It would be lovely to think that racism is becoming a thing of the past, but it’s not. As we learned this week, Paula Deen thinks nothing of dropping the N-bomb, and finds the idea of having black waiters, who are to represent slaves, at dinner parties to be a fabulous idea. Deen just loves the look of black men in white jackets with bow-ties; to her, this is “impressive.” Can you imagine what the world would be like if we lost the Civil War?
And because that bombshell wasn’t enough this week, to further prove that things are pretty fucking ass-backward here in ‘Murica, a school in Ohio has put a ban on afro puffs, and “small twisted braids, with or without rubber-bands are not permitted.” An afro puff, for those of you who don’t know, is what you have when you put natural black hair into a ponytail, and it’s awesome. However, despite the fact that this is pretty much a ponytail, other ethnic groups at the school do not have to follow this new rule. Why? Because white woman’s hair is less distracting? Less puffy? Not as awesome?
As Black Girl Long Hair pointed out:
The dress code restrictions highlight an age-old struggle that naturals face from both within and outside of the black community. Our hair is viewed as radical, funky or unruly in its natural state, and restrictions are sometimes placed on us in academic and professional settings that do not extend to our non-black counterparts.
I’m all for dress codes — to an extent. I do believe that sloppy dressed kids likely make for sloppy students, and t-shirts with distracting slogans are just that — distracting. It’s important to have an environment free from craziness, if kids are going to learn. It does take a lot of effort to get a kid to pay attention for more than a few minutes anyway.
But to deliberately create a rule that only applies to the African American students at the school is racist. It’s as though these students are being forced to put themselves on mute because they have “radical, funky or unruly” hair when it hasn’t been chemically straightened.
Maybe the Lorain Horizon Science Academy committee in Ohio who came up with these rules should get together with Paula Deen and throw a dinner party. It sounds like they’d probably have a blast together.
UPDATE: The school has apologized. It’s so nice when we can admit when we’re wrong. See the full apology here.
Photo: Nigerian Hairstyles