October 5, 2016

No. You Can't Touch My Hair.

On September 15, 2016 the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had this to say about dreadlocks (a black hair style): “We recognize that the distinction between immutable and mutable characteristics of race can sometimes be a fine (and difficult) one, but it is a line that courts have drawn ... [and] There have been some calls for courts to interpret Title VII more expansively by eliminating the biological conception of ‘race’ and encompassing cultural characteristics associated with race,” but that he wasn’t prepared to lead that inquiry regarding discrimination." ~U.S. Circuit Judge Adalberto Jordan, Huffington Post

Jordan shrinked back from stetting precedent in that case, but I can tell you that legal fictions have no bearing on reality.

My hair grows from my head and is not separate from me--I am a whole person. There is no either-or representation.
My hair is not a "mutable" medium. A wig is not one's hair. That is a medium. My hair is part of me--just like my eyes, skin and lips. How I style my hair has everything to do with the nature of my hair and my Afro-Latina culture.

Channel 4 News, South Africa

The politics of skin and hair are fundamental to racism and white supremacy. This effects how black persons move through this world. It is the reason the issue of black hair reached the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. This court, instead of setting precedent, followed numerous other courts that handed down negative rulings which limit the life prospects of black persons whose hair does not conform to white culture.

Solange, 'Don't Touch My Hair'

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