Dear Locs: That Time The Courts Ruled Our Locs as “Unprofessional”

Around this time last year, The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against a lawsuit filed on behalf of Chastity Jones, who was told by a Human Resource manager at Catastrophe Management Solutions that Jones would not be hired because of her dreadlocks. According to NBC News, Jeannie Wilson the Human Resource manager told Jones that dreadlocks “tend to get messy”. Jones was told that she’d have to cut off her locs in order to comply with the company’s grooming policy. She refused to do so and the job offer was rescinded.

 

I have a few questions regarding this court ruling…

When did it become okay for society to define our work ethic by the way we choose to wear our hair?

How does corporate America gain the power to control our livelihood?

How can one be denied the right to work for rockin’ locs when we simply are experienced to do the job as much as those with curly hair, short hair, & blonde hair?

Do we really have to remove a part of ourselves for corporate America’s comfort?

Being legally stripped of our rights to wear locs in the workplace is a clear indication of discrimination. To be forced to cut our locs for a paycheck is proof that even in 2017, society cannot comprehend or understand the deeply-rooted connection we have to our locs.  Society doesn’t get that locs are not just a hairstyle but an extension of who we are.

 

Let’s be honest here…these “policies” that employers and even some schools enforced are methods to police people of color who are considered threats. Dreadlocks are deeply embedded in black culture so why not come for us with “dress codes” and court official documents?

Majority of victims of police brutality are people of color. POCs with dreads are specifically targeted and labeled as criminals. Now people with locs are denied employment opportunities. If you cannot see the problematic pattern here, you are in true denial. Additionally, there’s not just racial discrimination going on here, there’s blatant ignorance. To say to someone that “dreadlocks get messy” clearly doesn’t think that we wash our hair just like they do. Basically, our locs, which is a part of us, makes them uncomfortable! Our locs offends them! They want us to conform to what they consider is a more socially acceptable appearance in the workplace. Phuck our dedication to be a team player in their office… phuck our impressive work ethic…..phuck our BLACKNESS is what they’re telling us in a form of a court ruling.

 

Maybe…just maybe the black communities will build enough financial power so we can invest in our own communities, neighborhoods, and be in a position to create our own jobs.

 

Kudos to the military though…