The GOP has shown us once again that they only care about racial “discomfort” or “divisiveness” when it comes to white people and their fragile feelings. All this time, Republicans have been performing all manner of mental gymnastics to frame their war against critical race theory as a fight for unity in post-racial America, but on the last day of Black History Month, they had a chance to vote in favor of a simple thing to end what Black people consider “divisive” because it causes us racial “discomfort”—hair discrimination.
So, obviously, the party that consistently proves the need for CRT education blocked the bill.
According to HuffPost, On Monday, “the Crown Act failed to pass the House with a needed two-thirds majority as part of an expedited voting process, with 235 votes for and 188 votes against the bill, the latter all by Republicans.” This was actually the second time Republicans blocked the bill prompting a pledge from Democratic members of Congress to bring the legislation back up for another vote.
So why would all of these non-divisive Republicans vote against a simple initiative to stop employers and schools from banning protective hairstyles like braids and locks or styles like afros which is literally just our hair naturally growing out of our scalps? Why go out of your way to block something that has no real effect on white America but could end a struggle Black people have dealt with for generations? Are they afraid employers and school administrators won’t have control over their policies? So, schools and companies can’t decide for themselves how they want to promote diversity or teach about race in the classroom, but Republicans are ready and willing to step in to defend an institution’s right to discriminate against Black hairstyles that, at this point, are so mainstream white people can’t seem to stop appropriating them?
Maybe they’re just racist.
Again, maybe they’re just racist.
“Our natural hair is as innate a quality of Black people as the presence of melanin in our skin,” Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) said after the vote. “Discriminating against our hair is no different is no different than discriminating against the color of our skin.” She also noted that Black people are “far too often…derided or deemed unprofessional simply because their hair does not conform to white beauty standards.”
Watson Coleman, along with Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee (Calif.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.), all of whom are Black women, said in a statement that they vow to bring the legislation up for a vote again “through a longer process that would need only a simple majority to pass,” HuffPost reported.
“We won’t allow Republican antics to stand in the way of Black people having the right to live as their authentic selves,” the statement declared.
And we all can make an educated guess that by “Republican antics,” she means “racism.”