The House passes the anti-bias CROWN Act Photo: Adobe Stock Images

US House passes CROWN Act prohibiting hair discrimination

The U.S. House passed legislation that would ban hair-related discrimination in schools and workplaces.

In the landmark decision, the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act, or CROWN Act, passed in a 235-189 vote, with just 14 Republicans supporting the legislation.

The bill seeks to protect against bias based on protective styles and hair textures including Afros, braids, twist, locks and Bantu knots.

Democrats argued that Black people are often criminalized and discriminated against and told that their hairstyles are too “unprofessional” in the workplace. Supporters of the act say that individuals are denied access to housing, jobs and public accommodation because society decided that their hair is not worthy of that access.

Republicans who objected to the bill argued that federal law already covers such discrimination and that Democrats should focus on other important to the American people including inflation and high gas prices.

The Defender took to social media to hear what others had to say about it.

“The young man that wrestled and the stadium, school, or coach forced him to cut his hair right there in front of the entire auditorium before he could wrestle. Y’all obviously are looking over the issue through uneducated assumptions on the reason why the bill was created or that you just don’t care [because] it doesn’t affect you. If it did affect you there would hopefully be someone pushing forward measures to protect you from racist acts against even your hair. Take Rastafari hair as an example; it’s a religious and political movement and those styles of hair are persecuted for those beliefs. Some don’t like the look however the bill would protect those that practice the movement.”- James Eller Jr.

“Working construction in these refineries, in order to continue working you have to be clean shaven [in] not all but majority of the refineries. It’s not about being Black, white, Asian, Chinese, Japanese or any or race it’s mandatory and I hate shaving but not turning down 30-45hr over my beard.”- Robert White Jr.

“Can we do anything without being scrutinized or penalized just for being African Americans? If we stand up for ourselves that’s a problem. If we’re proud of our heritage, another problem until others starts copying off of us then it’s okay but we don’t get credit for it.”- Wells Lois

“This happens so often I know some of you people have resentment in your hearts about POC but this actually happens. I have a sister-in-law who was turned down for a management position because she had dreads and they told her that it was because of her dreads. Now how would you feel if you found out that the only thing holding you back was because your hair was in dreads. (Her dreads are nice and neat always.)”- Shai Boone

Mixed emotions. Glad that its on the way to the Senate, but upset that we have to pass a law for someone to accept us as we are.” – Andrea Midget

“With inflation, gas prices going sky high, war in the Ukraine and a general dissatisfaction with the current administration…This is what the [Democrats] are concerned about?” – Michael Birdwell