Carlifornia bans racial discrimination based on hair

By Mercy Imali

California becomes the first US state to ban racial discrimination based on hairstyle. It passed a law that ensures afros and dreadlocks can be worn at all schools and offices. It is due to enter into force on 1st   January.

The law will protect the rights of black Americans who favour the distinctive cuts. It was passed unanimously by both state chambers.

Los Angeles Democrat Senator Holly Mitchell, who is herself black proposed the law.

She said, “This law protects the right of Black Californians to choose to wear their hair in its natural form, without pressure to conform to Eurocentric norms,” the state senator said.

“For us, it is a symbol of who we are,” she added.

According to the bill’s text, hair “remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences, especially for black individuals.”

Employers will still be permitted to require employees to secure their hair for safety or hygienic reasons.