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Anti-Blackness Strikes Again

Anti-Blackness Strikes Again

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard about the child and her dreadlocks fiasco. To summarize, a primary school child with locks was given the option to cover her hair, cut the locks or leave the school. The mother claimed that the child has locks because of her skin condition and that they do not follow the Rasta religion. Truthfully the reason for the locks is neither here nor there, the real issue is the rule itself. Why should a child be forced to cover his or her hair in order to attend school?

The irony is not lost on me that the same countries that enforced these archaic rules no longer follow them. Some people claim that the rule is enforced for safety as long hair can pose a hazard, however, do not for one second try to convince me that a Caucasian or Indian child with long hair would be subjected to these same rules. It is disheartening to acknowledge just how deep anti-blackness is rooted in our society.

Everyone is wrapped up in the fact that no doctor’s note was submitted to excuse the rule. However, what does it matter when the rule in question is discriminatory? Every child should have the right to an education no matter the race or colour or hair texture. Why do some rules not apply for children of a certain race or aesthetic? Once again, if the child were Caucasian and blond, she would not be forced to cover her hair.

Frankly the entire situation was handled rather poorly, but that does not take away from the issue at hand. No child should be barred from school based on discriminatory rules. Locks are not just a fashion statement for black people, it can be a symbol of their religion or a convenient way to style their hair. To force someone to cover their hair especially when that hair is neatly done is plain discrimination based on anti-black prejudice. Can someone please explain to me the reason for forcing a child to cover their hair? We’ve established that it’s not for safety or cleanliness, so what else could it be other than plain discrimination?

This might be a controversial opinion but frankly it doesn’t matter whether the child broke the rule or not when the rule in question is nonsense. Could you imagine how uncomfortable it must be for a child to cover his or her head all day against their wishes? I hope this incident will result in some change but I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t, black oppression is a colour West-Indians wear well.

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