The Crown Act, a bill to ‘end hair discrimination,’ awaits action in US Senate

A 16 year old powerlifter at Bruce High School in Mississippi was almost disqualified from the state championship powerlifting competition for nothing more than her unique hairstyle.

On April 1st earlier this year, Diamond Campbell had just completed a lift in her competition when a judge informed her coach that she would be disqualified if the beads in her hair were not removed. Her team mates and even her competitors all gathered around to help remove the beads so that she could continue the competition. A heartwarming photo of the event was shared 35,000 times on Facebook.

“I had to finish the lift in a way where my hair wasn’t the way that I wanted it to be. It made me feel less confident,” she said, according to NBC News. “And it stripped, like, a little bit of myself away at that point.”

 

While it’s nice to see a display of sportsmanship amongst high school students it’s understandable to have rules that prohibit excessive hairstyles in a powerlifting competition, one might question the abrupt enforcement of a seemingly frivolous rule.

“I tried to forget about it because it did make me feel bad,” Diamond said. “It made me feel low, like humiliated in a way.”

“I’m just a teenage girl,” she added.

Diamond Campbell is not the only child who has been singled out for her hairstyle and it has been happening in schools across the country with strict dress codes that prohibit alternative hairstyles such as braids or excessive length. The obvious elephant in the room is the fact that most of these alternative hairstyles are more prominent in black children and critics say rules like this open the door for discrimination — the Mississippi High School Activities Association has since repealed their rule on beads and will allow powerlifters to compete with beads in their hair from now on.

For this reason, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Crown Act in March on a 235-189 vote, which bans discrimination based on hair style or texture in schools and work places. The bill has yet to pass the U.S. Senate but a large minority of states have already passed their own version of the bill — the “crown” in Crown Act stands for: “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”.

Another more consequential example of where the Crown Act would protect an individual is when Desiree Bullock moved her son from Cincinnati to East Bernard, Texas. When Desiree attempted to enroll her son in East Bernard High School, a guidance counselor told her that her son’s hair violated the school district’s male dress code. The dress code for East Bernard High prohibits any braided or twisted hair and states that boys hair may not extend below the eyebrows or tops of the ears. Desiree Bullock is now homeschooling her son due to the school system’s strict hair policy.

Supporters of the Crown Act argue that this would allow black people to wear their hair anyway they want without fear of discrimination. Desiree said that she plans to remain in Texas and expects the legislation to pass on a federal level which would allow her to enroll her son in public school without having to make any alterations to his hairstyle.

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Semperfi1946
Famed Member
Semperfi1946
10 days ago

This insanity that Blacks own or have a copyright on anything, and only they can wear their hair a certain way-is ridiculous. What is next – all the white kids who like to act black by wearing their pants hanging down to their knees, talking like blacks, or listening to rap music will be banned, or cause for disciplinary action by the “Black Culture Police” LOL. Eminem better look out!

senior patriot
Active Member
senior patriot
14 days ago

This is such a classic situation that the Federal Government stay out of. There has to be some degree of normalization in dress and appearance codes. If they have to be so stupidly radical then suffer the consequences. But the feds should stay out of it totally. Sorry but each community should be able to decide what is acceptable.

BLSinSC
Famed Member
BLSinSC
14 days ago

Sometimes hair can be a HEALTH HAZARD! Ever see a person who got their hair caught in a machine and had their scalp RIPPED OFF? It happens! Wonder why guys with long beards have to bind them if they work around moving equipment?? Hair gets wrapped in a machine and the HEAD follows! And why CAN’T schools have DRESS CODES?? Now I could understand a parent not being able to aFFord a Fancy outFit For each day, but keeping one’s hair cut? We had a dress code – no shirt tails hanging out! OOOHHHH and no long hair for the boys. Girls had limits on the distance between their KNEES and the HEM on their shirts/dresses!! My goodness – what HORROR – we should SUE!!

voxip19882
voxip19882
11 days ago
Reply to  BLSinSC

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Last edited 11 days ago by voxip19882
lowell2
Member
lowell2
15 days ago

In what way do beads impact weight lifting? This rule would impact sikh as much as black people or someone wearing their hair norse style. Where hair can be an issue of safety, hair nets, turbans, etc have been used. So here, bizpac has failed to tell readers why there was such a rule and implied that then only people impacted by ” hair rules” are black, which is totally untrue.

What the...
Active Member
What the...
15 days ago

Worked as a machinist long ago. One of my co-workers refused to follow the rules regarding hair. On this particular shift the industrial drill press he was operating grabbed his hair and pulled most of it out leaving a bloody mess at his work station and him getting an emergency ride to the hospital. All because he felt no one should tell him how to wear his hair at work.

lowell2
Member
lowell2
15 days ago
Reply to  What the...

Hair nets. Turbans. If he didn’t want to do that much, he should have been fired to avoid the accident that happened. But there you had a clear safety issue. No explanation here as to how beaded hair is a problem in weightlifting

What the...
Active Member
What the...
15 days ago
Reply to  lowell2

He was fired as it was company policy along with safety glasses. The article said there were rules against jewelry. Not sure how beaded hair is an issue but, rules are rules. Somewhere along the line an incident happened either at that school or another that lead to the rule. It became a liability issue. Blame lawyers.

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