Army's Hair Rule Is Racist

Army's Hair Rule Is Racist
C. Stiles

The Pentagon is more concerned with enforcing a racist policy aimed at African-American female military personnel than addressing the Army's suicide epidemic among soldiers.

When women are in a war, they don't have time to fuss over straightening their kinky locks.

Earlier this month, the Army banned hairstyles typically worn by black women — twists, dreadlocks, and large cornrows. Sixteen African-American congresswomen — including our own Democratic representative, Frederica Wilson — recently signed a letter urging Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to reconsider the ban. Surprisingly, Michelle Obama hasn't said anything about it. She should be raising hell. The first lady knows how difficult it is for a black woman to manage her hair.

The Army's decision shows how generals are out of touch with the men and women who fight for this country. The banned hairstyles are not about making a fashion statement. Black women who braid their hair or pin it back do so out of necessity. When African-American female soldiers have to get up at 5 a.m. for physical training, they can't worry about primping. When they are in a war, they don't have time to fuss over straightening their kinky locks.

Putting their hair in cornrows, twists, or buns allows them to move quicker and stay cooler. That's why black female athletes such as Olympic gold medalists Sanya Richards-Ross (track and field) and Gabby Douglas (gymnastics) pull their hair back. If they didn't, it would turn into a tangly mess from all the movement and sweat. It's not about looking cute.

Yet the Army is essentially telling black female soldiers that to be accepted, they need to shave their heads like Demi Moore's character in the movie G.I. Jane. The Pentagon certainly won't pay for a hairstylist on base for the thousands of servicewomen who most likely enlisted because they're poor and can't go to college.

Meanwhile, a March study by the National Institute of Mental Health shows that suicide rates have soared among soldiers, not only those who went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also those who were never deployed. In 2012, the most recent year available, 350 servicepeople died by their own hand. Military leaders should focus on preventing more soldiers from killing themselves. But they're too busy enforcing racist rules.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

 
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4 comments
flamengo1265
flamengo1265

Luther is such a clown.  Even God is racist, right?  Look how shitty he made things in Sub-Sahara Africa and Haiti.

hannha
hannha

I'm sooooooo sick and tired of you pulling the race card!!! IT'S ENOUGH!!!!!! We have a black president for christ sake! Write about something else other then how this entire world is out to get the blacks. How about other races and religions being targeted. WHY DON'T YOU WRITE ABOUT THAT??!!!!!

coffee
coffee

If you don't like the standards that the Army or any other branch of the military has set out, don't join. When you join up, you agree to abide by the rules and regulations.


cargon786
cargon786

What is the policy for males regarding hairstyles serving in the US Army, regardless of race? This is a race-bait article and agenda, designed to stir up controversy. 

Funny, African Americans like to point and speak, aloud and quite offensively at times, to their history and tradition. Well, maybe now is a good time to learn the difference between tradition and traditionalism. 

What's next, large hoop earrings, saggy pants, neck tattoos, speaking spanish on the battlefield and in the platoons, and I am Hispanic by-the-way, heck, let's just let the soldiers set their hours and days off too.

It is the United Staes Military, not your sorority or fraternity. 

This article and issue isn't worthy of publishing, let along the attention it has garnered. 

 
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