The bill, which is now going to the Senate, is explicitly designed to protect black Americans who are forced to cut or style their hair in a certain way at school or work.
Many examples of this type of discrimination have sparked public debate in the United States. For example, in late 2019, a black teenage girl from Texas was banned from school for not cutting her dreadlocks. According to the school management, they were too long.
Opponents of the bill, such as Republican Jim Jordan, have accused Democrats of “avoiding issues that concern the American people” such as inflation and soaring gas prices. The Democratic-sponsored bill garnered some Republican votes, but most Republicans voted against it. That makes the law’s fate uncertain in the equally divided Senate, which has yet to consider the law.
Several US states have already banned hair discrimination, starting with California in the summer of 2019. In January 2021, the US military also changed its mind: servicewomen are no longer required to wear their hair in a tight bun.
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