The Navy hates black natural hair.
Because hospital second-class Jessica Sims refused to cut off her natural hair, which she flossed in dreadlocks and in a tight bun, the Navy discharged her after 12 years of service.
Sims, 32, had never encounter a problem with her hair in her dozen years of service, or anything else for that matter. The Navy is discharging her is because officials ruled that Sims’ dreadlocks were out of regulation and that the bun was too bulky to be worn with a gas mask.
Sims counters the Navy dubious rationale for kicking her out by forwarding her theory that the Navy detests the natural hairstyles worn by many black women. The Navy’s regulations specifically banned “widely spaced individual hanging dreadlocks” but Sims said her dreads are closely spaced and worn in a bun, they are in accordance with military mandates.
Sims said “I don’t think I should be told that I have to straighten my hair in order to be within what they think the regulations are, and I don’t think I should have to cover it up with a wig.”
Here’s an interesting twist: Even if Sims had chosen to capitulate and acquiesce to the Navy’s mandate to wear a wig or straighten her hair, she would still have had to rid herself of her dreadlocks and comb her hair straight.
Ironically, the Navy moved to divorce itself of Sims even though the Navy amended its rigid policy on its hair regulations to allow two strand twists, as well as multiple, hanging braids that are otherwise in regulation for length.