Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes sounded off to critics of laws that would let persons independence to convey them selves by how they wear their hair.
“Natural hair should really be worn devoid of concern of discrimination,” Hayes asserted moments right after the U.S. Property of Associates handed the CROWN Act, banning hair-similar discrimination. The measure passed in a vote of 235-189 alongside occasion strains.
Introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey), the acronym CROWN stands for Developing a Respectful and Open up World for Purely natural Hair. The evaluate outlaws discrimination primarily based on an individual’s texture or style of hair.
The invoice will, which now heads to the Senate, states that “routinely, people today of African descent are deprived of academic and work opportunities” for carrying their hair in organic or protecting hairstyles this kind of as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, or Afros.
Republicans strongly opposed the measure, and some employed race-baiting words and phrases in expressing their opposition. “No to the nappy hair act,” Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Environmentally friendly railed.
Civil legal rights teams applauded the passage of the evaluate.
“Passage of the CROWN Act by the Household of Associates moves our nation one move nearer to federal safety for Black females, males, and kids from discrimination throughout the nation simply since of their natural hair or hairstyle,” stated Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Legal rights Underneath Regulation.
“We urge the Senate to swiftly acquire up this critical legislation, which would ensure that Black learners are not prohibited from attending or participating in faculty functions for the reason that of their pure hair, that Black personnel are not subject matter to pretextual firing or unfavorable work steps due to the fact of their hair texture or type, and that Black men and women are accorded dignity and respect in deciding on to embrace a purely natural hairstyle.”
In a statement, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) mentioned Black women of all ages and ladies facial area discrimination due to the fact of their normal hair every day at their workplaces and educational institutions.
“So today, I proudly voted yes on the CROWN Act to last but not least stop race-based mostly hair discrimination when and for all,” Beatty insisted.
“It’s uncomplicated — discrimination from Black hair is discrimination based on race. I appear forward to swift passage of this crucial legislation in the Senate and standing with President Biden as he indicators it into law.”
Rep. Beatty then sent a information to Black youth. “To each younger 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 proud of your hair and know the Congressional Black Caucus is fighting for you.”