Nearly everybody in California is allegedly a victim, including folks who wear their hair “naturally” …
Thanks to legislation signed into law Wednesday by radically far-left Gov. Gavin Newsom, every Californian who wears his or her hair “naturally” is now protected from discrimination.
Known as the “CROWN Act” — short for “Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural hair” — Senate Bill No. 188 specifically expands the state’s existing discrimination laws to provide protection to those whose natural hair “traits” are “historically associated with race.”
— Martin (@LibertyFight) June 29, 2019
The basic premise of the bill is that both public schools and private employers — including those that interact directly with customers — hereby cannot institute a dress code that prohibits employees from wearing their hair “naturally,” even if the wearing of “natural” hair would negatively affect the employer’s business.
“It is already illegal to discriminate in employment practices based on certain protected categories, such as race, under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The CROWN Act mandates that the definition of race under the employment law also include traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective styles,” HuffPost explains.
However, while the law technically pertains to the “natural” hairstyles worn by any race, it seems to be focused primarily on the black race and those hairstyles natural to blacks, including cornrows, dreadlocks, afros, twists and locks.
“Eurocentric standards of beauty have established the very underpinnings of what was acceptable and attractive in the media, in academic settings and in the workplace,” state Sen. Holly Mitchell, the black woman who introduced the bill, said in a statement to the media.
“So even though African Americans were no longer explicitly excluded from the workplace, black features and mannerisms remained unacceptable and ‘unprofessional.'”
In fact, the bill itself specifically mentions so-called “blackness.”
“The history of our nation is riddled with laws and societal norms that equated ‘blackness,’ and the associated physical traits, for example, dark skin, kinky and curly hair to a badge of inferiority, sometimes subject to separate and unequal treatment,” it reads.
“Acting in accordance with the constitutional values of fairness, equity, and opportunity for all, the Legislature recognizes that continuing to enforce a Eurocentric image of professionalism through purportedly race-neutral grooming policies that disparately impact Black individuals and exclude them from some workplaces is in direct opposition to equity and opportunity for all.”
It’s unclear why the bill itself appears to be so discriminatory and non-inclusive, given as other groups of people — Asians, East Indians, etc. — presumably, have their own “natural” hairstyles.
While the bill contains nine instances of the word “black,” it contains zero instances of words such as “Asian,” “Hispanic” and “Indian.”
I love how Chinese period court dramas depict royal men and women in elaborate hair accessories and costumes. pic.twitter.com/x9GfVVtIGn
— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) May 26, 2018
Regardless, following the signing of the bill Wednesday, the governor patted himself on the back for leading on the issue by being the first state to pass such legislation.
“[T]his is an opportunity for California to lead, the first state in the country to advance a bill like this, and encourage others to do the same,” he said.
Technically, however, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has already been leading on this purportedly important mission. In February he reportedly banned natural hair discrimination. Moreover, Democrat legislators in New York and New Jersey have already proposed similar legislation to the “CROWN Act.”
According to Nourbese Flint, the policy director for Black Women for Wellness, such bills are needed because having “natural” hair robs one of so-called privilege.
“Racial capital refers to this idea that the farther away you are from Eurocentric standards, the harder it is for you,” she said to the Los Angeles Times.
“If you are thinner with straighter hair, lighter skin and lighter eyes, that opens up different spaces for you. The farther away you are from [those standards], the harder it can be to get into certain spaces of privilege.”
Bills like the “CROWN Act” essentially make up for “white privilege.”
What remains unclear is whether such legislation will ever be adopted on the national level. It may very well one day because of a pending Supreme Court case.
Nine years ago, a black Alabama woman lost a job opportunity because of her refusal to cut her short, “natural” locs. Though the company’s dress policy argued that locs “tend to get messy,” the woman, Chastity Jones, disagreed, so she launched a legal battle that’s on the verge of hitting the Supreme Court.
“Black women who wish to succeed in the workplace feel compelled to undertake costly, time-consuming, and harsh measures to conform their natural hair to a stereotyped look of professionalism that mimics the appearance of White women’s hair,” her NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyers reportedly wrote in their petition to the high court.
They added that “natural” hair discrimination is a form of what they call subtle racism.
“In an age where employment discrimination rarely presents itself in policies that explicitly exclude employees based on skin color, the vitality of Title VII depends on its ability to root out more subtle practices — facially neutral policies, racial proxies, stereotyped thinking — that still operate to disfavor applicants based on their race,” the lawyers wrote in their petition.”
As of mid-2019, the court had not yet agreed to hear the case.
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