The Cincinnati City Council has voted 7-to-1 to ban discrimination related to “natural hair and hairstyles associated with race”, with one member (Councilman Jeff Pastor) absent, in line with cincinnati.com, Fox19 and WLWT.
“As I was talking about this law, I heard over and over and over again, mostly from black women, the very real discrimination and how they are made to feel inferior because of their natural hair, which they take very much pride in. That impedes their ability to be their best selves and live up to their full potential. And we can do something about that,” mentioned Councilman Chris Seelbach, the individual behind the ordinance.
The solely no vote got here from Councilwoman Amy Murray, who argued that the town legislation can be redundant as a result of pure hair already falls beneath the sanctions of preexisting racial discrimination legal guidelines.
Seelbach responded to this assertion by asking Cincinnati City Solicitor Paula Boggs Muething if it fell beneath such strictures. Boggs Muething mentioned that whereas the sufferer might declare that texture and magnificence have been concerned within the purported discrimination, they would wish proof.
Said Seelbach to Murray then: “With all due respect, this is extreme privilege and a slap in the face to African American women, whose stories I have heard and are degrading and horrible.”
Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard replied to Murray’s feedback by stating that she did not perceive why Murray would not need to simply ensure “People like me. People like Kamara (Douglas, who works with Seelbach) and Jasmine (Coaston, who works with P.G. Sittenfeld), have protections.”
Vice mayor Christopher Smitherman, mentioned that they had lengthy talks together with his spouse, Pamela, who handed away earlier this yr, about how he would care for his or her younger daughter’s hair.
“Now, as a single father, there is no activity we do not plan around her hair care,” Smitherman mentioned. “What I want for her is that where she works, whatever she does, that she can wear her hair however she wants.”
“If you’re used to seeing hair in a certain way and you’re seeing hair that’s different, you might not think an overtly racial determination, but you’re making one implicitly,” Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard mentioned. “Just because you’re [not] breaking the law on paper, it doesn’t necessarily mean you might not be discriminating against someone.”
Under the legislation, the town would examine complaints of discrimination. If discrimination is set, a superb of as much as $1,000—$100 per day—could possibly be levied till the discriminatory observe is corrected.
Cincinnati is the second American metropolis to cross such anti-discrimination legal guidelines, with New York City having banned pure hair discrimination in July, preceded by California, which banned it on a statewide degree in June. Kentucky can be within the technique of contemplating a ban.