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View Full Version : Racist hair policy in the news....AGAIN



turtlelover
July 29th, 2016, 12:13 PM
Good grief! Why can't the powers that be just let people be who they are? I think African American hair in traditional, natural styles is beautiful! This is incredibly racist!

http://www.whas11.com/news/local/butler-hs-hair-policy-drawing-national-attention/283068362

lithostoic
July 29th, 2016, 01:04 PM
I don't understand why? Like why else would you make that rule if not to be purposely discriminatory?

vampyyri
July 29th, 2016, 01:10 PM
This kind of stuff still happens? What are they supposed to do? Chemically relax their hair to death, or wear a hat (which might also be forbidden)...? :rolleyes: There's really no good reason for this!

H o n є y ❤
July 29th, 2016, 01:31 PM
Organizations that ban traditional AA hairstyles like those mentioned in the article often associate those hairstyles with gangs, violence, etc not realizing (or maybe they do) they are banning parts of a culture that has absolutely nothing to do with violence. If not associated with violence, they're associated with some other sort of negative connotation.

Hairkay
July 29th, 2016, 02:04 PM
That is discriminatory. That's like the school that had a list of extreme hairstyles that were banned. It went something like this, no hair dyes, mohawks, afros etc.

Here's another case of it. A woman in a workplace with no dress code kept getting memos about her hair. Apparently pony tails and plaits/braids are not professional enough according to a senior at work so she put on a head wrap. Then she's told "cultural" head wraps are not professional so she's protesting by coming to work cosplay style.

http://blackgirllonghair.com/2016/07/after-boss-bans-cultural-head-wraps-black-woman-responds-by-cosplay/

I'd have gone in to work with a wrap with the words "non cultural" written on it.

I'd also heard about a woman in the USA with natural curly kinky hair who'd been told that she'd been successful at her job interview but she had to do something about her hair because the company does not allow plaits/braids, or afros. The woman did enquire how she should style her hair but just got a shrug as an answer.

ElvenEngineer
July 29th, 2016, 05:26 PM
Grrr. This is so awful. People/organizations need to get the memo that *being black is not unprofessional*. (And yes, that is what policies that don't allow natural hair are effectively saying.)

ephemeri
July 29th, 2016, 05:58 PM
That is discriminatory. That's like the school that had a list of extreme hairstyles that were banned. It went something like this, no hair dyes, mohawks, afros etc.

Here's another case of it. A woman in a workplace with no dress code kept getting memos about her hair. Apparently pony tails and plaits/braids are not professional enough according to a senior at work so she put on a head wrap. Then she's told "cultural" head wraps are not professional so she's protesting by coming to work cosplay style.

http://blackgirllonghair.com/2016/07/after-boss-bans-cultural-head-wraps-black-woman-responds-by-cosplay/

I'd have gone in to work with a wrap with the words "non cultural" written on it.

I'd also heard about a woman in the USA with natural curly kinky hair who'd been told that she'd been successful at her job interview but she had to do something about her hair because the company does not allow plaits/braids, or afros. The woman did enquire how she should style her hair but just got a shrug as an answer.

No "cultural" head wraps? What is a "cultural" head wrap? And are there "non-cultural" head wraps? (!!!) This is complete insanity and makes me really angry.

I hope she sued her boss!

althara
July 29th, 2016, 07:23 PM
Policies like this are awful. Being black is not unprofessional in a work environment or a distraction to peers in a school environment.

truepeacenik
July 30th, 2016, 12:55 AM
I'm betting little Sally Sue with blond hair and blue eyes can wear braids.

Bar team logo wear, set uniforms, but stop making like harder for parents trying to keep the kids neat and tidy.
And quit making curly hair a crime.

florenonite
July 30th, 2016, 02:36 AM
I don't understand why? Like why else would you make that rule if not to be purposely discriminatory?

I think it largely comes down to subconscious discrimination, rather than deliberate. As a society we have certain ideals about what looks "smart" and "put together". For men that's a short back-and-sides, and for women that's straight-to-wavy, often pulled back in a sleek bun.

I don't think the school went, "Let's discriminate against AA kids". Instead, I think someone more likely said, "We should expect kids to look professional to prepare them for the workplace", and then they came up with a very white-oriented list of hair rules. This does not at all excuse them, because *especially* as educators they have a responsibility to examine their privilege and internal biases, but it speaks to a wider problem that can't be dismissed as an isolated group of backwards teachers who hate black kids, but a society that views whiteness as the default to which everyone should conform.

SpiderMonkey
July 30th, 2016, 03:43 AM
Disturbing that something like this is going on in America. This reminds me of countries where the government has guidelines on what haircuts are allowed.

Platzhalter
July 30th, 2016, 04:12 AM
Seriously... what's wrong with some people? I can understand dress codes or uniforms, but definitely don't get the rules about hair and such. Why does that even matter to schools? Sorry for the rant, but as someone who has never been to the states some things still baffle me.

lapushka
July 30th, 2016, 04:19 AM
If you have tightly coily hair, sure, you could wear a twist-out or wash 'n go, but those don't last the whole week, so you'll have to do something with it. If braids aren't a possibility then what are you supposed to do? Puff it? Ponytail it? But that's not "the habitual" thing to do, so yes, I agree, it's picking certain people out of a group.

Tosca
July 30th, 2016, 05:47 AM
Platzhalter, the private schools in Australia almost always have rules that girls hair must be tied up off the collar, and boys hair must be short enough to not touch the collar. It's something about not making the school look bad by their students looking unkempt/poorly groomed. It's silly, but thems the rules.

Hairkay
July 30th, 2016, 08:10 AM
If you have tightly coily hair, sure, you could wear a twist-out or wash 'n go, but those don't last the whole week, so you'll have to do something with it. If braids aren't a possibility then what are you supposed to do? Puff it? Ponytail it? But that's not "the habitual" thing to do, so yes, I agree, it's picking certain people out of a group.
Yes it is picking on a certain group. Some may see twistouts as afros. Many can't differentiate between an afro hair style and natural kinky curly hair. If hair is tied back in a ponytail or what is actually a puff there's risk of complaints of wearing afro puffs.

Platzhalter, the private schools in Australia almost always have rules that girls hair must be tied up off the collar, and boys hair must be short enough to not touch the collar. It's something about not making the school look bad by their students looking unkempt/poorly groomed. It's silly, but thems the rules.

Tosca those rules sound fair. They ask for hair tied back and that boys keep their hair shorter than their collars. In your country's climate that is very sensible. They do not state that certain hair types should not be seen and describe it as "distracting". They do not ban tidy ways to maintain various hair types.

Tosca
July 30th, 2016, 08:19 AM
It gets cold here too! I live about halfway up the east coast, and we get frost in the winter mornings. It was 3 degrees C at dawn today.

Hairkay
July 30th, 2016, 08:25 AM
It gets cold here too! I live about halfway up the east coast, and we get frost in the winter mornings. It was 3 degrees C at dawn today.

I'm aware that you have different seasons. It's still milder than some of Europe.

ElvenEngineer
July 30th, 2016, 10:18 AM
I think it largely comes down to subconscious discrimination, rather than deliberate. As a society we have certain ideals about what looks "smart" and "put together". For men that's a short back-and-sides, and for women that's straight-to-wavy, often pulled back in a sleek bun.

I don't think the school went, "Let's discriminate against AA kids". Instead, I think someone more likely said, "We should expect kids to look professional to prepare them for the workplace", and then they came up with a very white-oriented list of hair rules. This does not at all excuse them, because *especially* as educators they have a responsibility to examine their privilege and internal biases, but it speaks to a wider problem that can't be dismissed as an isolated group of backwards teachers who hate black kids, but a society that views whiteness as the default to which everyone should conform.

The thing is though... the reason our culture thinks those things are "professional" and "smart" in the first place is because 60 years ago black kids weren't allowed in that school (assuming it existed then). That's recent enough for certain school admins, and probably many of these kids grandparents, to remember. Certainly, for some people, it's become an "unconscious" association, but I don't think it's *that* unconscious.

ETA: I do agree the root problem though is that our society views whiteness as the default/ideal. (White) people too easily forget the degree and recency of black oppression in the US, though, partly because stuff like this is allowed to go unquestioned.

trolleypup
July 30th, 2016, 10:37 AM
Even the charter school's name sends up red flags for me "traditional" is a code for doing things the "old way" dispensing with all that "political correctness" in the modern world. I would guess that the student body at that school is significantly whiter than in the general area population, that their teachers and administrators also happen to be whiter...likely there was noone of color to point out the obvious racism of their policy...or those people were disregarded.

I'm betting little Sally Sue with blond hair and blue eyes can wear braids.
That was my thought. I bet little Sally Sue could have accent braids too.

Eas693
July 30th, 2016, 10:45 AM
I'm an anthropologist graduate student. We currently have an indigenous Australian course and spend over 3 weeks talking about appearance. Some of the students even fail to see how their comments are underlined racists. It is sad but this is actually a huge global issue.

Hairkay
July 30th, 2016, 01:24 PM
Even the charter school's name sends up red flags for me "traditional" is a code for doing things the "old way" dispensing with all that "political correctness" in the modern world. I would guess that the student body at that school is significantly whiter than in the general area population, that their teachers and administrators also happen to be whiter...likely there was noone of color to point out the obvious racism of their policy...or those people were disregarded.

That was my thought. I bet little Sally Sue could have accent braids too.

The thing is cornrows is considered a traditional hairstyle management in places with African descendent diaspora including the USA. That word can be interpreted many ways.

From what I've seen their policy isn't exactly new but they updated it and reworded it.

Hoods aren't banned. They'd been taken over by some hip hop artists and certain urban areas yet all that was done is to remind people to dress according to where you're going to be and shops just remind people to keep hoods down indoors. Hoods existed long before, they are a traditional and a practical way to give protection in bad weather. Anoraks are well known. Why couldn't they think a bit like that? The only difference is that hair grows naturally out of people's heads.

kyoung221
July 30th, 2016, 03:27 PM
The first photo of her in the business suit with the hair wrap... Gorgeous! (And obviously, very professional-looking.)

I have a coworker who wears head wraps (usually with dangly earrings) and she always looks so pretty.

Climber
July 30th, 2016, 05:32 PM
The hair policy was suspended.
http://www.whas11.com/news/local/hair-policy-suspended-at-butler-high-school/284423224

A lot of students and parents were upset that they were not allowed to speak at the meeting.

florenonite
July 31st, 2016, 01:28 AM
The thing is though... the reason our culture thinks those things are "professional" and "smart" in the first place is because 60 years ago black kids weren't allowed in that school (assuming it existed then). That's recent enough for certain school admins, and probably many of these kids grandparents, to remember. Certainly, for some people, it's become an "unconscious" association, but I don't think it's *that* unconscious.

ETA: I do agree the root problem though is that our society views whiteness as the default/ideal. (White) people too easily forget the degree and recency of black oppression in the US, though, partly because stuff like this is allowed to go unquestioned.

Oh, that's true. I forget sometimes how recent the Civil Rights Movement was, partly because I wasn't born for another 25 years and partly because I'm not American; thanks for reminding me that such things are in living memory for some of the people involved here.

lapushka
July 31st, 2016, 06:05 AM
The hair policy was suspended.
http://www.whas11.com/news/local/hair-policy-suspended-at-butler-high-school/284423224

A lot of students and parents were upset that they were not allowed to speak at the meeting.

Problem solved, at least this one. :)

Hairkay
July 31st, 2016, 09:21 AM
No "cultural" head wraps? What is a "cultural" head wrap? And are there "non-cultural" head wraps? (!!!) This is complete insanity and makes me really angry.

I hope she sued her boss!
I have no idea. I'd never heard of headscarves referred to as cultural wraps before.

The first photo of her in the business suit with the hair wrap... Gorgeous! (And obviously, very professional-looking.)

I have a coworker who wears head wraps (usually with dangly earrings) and she always looks so pretty.
I think she looks great too. I've been thinking of trying a scarf or two for winter to add great colour to my head without hairdyes, coloured wigs or clip ons or coloured extensions.