Cultural discrimination: hair should not define one’s worth

Photo courtesy Inside Edition.

Cultural discrimination has been an ongoing issue for minorities for a long time, but in recent times it has spread to the education system and school sports.

Andrew Johnson is a junior from Buena Regional High School in Buena, New Jersey and wrestles on his school’s team. At the start of a match in December, Johnson, an African American student, was given the ultimatum by caucasian referee  – cut off his dreadlocks or forfeit the match. Johnson opted to cut off his dreadlocks in front of the entire wrestling audience. Johnson ended up winning the match, but the incident sparked outrage and ignited conversations on racism and cultural discrimination.

After the event, Johnson got an outpour of support from celebrities and other influencers on social media. Regardless of the praise Johnson received, discriminating against the hair of an African American person is not a new issue.

In August of 2018, Clinton Stanley Jr., a six year old boy from Florida was dismissed from his private school in August after school administration told the boy’s parents, “All of our boys have short hair . . . It’s the style of hair. We don’t allow it [dreadlocks]. We never have.”

According to Inside Edition, Stanley’s father responded to the incident stating,  “A kid should have any hairstyle he chooses . . . you are discriminating against a certain people, a certain race.”

Stanley was then enrolled into public school where he was able to keep his dreadlock hairstyle.

This issue does not only happen to men, but also happens often for women of color. Cultural discrimination is a form of racial hatred towards a specific group of people. Some faculty in the education system and sports officials have used their authority to segregate African-Americans and their culture. It took a long time for African-Americans to embrace their cultural backgrounds through their hair, music and clothing. Degrading a culture, whether done by a school system, sports officials or a passerby should never be tolerated. It is time for minorities to be accepted through their culture and beyond.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Adelle Engmann

Cultural discrimination: hair should not define one’s worth

by Adelle Engmann time to read: 1 min