DENVER (CBS4) – Dozens of women and men of shade went earlier than state lawmakers to inform tales of discrimination, primarily based on how they fashion their hair. The testimony got here earlier than the state legislature’s Democratic Black Caucus.
It met Wednesay afternoon prematurely of a committee listening to on a invoice by Representatives Leslie Herod and Janet Buckner. It will outlaw discrimination primarily based on hair texture, sort and elegance.
Hashim Coates (credit score: CBS)
Hashim Coates was amongst those that testified. He described how his supervisor handed him over for a promotion due to his coiffure.
“With out chopping my hair it was going to cease my upward mobility,” he mentioned.
Simone Ross says she too has confronted office discrimination due to her hair. She says her supervisor made degrading feedback to her colleagues.
“Hair discrimination is racial discrimination. Interval,” Ross mentioned. “As a result of taking a look at me with braids was like watching at monkey in zoo.”
Herod’s and Buckner’s invoice would make hair discrimination a part of the racial discrimination statute.
(credit score: CBS)
“It’s time we state clearly that in Colorado, individuals who select to specific their tradition and heritage via their coiffure will likely be embraced, not subjected to discrimination,” Herod mentioned.
The invoice – known as the CROWN Act – is modeled after legal guidelines in California, New York and New Jersey.
“CROWN – ‘Create a Respectful and Open World for Pure Hair’ – is a vital step ahead for racial equality and freedom of expression,” mentioned Herod.
“I’m right here representing myself as one of many first wave of in all probability hair harrassment,” Reynelda Muse informed lawmakers
As the primary girl and first African American TV information anchor in Colorado, Muse made information when she modified her hair. She was employed by Channel four in 1968. Just a few months into the job, she modified her coiffure to an Afro.
She says suggestions from the general public wasn’t form.
Reynelda Muse (credit score: CBS)
“I acquired mail. ‘Pricey jungle bunny.’ One other wrote to say ‘you appear like you combed hair with egg beater.’”
However she says she is without doubt one of the fortunate ones.
“To their (administration’s) credit score, they by no means informed me I might be fired or sanctioned if I didn’t change it. However quite a lot of my sisters and brothers haven’t been so lucky.”
Greater than 100 folks confirmed as much as testify about how they feared repercussions for expressing their cultural identification via an ethnic coiffure.
The invoice handed its first committee on a party-line vote.
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