Racial discrimination based on hairstyle would be prohibited under the bill
The House on Friday passed the CROWN Act, which would ban hair-related discrimination, including on the basis of race.
The measure passed 235-189, with 14 Republicans joining every Democrat in favor of the bill. He was introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (DN.J.).
The legislation, Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, is designed to address discrimination in education and employment against black people because of the way they wear their hair. Some hairstyles described in the measurement include those in which the hair is “tightly coiled or tightly curled, locs, cornrows, twists, braids, bantu knots, and afros”.
“We are here today on behalf of those people, whether my colleagues opposite recognize it or not, who are discriminated against as children in school, as adults trying to getting a job, people trying to get housing, people just wanting to access public housing and get federally funded programs,” Watson Coleman told the House on Friday.
“And why are they being denied these opportunities? Because there are people in this society who make these decisions who think because your hair is frizzy or it’s braided or it’s knotted or they’re not straight and blonde and light brown, that you’re somehow not worthy of having access to these issues,” she said. “Well, that’s discrimination.”
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The Biden administration offered its support for the bill earlier this week in a statement, saying it “looks forward to working with Congress to enact this legislation and ensure it is effectively implemented.”
“The President believes that no one should be denied the opportunity to obtain a job, to succeed in school or at work, to obtain housing or to exercise their rights based on the texture or hairstyle of their her hair,” the statement read.
Sen. Cory Booker, DN.J., who first introduced the Senate version of the bill in 2019, said in a statement Friday that he “applauded” the House’s passage of the legislation that ” would allow individuals, especially within the black community, to proudly wear their hair without fear or prejudice.
“Fairness and equality should not be partisan issues, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to support this important bill,” Booker said.
The Senate has not yet scheduled a vote on the bill.
The CROWN Act has already been passed in several states, the first of which was California in 2019, according to the National Law Review. More than a dozen states have passed similar laws since.
Representative Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, celebrated the passage through the House by urging young black children to be proud of their hair.
“It’s simple – discrimination against black hair is discrimination based on race,” she said in a statement. fades, from your locs to your braids – is a crown.”