Once again, a black person is being sanctioned because of how she looks. Also, once again, it is a child demonstrating for the umpteenth time that black and nonwhite children are not granted the same childhood as their white counterparts, as they face racism and discrimination from basically the beginning.
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A 9-year-old who attends Tarver Elementary School in Belton, Texas, was pulled out of school because her afro hairstyle was not in compliance with the school’s dress code. Check out her hair:
This is not the first school to have rules in place like this; it is not even the first entity to have rules in place like this. But the question still remains: Why can people not see this for what it is?
It is racism, plain and simple. It is not just a “rules are rules” situation. When being black is against the dress code, that is prejudice. Black people have different hair than our nonblack peers, so it must be styled in different ways to protect it, including — but not limited to — braids, locs, twists, buns and afro puffs.
The afro puff or puff is the natural hair equivalent to a ponytail or pigtail; an afro is like us wearing our hair down. Black children must chemically straighten their hair for it to be straight (the easier way) or spend hours with a hot comb or at a salon to straighten it with heat non-permanently.
To not understand this and to penalize people for how their hair naturally grows out of their head is outrageous. It should outrage all Americans, and yet many often come to the defense of the racist rules (and those who enforce them).
Imagine, if only for a moment, a 9-year-old white child being told that her straight blond pigtails were against the dress code. That she needs to (chemically) change the natural texture of her hair in order to not be kicked out of school. When you try to punish a sweet white student for her hair, you’re an over-the-top evil child hater, like the Trunchbull. When you do this to a black student, it’s just “rules are rules” — everyday racism, nothing to see here. It sounds ridiculous because it is ridiculous. And it is every bit as ridiculous for a black child and her naturally kinky hair that needs to be styled in certain (different) ways.
America needs to do better with every way racism manifests itself in order to stop it everywhere.