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During the House vote on a bill designed to protect Black people from negative treatment at school and work because of their natural hair, GOP congresswoman Lauren Boebert took the opportunity to slur Black hair.

Across the country, hair discrimination is a costly problem for Black people. Schools and workplaces often have dress codes and grooming policies in place that ban natural hairstyles, like afros, braids, bantu knots, and locs. 

Children have been removed from their classrooms, and adults have been relieved of their employment due to these policies which are based on the idea that there is something “wrong” with Black people’s natural hair.

Despite these rules and laws being used almost exclusively against people with African-textured hair, House Republicans blocked legislation that would make it a federal crime to discriminate against people because of his or her hair style or texture.

The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, or CROWN, Act seeks to block biased treatment against hair styles associated with race or national origin. 

The vote was 235-188, with only 15 members of the GOP supporting the bill. Because the bill failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to pass under an expedited measure, it will have to return to the House floor under regular rules and will be able to pass with a simple majority. An outcome that appears likely. 

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey was disappointed in the failure of a 2/3 vote, which is customary for non-controversial matters, and says she’s undeterred, “House Republicans have chosen to give in to the climate of division and obstruction, and block the CROWN Act, a bill meant to end race-based hair discrimination, on the final day of Black History Month. Despite this temporary setback – and while I regret that Republicans chose to miss an opportunity to show unity against race-based discrimination – we will bring the CROWN Act back and pass it with a simple majority.”

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund Hair has long worked on this issue, and calls texture-based hair discrimination “an undue burden that polices Black identity and upholds white supremacy.” As there are no nationwide legal protections against hair discrimination, Black people too often are discriminated against and risk facing consequences at school or work for their natural hair. Or, they have to invest time and spend money to conform to Eurocentric beauty standards.

The CROWN Coalition is a community of almost 100 community and advocacy organizations that work to push for the passage of the CROWN Act in all 50 states, and to end hair discrimination.

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10 Comments

  1. People are jealous because black people can wear all styles, colors, shapes, be it straight, curly, nappy, or braided. Where as theirs is limp, flat, and no volume.
    Well listen up people. Everyone does not want silky straight hair

      1. What about the nappy head white children that have African American Fathers. White parents don’t even know how to comb their nappy hair. Stop Hate-N

  2. Too many hair styles just look silly and inappropriate in the military, police force, among teachers, a server at a restaurant, etc. This includes the extreme hair fads among Caucasians. To make a particular hair style the center of one’s place in life and work is vacuous to the extreme.

  3. It’such a disgrace that any one decriminate against the black race for the many hair styles we exhibit.A person should be judge by the content of his character and not by hair style which is ignorant and narrow minded

  4. Lauren Boebert you only have but one flat style to wear. Jealousy is not becoming on some people faces. I think you need to read the Bible and find out just how Jesus looked but first I want you to read Revelations in the Bible. This is for all to read.

  5. I hope this helps some people smile. I was picked on as a kid for my hair. It was not cut often & my Mom neglected to teach me how to do anything with it. One side is curly, one isn’t. My kid inherited it, but there’s more than hairspray & gel now. Hair story number 2: a friend who often left work after dark like me said to be careful because she thought “ a homeless was sneaking in & sleeping in the hospital’s lab area we exited through”. A few days I thought I saw him: guy in wrinkly pajama type outfit & unclean looking tangly dreads. Nearly called security on the guy… SO GLAD I DIDN’T! Next day I was introduced to the same guy who was interning doing BRAIN SURGERY. Guy was a surfer. We are both seemingly of European descent ( he didn’t know because he’s adopted). Don’t judge…

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