Collectivists often prey on good intentions, utilizing the tendency of decent people to offer fair treatment in personal affairs. And, being collectivist, the majority in Congress has taken advantage of that, once more.
This time, the exploitation appears in the form of HR 2116, given the insipid title, “CROWN” or “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” Act. And it casts a wide net over the entire US – both public and private – to stop the “scourge” of “hairstyle discrimination.”
Which seems laughable at first, but really is a dark example of an even darker, generations-old fight that Americans appear to be losing – if many of them even knew the fight’s been engaged for that long.
House Republican leadership released a whip notice recommending a vote against the bill:
- Federal law already prohibits disparate treatment of one individual compared to another based on race, color, or national origin, which includes grooming and appearance policies if applied in a discriminatory manner, rendering this legislation unnecessary and duplicative.
- This legislation previously failed under suspension of the rules on February 28th by a vote of 235 – 188.
The Peacock Network (NBC News) “reporter,” Janelle Griffith seems oblivious of the problem, ignorant of the difference between public and private affairs, and ignorant of the constitutional crises the legislation represents, as, first, she writes:
The House on Friday passed the CROWN Act, which would ban hair-related discrimination.
And, of course, she links to a story about students being told to cut their hair (in these cases, they were styles predominantly associated with African-Americans – dreds, cornrows) in order to participate in school activities such as competitive wrestling. Then, she adds:
The measure, H.R. 2116, passed in a vote of 235-189 along party lines. It was introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., CROWN stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. It prohibits ‘discrimination based on an individual's texture or style of hair.’ The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.
And what kind-hearted person wouldn’t want to be sure that a minority of people with “unpopular” hairstyles aren’t picked-on – especially when the issue of race likely is part of the equation (perhaps contributing to her focus on “party lines” as a subtle implication of racial insensitivity)?
The trouble is that neither Ms. Griffith nor those who backed HR 2116 distinguish between “public” and “private” – for schools, or other endeavors.
On the “public” side, the legislation commands:
No individual in the United States shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, based on the individual’s hair texture or hairstyle, if that hair texture or that hairstyle is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin (including a hairstyle in which hair is tightly coiled or tightly curled, locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros).
It does not mention that federal programs routinely “discriminate” to assist one group (say, farmers who receive subsidies at the expense of taxpayers, or pharma giants that get billions from the US to engage in insane “Warp Speed” product development) over others, causing friction among us all. The legislation also does not mention that this “Federal financial assistance” is not warranted: either constitutionally – as James Madison and David Crockett have observed – or ethically.
The legislation also does not note that, even IF state and local public schools were “discriminating against” (i.e. not treating equally) one group or another (you will be hard-pressed to find any government resource that, when employed, does not shower it unevenly, by design) the Fourteenth Amendment does not mandate “equal treatment” under the law, but, instead, mandates “equal protection” of said laws.
That’s a significant lapse on the part of the politicians, because it reflects how far they have strayed from the original view that government exists to stop people from harming each other, not, as is the contemporary view of many, to PROVIDE handouts like school, food, housing, etc., which are funded by the government preying on people to cough up the funds.
As much as one might want states to “treat” people equally, that’s not required by the US Constitution, and the current view shows us the contempt many politicians have for the wording of the document.
Worse, HR 2116 also targets PRIVATE institutions, those being businesses that, since the Public Accommodations portions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, have been erroneously called “public” simply because the owners open their doors to commercial entry.
In General.—No person in the United States shall be subjected to a practice prohibited under section 201, 202, or 203 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.), based on the person’s hair texture or hairstyle, if that hair texture or that hairstyle is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin (including a hairstyle in which hair is tightly coiled or tightly curled, locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros).
Practically, this is going to cause a lot of problems. There are certain endeavors that simply are dangerous for people with long hair. Woodworking, open-flame cooking, welding, and many other jobs necessitate either short haircuts, or hair to be pulled back, simply to protect the worker and reduce the liabilities of the employer. What happens if the worker says that he or she does not want to wear his or her hair pulled back?
Why can’t the employer and employee come to their own agreements about things like this?
And what of hair-stylists? It takes more work to cut certain styles than it does to, say, use a buzz-cutter to shave a head. Can they NOT charge more for the greater time, effort, and use of electricity?
Most important is the philosophical point. Awareness of HR 2116 brings us to a more ominous revelation: the understanding that the barriers between public (where tax cash is spent) and private have been completely smashed by generations of state insinuation.
It goes back to the 1946 “Marsh v. Alabama” Supreme Court decision, in which a Roosevelt-backed court majority foolishly decided that a private shipping company could not call trespassing on a woman who had been handing out religious leaflets on the company campus. The campus, said the majority, was not “private property” any more, because it was open for business.
It couldn’t “discriminate.”
But we all discriminate. We all choose between options as a matter of life. If one is on the dating market, must one accept a date from anyone who asks?
If one lives in a town with one single racist who owns a shop, making him or her the minority, does that mean one has to frequent that shop, to cater to the new minority?
As a guy who spent half his life living with the “Irish Afro” – i.e. once a giant head of VERY curly hair – I know what it’s like to be picked out and mocked for my hair.
But if I engage in government-backed threats to make people accept me or make them cut my hair for a price below what the provider wants? I’m engaging in behavior that is far, far worse.
This is what HR 2116 will do, in the name of “fairness,” and it now goes to the Senate.
As Breitbart noted in their coverage: House Republican leadership released a whip notice recommending a vote against the bill: Federal law already prohibits disparate treatment of one individual compared to another based on race, color, or national origin, which includes grooming and appearance policies if applied in a discriminatory manner, rendering this legislation unnecessary and duplicative. This legislation previously failed under suspension of the rules on February 28th by a vote of 235 – 188.