When The Crime Is Who You Are
You can’t win. No matter what, no matter how hard you work or how well you assimilate. You can be “articulate” and educated. You can be perfect but if you’re not Caucasian you’re wrong. That’s just how the world works.
Everything you are, everything you do, your skin, your speech, your lips, your nose, every part of you is wrong. Even your hair is wrong.
For those of you who decide not to click,
Horizon Science Academy outlined what was acceptable student dress and included a ban on some natural hair styles:
The letter details changes to the dress code for the upcoming school year and includes the line:
Afro-puffs and small twisted braids, with our [sic] without rubberbands, are NOT permitted.
It’s unclear what the administration means by small twisted braids, but if they are referring to box braids they are banning a protective style that black girls have worn for generations.
It’s also important to note that regular pony tails are perfectly acceptable under the revised rules.
So let’s be clear, The exact same hairdo, is only acceptable on white girls. On black girls it violates the rules, apparently because their hair won’t fall down from their heads, as opposed to puffing out.
You know what message that sends to little black girls? Keep reading. I’ll tell you.
This is normal
This is not
More importantly, this is good. It is within the rules, it is right and proper.
And this is just wrong.
You’ll notice the second Caucasian girl has curly hair. Her pony tails are fine, even though curly hair, by definition spends some time flying in all directions. Curly white hair is fine. Curly white hair in pony tails is also fine. Afro puffs are wrong. it’s not just what black girls do or say that can get them into trouble. It’s what we are. We violate the rules by existing and we get in trouble for it.
I’ve talked before about the wounds that life inflicts on those of us who are non-White. Those wounds start early and the happen often. This is just one wound that is going to be inflicted on the little black girls in that school.
This isn’t just one little school in Ohio. This isn’t an isolated incident. It’s a microcosm of the pain and discrimination Women of Color face every day. And it always hurts.