It's not as if we haven't heard this story before, folks. Black customer walks into a white hair-cutting establishment and asks for service. White hairstylist-barber promptly turns customer away because the supposed professional cannot manage "black hair." Drama ensues. It recently happened to a black doctor visiting the town of Bellows Falls, near the New Hampshire-Vermont border. When he walked into the barbershop, the white barber lied and told him that the barber wasn't in because, as the barber later admitted, he didn't have the "skills" to cut his hair. In situations like these, a lot of people are of the mind that the black folks are dodging a bullet. Who wants people who don't know how to do their hair jacking up their heads? My take: If I want service, I should get service — even if someone struggles through the job. I shouldn't be turned away because of the color of my skin or the texture of my hair. Now, if I'm given service and it's not what I wanted, well, I should have known better. But that's my choice! It's America! The doctor felt the same way. He wrote an op-ed in the Bellows Falls newspaper. And now all of those small-town New Englanders, 97 percent of whom are white, are so scared that the world might consider them racist that they are picketing the barber, who apparently dropped the word "Negro" several times when recounting his story. Smart.
Here's the moral of the story for white barbers and hairstylists of the world: Just do it. Even if you think you don't know how. The consequences are often worse if you refuse.
Read more at the Atlanta Post.
Lauren is a former Deputy Editor of The Root.