House passes CROWN Act to end discrimination against natural hairstyles | Richmond Free Press

Gerard Ortiz

Democratic Congresswoman Jahana Hayes of Connecticut sounded off to critics of laws that would let people today the liberty to specific them selves by how they wear their hair.

“Natural hair must be worn without worry of discrimination,” Rep. Hayes asserted moments immediately after the U.S. Home of Associates passed the CROWN Act, banning hair-relevant discrimination. The measure handed March 18 on a 235-189 vote, mostly together occasion strains. Fourteen Republicans joined all 221 Democrats in supporting the evaluate. Launched by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey Democrat, the acronym CROWN stands for Building a Respectful and Open Earth for Pure Hair. The measure outlaws discrimination dependent on an individual’s texture or design and style of hair.

Rep. Coleman cited the case of Andrew Johnson, the New Jersey higher college wrestler who in 2018 was pressured to slice his dreadlocks or forfeit his wrestling match.

The monthly bill, which now heads to the U.S. Senate, states that “routinely, persons of African descent are deprived of educational and employment opportunities” for carrying their hair in normal or protecting hairstyles these as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots or Afros.

Republicans strongly opposed the measure, and some utilised race-baiting text in expressing their opposition.

“No to the nappy hair act,” Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia railed.

Civil rights groups applauded the passage of the evaluate.

“Passage of the CROWN Act by the Residence of Representatives moves our na- tion one particular action closer to federal defense for Black girls, men and children from discrimination throughout the country basically due to the fact of their organic hair or hairstyle,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Legislation.

“We urge the Senate to swiftly acquire up this crucial legislation, which would be certain that Black pupils are not prohibited from attending or taking part in school activities mainly because of their purely natural hair, that Black workers are not subject matter to pretextual firing or damaging work steps simply because of their hair texture or design and style, and that Black individuals are accorded dignity and respect in picking out to embrace a purely natural hairstyle.”

Mr. Hewitt reported restrictions on Black hairstyles and textures in workplaces and school campuses are relics of white supremacy.

“This specific security against racial discrimination centered on hairstyles is prolonged overdue,” he remarked.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, 1st introduced the Senate ver- sion of the CROWN Act in 2019.

In a statement, Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, claimed Black women and girls confront discrimination each day at their workplaces and colleges for the reason that of their organic hair.

“So right now, I proudly voted yes on the CROWN Act to ultimately end race-based mostly hair discrimination after and for all,” Rep. Beatty mentioned. “It’s easy: Discrimination versus Black hair is discrimination dependent on race. I glance ahead to swift passage of this critical legislation in the Senate and standing with President Biden as he signals it into regulation.”

Rep. Beatty then delivered a information to Black youths.

“To each and every youthful Black woman and boy, I say to you, your hair — from your kinks to your curls, from your ’fros to your fades, from your locs to your braids — is a crown,” she asserted. “Be very pleased of your hair and know the Congressional Black Caucus is battling for you.”

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