California Bans Grooming Discrimination

California Bans Grooming Discrimination

California Bans Grooming Discrimination

CNN breathlessly reported a few days ago that California has become the first state to ban discrimination based on hair styles. Oh, California, I have so many questions!

See, apparently California has solved all its other problems and now has turned its attention to what it calls “natural hair.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Crown Act into law, making it illegal to enforce dress code or grooming policies against hairstyles such as afros, braids, twists, and locks.

Los Angeles Democrat Sen. Holly Mitchell, who introduced the bill earlier this year, said the law is about “inclusion, pride and choice.”

“This law protects the right of Black Californians to choose to wear their hair in its natural form, without pressure to conform to Eurocentric norms,” Mitchell said in a statement Wednesday. “I am so excited to see the culture change that will ensue from the law.”

Compiled by Marta Hernandez from Wikimedia Commons and Pexels; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Now, I’ve seen both white and black people wearing these hairstyles, and for the life of me, I cannot comprehend how twisting, back-combing, and otherwise taking extensive steps to style one’s hair in those particular fashions can be considered “natural hair.” Natural hair for African-American individuals is curly, and the level of curl for each individual varies.

So what California Democrats are really talking about is banning alleged “discrimination” against African-American individuals for the hairstyle choices they make.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for banning discrimination, and the United States already has vast anti-discrimination laws on the books to prevent individuals from being targeted based on race, religion, national origin, etc.  We have anti-age discrimination laws, we can’t discriminate based on disability, we have the Equal Pay Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (yes, females – you are protected, so stop whining). We also have the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, because with medical and technological advances, employers can find out way more about your family history of illness or mental defect.

But hair?

Has California really solved all its other problems, and is now turning all its attention to a nonexistent issue that arose from an incident in New Jersey in which a wrestling referee told a black varsity wrestler to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit the match, prompting the New Jersey Attorney General office’s civil rights division to open an investigation into the incident as part of an agreement with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association “to address potential bias in high school sports.”

The school district superintendent in that case said the wrestler chose to cut his hair, because he was informed that both the style and the headgear were against league regulations. The referee, identified as Alan Maloney, was banned from refereeing matches until the investigation concluded, and was accused of making a “racist” remark two years before this incident, which of course fanned the flames in the December incident.

According to the report, Maloney, who is white, used the slur in an argument over homemade wine in a shore condominium after many of the officials gathered following a youth tournament in Wildwood in late March. Another official, Preston Hamilton, who is black, then slammed Maloney to the ground over the remark.

The guy appears to have used the N-bomb against a black colleague and was physically assaulted for it. The incident resulted in corrective action for both men, and they have since mended their fences, according to the report.

There seem to have been some other issues involved in the incident in New Jersey. Maloney was apparently late for the pre-match weigh-ins and did inspect the wrestler prior to the match’s start. He did not raise any issues about his hair then. However, later Maloney apparently took issue with both the wrestler’s and his brother’s (and teammate) hair and instructed both to wear a head covering.

“As Andrew took to the mat to start his match, the referee examined and rejected the head covering he was wearing. In prior matches at a tournament the weekend before, Andrew was permitted to wrestle without issue, a fact that his coaches conveyed to the referee when pleading on his behalf. Andrew then requested he be allowed to push his hair back as he did the weekend prior, but the referee again refused because ‘it wasn’t in its natural state,’ referring to the dreadlocks as ‘braids.’”

The young man in this incident – Andrew Johnson – had been competing with his dreadlocks for several years with no issue, and acted with class and grace as he allowed his hair to be cut rather than let the team down.

But because of this incident on the other side of the country, California decided this was a problem it needed to address.

It certainly appears that Andrew Johnson was targeted in the New Jersey incident, but I haven’t seen any reports of similar outrage in California and apparently Gavin Newsom and his band of merry statists have decided to nip the issue in the bud to signal their virtue and opposition to what seems like an isolated incident 3000 miles away.

Meanwhile, California has a homeless crisis that has resulted in human excrement in the streets, stench, filth, and drugs.

It has a reputation as the worst state in which to do business.

California is the 12th worst state for working moms.

It ranks among the worst states in which to grow old.

And California was ranked dead last for quality of life last year.

In other words, I would think that given the very real, serious problems California faces, that Newsom and the dimwit legislators that infest the Golden State would focus on the state’s economic environment, its homeless problems, and problematic cost of living, rather than a problem that does not actually seem to exist in the state – allowing black people to choose to wear their hair in its “natural state” without having to conform to Eurocentric norms.

No word yet on whether white people will be prevented from appropriating the dreadlocks by law or whether this is just the first step in banning discrimination. What’s next? Allowing pubic lice to vote? Preventing employers from discriminating against a biological male who identifies as a floor mop on alternate Tuesdays and refuses to use a toilet, preferring instead to carry his load in his pants the rest of the week?

Just think about how many California residents will flee if that happens!


Featured photo: MinistaJazz; Pixabay License, cropped

Written by

Marta Hernandez is an immigrant, writer, editor, science fiction fan (especially military sci-fi), and a lover of freedom, her children, her husband and her pets. She loves to shoot, and range time is sacred, as is her hiking obsession, especially if we’re talking the European Alps. She is an avid caffeine and TWD addict, and wants to own otters, sloths, wallabies, koalas, and wombats when she grows up.

  • Mike-in-Keller says:

    Person wears very long “natural style” hair into machine shop, where person works.

    Hair gets caught in machine. Person is scalped.

    Person sues, and takes ownership of machine shop.

    Terrific decision, California.

    • Jim says:

      Correct: all around the world there are strict occupational and health regulations governing safe practices in all sorts of fields. These regulations cover all aspects of dress and presentation just to keep people safe, e.g. steel capped boots in machine shops, no loose clothing around rotating machines, no jewelry around the neck and rings removed from fingers, protective glasses/face shields. Then there is health and hygiene in medical practice: would I want someone operating on me whose long locks potentially harbored particles which could cause me infection? How about someone preparing food without controlling their dangling locks. Sport is just one such field in which long uncontrolled locks of hair can cause harm, even injury. Certainly I would never coach a gymnast whose long hair was flying around lest, when spotting, I grabbed or caught his/her hair by accident.

    • Micha Elyi says:

      You’re wrong again, Mike-in-Keller. I’ve got to ask you, why are you people who are the most critical of California the people who are the most ignorant of California?

      An employer cannot single out and ban hair styles that are associated with particular protected classes. Banning all wearing any uncontrolled long hair fashion for safety reasons is not forbidden when this law goes into effect. But if you find that your employer is only banning you from wearing your long, flowing, blond Siegfried-style Aryan locks in the oil change pit you work in, then you can sue. Do you get it now, Mike-in-Keller?

      There isn’t any reason for such a law; IMO employers who discriminate against protected classes using any excuse are already subject to sanctions under existing laws. Thus, I agree with those who suspect California’s Democrat legislators and governor of indulging in cheap virtue signaling.

      If only California had a wall to keep out Democrats and other free-loaders. Remember, when California was Mexican territory, slavery was outlawed here. Then the USA invaded us, imposed its laws, and thereby made slavery legal here. Californios resisted, made sure that California would only enter the Union as a free state, and when the US Civil War began, Californians of all races fought against your slave states. Californios were instrumental in repelling an invasion of Arizona by Texan rebels who were on their way west to seize the gold fields. Your thanks are overdue, Mike-in-Keller.

      History, it’s more than just a pile of dusty old books.

  • GWB says:

    then slammed Maloney to the ground over the remark
    That seems like adequate corrective action, right there. Oh, for the olden days when that would have solved the issue, rather than laws and regulations and arbiters and such.

    It certainly appears that Andrew Johnson was targeted
    Meh. Maybe Maloney had just had it up to ~here~ with wrestlers pushing back that day/tournament. Maybe he’s just an ignorant fool. But “targeted”? not likely. (Unless maybe some other team thought Johnson was really a modern Sampson and thought they could only beat him with the haircut.)

    Allowing pubic lice to vote?
    We already do that. At least I’m assuming there’s no law against politicians voting…….

    California isn’t the first to do something similar, I think. I’ve seen other stories about banning discrimination on the basis of how hair is groomed/presented (not necessarily CA). I don’t think it’s inherently gov’t overreach (not if you assume ‘public accommodation’ is valid), but it could turn into something stupid quickly (as Mike notes, there are safety issues and such to consider).

    If this is a trade-off with not requiring people to have licenses to braid hair, then I’m ok with it.

  • SDN says:

    The wrestler had an irrefutable point: Rules (and laws) are either enforced consistently for everyone every time, or they don’t actually exist. Rule of law, not rule of men.

  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque says:

    “Has California really solved all its other problems,…”

    Nope, not by a long shot. The Democrat morons running California don’t care about real problems; they only care about what bothers THEM.

  • BikerDad says:

    I’m all for banning discrimination,
    Then Marta, you’re wrong. The only discrimination that should be banned is GOVERNMENT discrimination, and that includes government mandated discrimination.

    There’s another word for discrimination, it’s CHOICE.

    I commend to you the writings of Walter E. Williams on the matter.

  • Flying Dutchman says:

    The reason long hair is discouraged in Greco-Roman wrestling is so that it doesn’t get pulled or stepped on during a match. Long hair also makes life difficult for one’s opponent, who it trying to maneuver around the hair and thus avoid the foul of hair-pulling (which is still a foul even if it is inadvertent, to avoid the”I didn’t mean it!” excuse).

    I had friends who did “wrasslin'” back in high school, and they all wore a wrestling helmet during matches. The guys with longer hair – including Afros – tucked their hair under their helmets. Not one of them – black, white, Latin, Asian, whatever – complained about it messing up his ‘do. They were there to wrestle, not make a fashion statement.

    BTW the term for this hairdo is “dredlocks”, not “dreadlocks”. FWIW.

  • Flying Dutchman says:

    “…who it trying to maneuver…” in paragraph 1, should read “…who IS trying to maneuver”.

    The editor regrets the error.

  • curmudgeoninchief says:

    Back in the Good Old Days, military men started cutting their “natural” hair real short when they took up arms. There were several good reasons for this, including that your opponent in close combat would not be able to grab your hair and control your head thereby, and to reduce the problem with lice. The Romans were famous for describing the long-haired Greeks as “effete” because they wouldn’t shave or cut their hair. No commitment.

    Long, natural hair in athletics, construction, and manufacturing is a safety issue, as well as a hygiene issue. Students are under the control of teachers while performing student athletics, and requiring short haircuts is not such an imposition that students are harmed thereby. This is all just political posturing by the completely ineffective governing class in Sacramento, long may it wave.

  • Emma Dee says:

    ALL anti-discrimination laws are unconstitutional and immoral. They should be repealed immediately

  • Jeremy Klein says:

    Marta, obviously you are correct in ridiculing this latest example of statist/’progressive’/leftist idiocy. But:
    ‘Anti-discrimination’ laws are simply wrong. Any citizen should have the freedom to decide with whom he will associate. Any employer should have the right to decide, at will, whom he will hire. If he wants to pay one more than another, that’s between him and his employees. Anything else is tyranny. Of course GOVERNMENT must not discriminate: this is why Justice is portrayed as being ‘blind’, i.e. blind to the external circumstances of each citizen, such that the rich are not treated differently than the poor, etc. The CRA’s set the stage for much mischief, including, e.g., coercing otherwise level-headed folk into pretending that a man who claims to be a woman trapped in a man’s body is something other than mentally ill.
    Would that we had a SCOTUS who would recognize that the CRA’s violate an emanation of a penumbra of the Right to Freedom of Assembly in the Constitution.

    • Marta Hernandez says:

      Jeremy, I agree partially, but also disagree a bit too. Sure, everyone should have the right to associate or do business with anyone they want. But there’s also a part of me that looks back on the lunch counters and other mistreatment of blacks, and I have to wonder if there’s not some kind of middle ground there.

      • GWB says:

        I generally agree with Jeremy’s point. However…
        The real problem occurs in a place where the market is no longer free – and that does not require government to make it so.

        Consider the fictional Hazzard County, where Boss Hogg ran everything by virtue of his money – while not actually being in direct political power (IIRC). It was true that much of what he directed was governmental action, and susceptible to civil rights actions because of it. But there was plenty he controlled that was NOT through gov’t action. He held loans on all the property, etc.

        Now, consider the decidedly non-governmental FarceBook/Twatter/Instanarcissism monstrosity. Again, not gov’t. But definitely in control and practicing a pernicious form of discrimination. They are definitely able to shut those Duke boys down if they so desire, and without the ability* you have in the real world realm of packing up and moving to a different town – one not run by Boss Zuckerman.

        (* You do actually have the ability, but you certainly don’t have the reach of the interconnected be-tentacled social media hydra.)

        There needs to be a way to stop the monopoly without empowering the other hydra and keeping intact the rights of the citizens.

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  • Snidely Whiplash says:

    Up next, california bans discrimination against someone for incompetence, malice, poor hygiene, embezzlement, and other “unfortunate” circumstances…although it will also ban the use of the word unfortunate.

  • Snidely Whiplash says:


    Lunch counters (and other privately owned places) were required, by law, to exclude blacks. Certainly there were some that supported it, but there were others that were smart and ethical enough to only see the color green.

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