Measure H.R. 2116 passed 235-189 in a vote along party lines. It was introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.
“CROWN” stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, and the act prohibits “discrimination based on an individual’s texture or style of hair.” The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration, debate and a vote.
To quote nbcnews.com:
The legislation states that “routinely, people of African descent are deprived of educational and employment opportunities” for wearing their hair in natural or protective hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, or Afros.
“Here we are today, standing on behalf of those individuals — whether my colleagues on the other side recognize it or not — who are discriminated against as children in school, as adults who are trying to get jobs, individuals who are trying to get housing, individuals who simply want access to public accommodations and to be beneficiaries of federally funded programs,” Watson Coleman said in remarks on the House floor Friday morning.
This demonstrates the bill’s necessity, she said, because there are people in positions of authority “who think because your hair is kinky, it is braided, it is in knots or it is not straight and blonde and light brown, that you somehow are not worthy of access to those issues.”
“Well,” she added, “that’s discrimination.”
“There’s no logical reason that anyone should be discriminated against on any level because of the texture of their hair or the style of their hair,” Watson Coleman said.
Without naming him, she referred to Andrew Johnson, a Black varsity high school wrestler in New Jersey with dreadlocks who was forced in 2018 to make a choice: cut his hair or forfeit his match.
“This bill is vitally important,” she said. “It’s important to the young girls and the young boys who have to cut their hair in the middle of a wrestling match in front of everyone because some white referee says that your hair is inappropriate to engage in your match.”
The Biden administration this week said it “strongly supports” the Crown Act. More than a dozen states, including Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, have passed versions of the Crown Act. California was the first state to do so.
Original article source: https://goodblacknews.org/2022/03/20/u-s-house-of-representatives-passes-the-crown-act-banning-discrimination-based-on-hair-texture-or-styles/ | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council