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Remember that wrestler forced to cut off his dreadlocks? Booker bill would prevent a repeat incident.

Jonathan Salant | December 5, 2019 | NJ Advance Media |


WASHINGTON — Legislation to ban discrimination against hairstyles that are associated with race or national origin was introduced Thursday by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.

Booker’s bill, and one introduced in Trenton by Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, D-Hudson, respond to an incident last December in which wrestling referee Alan Maloney told Buena High School student Andrew Johnson to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match. Johnson cut his hair. Maloney was suspended for two years.

Many of those hair styles are natural for black men and women, such as cornrows, twists, braids, and Afros, said Booker, D-N.J.

“Discrimination against black hair is discrimination against black people,” Booker said. “No one should be harassed, punished, or fired for the beautiful hairstyles that are true to themselves and their cultural heritage.”


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