Cory Booker is fighting for the “CROWN.”
The New Jersey Senator introduced a new bill on Thursday (Dec. 5) prohibiting race-based hair discrimination. The Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act targets discrimination against natural or protective hairstyles frequently associated with a particular race, including specific hair textures and styles such as braids, twists or locs, MSN reports.
“Discrimination against black hair is discrimination against Black people,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in a statement, MSN reports.
“Implicit and explicit biases against natural hair are deeply ingrained in workplace norms and society at large,” he added, MSN reports. “This is a violation of our civil rights, and it happens every day for black people across the country.”
Booker took a particular interest in the issue, which has prompted legislation prohibiting race-based hair discrimination to pass in California and New York, after a New Jersey high school wrestler, Andrew Johnson, was forced to cut his dreadlocks last year to comply with hair length regulation or face forfeiting a wrestling match, MSN reports.
A similar plan will be introduced in the House by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.) along with Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), Marcia Fudge (D., Ohio) and Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), according to MSN.
“No one should be harassed, punished, or fired for the beautiful hairstyles that are true to themselves and their cultural heritage,” Booker said, MSN reports.