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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Republican Haters Block The CROWN Act Again

"I remain steadfast in my commitment to protecting all Americans’ right to exist as their authentic selves,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)

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Photo: EJ Nickerson (Shutterstock)

Members of the House of Representatives want to make race based hair discrimination illegal. But Republicans in the Senate just won’t let us be great.

The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act made its way fairly easily through the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in March 2022, giving people of color hope that their naturally textured hair would no longer be an issue in school or the workplace. But the bill did not get that same kind of love in the Senate.

When Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tried to push the CROWN Act through the Senate on December 14, it was blocked by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who used the tried and true filibuster to prevent its path to President Biden’s desk. The bill was previously held up in the Senate in 2020 after the House voted it through.

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In a December 14 statement, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), one of the cosponsors of the bill, expressed her frustration with Republican Senators for their continued obstruction of anything that looks like a path forward.

“The Senate continues to stand in the way of progress for our country. Republicans’ obstruction of the CROWN Act is part of a long tradition of weaponizing the filibuster to block civil rights legislation,” she said.

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Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), an outspoken advocate for natural hair and the CROWN Act, had even harsher words for the Republican haters. “That Republicans would block passage of the CROWN Act in the Senate is unconscionable, but unsurprising given their blatant disregard for civil rights and contempt for Black, brown, and marginalized communities,” she said in a statement. “Black hair is beautiful, and no amount of racism or ignorance from the other side of the aisle will stop the power of our movement. I won’t stop pressing to ban race-based hair discrimination and I urge the Senate to use any legislative avenue to pass this critical bill and send it to President Biden’s desk.”

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Rep. Coleman says she will continue to push forward until the CROWN Act becomes law. “Our fight is far from over. Today, I am disappointed, but not defeated. I remain steadfast in my commitment to protecting all Americans’ right to exist as their authentic selves,” she said.