• We’re Saved! Cory Booker to Introduce Bill Banning Race-Based ‘Hair Discrimination’

    Surge Summary: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker has introduced a bill to outlaw “race-based hair discrimination”. A similar measure has been put forward by Democrats in the House of Representatives.

    Democratic presidential contender Senator Cory Booker is pushing a bill prohibiting race-based hair discrimination. The legislation was announced last Thursday.

    Mairead McArdle/National Review writes,

    The Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act will target discrimination against natural or protective hairstyles frequently associated with a particular race, including specific hair textures and styles such as … braids, twists or locs.

    “Discrimination against black hair is discrimination against black people,” the New Jersey Democrat said in a statement. “Implicit and explicit biases against natural hair are deeply ingrained in workplace norms and society at large. This is a violation of our civil rights, and it happens every day for black people across the country.”

    “No one should be harassed, punished, or fired for the beautiful hairstyles that are true to themselves and their cultural heritage,” Booker added.

    Booker – who, ironically, is bald as a pumpkin — is not alone in this effort.

    Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.) plans to introduce a similar bill in the House. Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), Marcia Fudge (D., Ohio), and Barbara Lee (D., Calif.) will be joining him.

    Earlier this year, California and New York had already passed legislation prohibiting race-based hair discrimination. (Anyone out there – anyone? – surprised by the revelation those states were ahead of this kind of nitpicking effort?) Around another dozen states are reportedly considering such measures.

    The hair discrimination issue has made several headlines in recent months. Booker took a particular interest in the issue after a high school wrestler from New Jersey, Andrew Johnson, was forced last year to cut his dreadlocks to comply with hair length regulations or face forfeiting a wrestling match. The referee subsequently faced accusations of racism.

    Another incident involving allegations of racism turned out to be false. A sixth-grade girl claimed three white boys at her school physically attacked her, called her “ugly,” and cut off some of her dreadlocks. Later, however, she admitted that she had lied and made up the story.

    Booker’s presidential run is currently running into head-winds. The former Newark, NJ mayor’s poll numbers present stand at an anemic 2 percent according to the Real Clear Politics average of national polls.

    It’s likely he hopes this hair-focused legislation will garner him some attention and political support.

    But a few questions: If signed into law, what other follicle-related issues will this legislation address? Will employers no longer require food-prep workers to wash their hair? Shouldn’t a person’s right to greasy hair be safeguarded? What if a long-maned chef – pony tails and mullets are particularly popular among white men — decides he no longer wants to wear one of those silly-looking hair-net contraptions? What about his rights? Will a non-African-American’s choice to sport a scalp-full of dreads or corn-rows be preserved? After all, a quick internet search reveals both those particular coiffures are quite popular across the racial spectrum.

    Clearly, this is civilization-saving stuff we’re talking about her.

    H/T: Mairead McArdle/National Review

    H/T: Marina Pitofsky/The Hill

    Image: Adapted from: Veroniqueakin – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7565111

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