Virginia Becomes 4th State To Ban Hair Discrimination

by Yah Yah
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Hair love is sweeping the nation.

First, it was Matthew Cherry’s short film Hair Love that sent us into a frenzy after the project took home the Oscar for the best short film — and now the state of Virginia has become to the fourth state to ban hair discrimination behind California, New York, and New Jersey.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam released a statement declaring that the bill “will make our Commonwealth more equitable and welcoming for all.”

The discrimination banned by the bill includes “traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.”

“It’s pretty simple — if we send children home from school because their hair looks a certain way, or otherwise ban certain hairstyles associated with a particular race — that is discrimination,” Northam said. “This is not only unacceptable and wrong, it is not what we stand for in Virginia.”

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Loving this #HairLove fan art from @saxtonmoore

A post shared by Hair Love (@hairlovemovie) on

The bill’s passing will give the governor some room to breathe, as he was recently caught up in an unwelcome blackface scandal.

Last year, Northam had initially confessed that he was one of two men in a racist photograph that had been published in a medical school yearbook about 35 years earlier. He offered up his resignation before recanting after it was confirmed that he was not one of the men in the photograph.

The new bill follows closely behind the “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act,” or the CROWN Act, which would “ensure protection against discrimination based on hairstyles.”

According to CNN, Colorado, Washington, and Minnesota are also considering following in Virginia’s footsteps and passing a similar bill.

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