Senate Democrats attempted to make it a federal crime to discrimination on the basis of hair styles or textures. However, it was blocked by Republicans.
The CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, seeks to eliminate discrimination based on hair textures. Legislation was introduced after a Black high school athlete was forced to cut his locs before competing in a wrestling match. The video went viral and shed light on how Black people often face discrimination based on hair in the work place and school.
On Dec. 14, Sen. Cory Booker sought unanimous approval to get the Crown Act passed in the Senate so President Joe Biden could sign it. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in March 2022.
But Republican Sen. Rand Paul blocked the bill from being passed in the Senate. Paul’s action serves as another indication of the Republican party’s blatant actions to destroy civil rights.
Following Paul’s decision, he and the Republican party faced criticism.
“Black people are penalized for their natural hair every day in this country, from school to work. This isn’t over – we’re going to keep fighting,” Sen. Barbra Lee said.
Janai Nelson tweeted, “It’s appalling that Senator Rand Paul would obstruct the #CrownAct, legislation that protects against one of the last vestiges of anti-Black discrimination based on phenotype. He is literally saying that an employer can discriminate based on hair texture … in 2022.”
And Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said, “Black hair is beautiful, and no amount of racism or ignorance from the other side of the aisle will stop the power of our movement.”
The CROWN Act is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 116 Representatives. A companion bill is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Cory Booker.