Boy, Christianity just cannot live up to its name, can it?
In Gretna, Louisiana, a Catholic middle school sent home an 11-year-old Black girl for wearing box braids in her hair. The school instituted a rule against weaves, wigs, and extensions - styles that are worn predominantly by Black girls.
Guess when this rule was implemented? Summer of 2018. This Catholic school decided to implement a rule THIS DAMN SUMMER to restrict the hairstyles of Black girls. We have known for a long time now that a Black person's hair is more than just personal. It is political. It is as charged as emotional dynamite. Societal rules (both formal and informal) about it are infested with racism and used by white people to try to remind Black people that they do not belong. Watch this video. See how humiliated and hurt this beautiful child was.
How very Christlike.
Areva Martin wrote about the politics of Black hair for Time magazine last year.
But the hatred of black hair goes beyond ignorant comments. In fact, embracing natural hair can lead some women and men to lose their jobs or face punishment at school. In March 2014, the U.S. Army issued a new policy that banned traditional black hairstyles, including cornrows, twists and dreadlocks. The regulations even described these styles “unkempt” and “matted.” After months of backlash and a letter from the Congressional Black Caucus, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reviewed and subsequently rolled back the policy.
Excuse me, "Christ the King" Catholic School, if the soldiers in the Armed Services of the United States, who put their lives on the line to defend your freedom of religion, can do THAT job with traditional black hairstyles, lovely Black children can certainly manage to do their job of learning in your school while they rock their boxbraids. And you can keep your damn mouths shut about it.
I know this is not only a Southern thing, but I just feel like picking on the South today. It so happens last week another private Southern "Christian" school turned away a 6-year-old boy from his first day because he had dreadlocks, and his hair was not above his ears. (Did I neglect to mention he was Black? Did I need to mention he was Black?)
Yes, A Book’s Christian Academy in Apopka, FL refused to allow Clinton Stanley, Jr., wearing an oxford shirt and a tie, into his classroom because his hair was in dreadlocks, and had hair below his ears. He, too, was hurt and upset...and if you watch that video and cannot hear the pain in this father's voice as he stands up for his son, then comforts him, you're missing at least half of your heart.
Shaun King pointed out that this same Christian School sure seems to have no problem with a white boy having hair below his ears...
Thankfully, a public school enrolled him IMMEDIATELY and welcomed him exactly as he is - a glorious young child.
But the school that rejected him claims to stand for the teachings of Christ?
As if Christ himself would turn away children who came to learn.
As if Christ himself didn't likely have brown skin and wear his hair in dreads.