towns across the nation, including in Ford's native Louisiana, have adopted pants bans. But statewide efforts in Louisiana and Virginia have failed. Ford also wants to make it illegal to play or perform in public -- or sell to minors -- music that is "profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent." Offenders would face fines up to $5,000 or five years in prison. While the law would apply to all songs, "most of them are rap songs, yeah, I'm picking on them," Ford said Thursday. He said "people coming out of church" shouldn't have to hear such profanity, and they're too scared of the teens to fuss at them. We've got to put an end to that whole culture." Medley said what teens listen to is an issue for parents, not the government. "It's the parents' job to monitor what their kids listen to," he said. "I know that's really, really tough to do, but that's where it's going to fall." Both proposals are clearly unconstitutional, said David Hudson, a scholar at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Anti-profanity laws are "relics of past eras." While profanity can be prohibited in limited cases, such as in public schools or if it's part of a threat, most profane or offensive speech is protected under the First Amendment, he said. "What may be profane to person A may not be profane to person B," said Keith Holzman, principal of Solutions Unlimited, a consultant and former record label executive. "I'm against all forms of such legislation. You can't define profanity." But Ford said he's targeting a segment of the population ripe for regulation. "We're talking about teenagers," he said. "They have no rights." The Democrat said he might run for governor in 2010 as a referendum to bring back video poker to South Carolina, which outlawed the games in 2000, to raise much-needed revenue. Asked whether the proposals have anything to do with that possible bid, he responded with some profanity of his own. "Oh no, hell no," he said. "I've been doing this for years."