Tags: Army | hairstyle | rules | bias | uniform

Black Soldiers Blast New Army Hairstyle Rules as 'Racially Biased'

Image: Black Soldiers Blast New Army Hairstyle Rules as 'Racially Biased'

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 10:59 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Thousands of soldiers have signed a White House petition demanding that President Barack Obama rescind new Army hairstyle regulations that they say are "racially biased" against black women.

The rules, which went into effect Monday and also govern tattoos, grooming, and uniforms, explains what the Army deems "unauthorized" hairstyles for its female troops, according to Army Times.

They state that the Army does not allow "twists" or multiples braids bigger than a quarter- -inch in diameter, while also prohibiting any type of dreadlocks and insisting that cornrows must be no bigger than a quarter-inch.

Army spokesman Paul Prince said that although dreadlocks and cornrows have been banned since 2005, the rules previously failed to clearly outline specific unauthorized hairstyles, according to Army Times.

In a new leadership training manual for uniform policy, Army Regulation 670-1 spells out the regulations and shows a series of photos and diagrams of hairstyles on the banned list, several of which are popular with black women.

Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard, who wears her hair in two twists, is so angry with the new rules that she launched the White House petition.

"I’ve been in the military six years," she told the Army Times. "I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear.

"Most black women, their hair doesn’t grow straight down, it grows out. I’m disappointed to see the Army, rather than inform themselves on how black people wear their hair, they’ve white-washed it all."

She said her hair is too thick and curly to tie into a bun and that her twists make it "easy to take care of in the field."

The petition states, "In the proposed changes, unauthorized hairstyles include twists, both flat twists, as well as two-strand twists; as well as dreadlocks, which are defined as 'any matted or locked coils or ropes of hair.'

"These new changes are racially biased, and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent. This policy needs to be reviewed to allow for neat and maintained natural hairstyles."

Jacobs told the Army Times that she will probably have to wear a wig during training exercises because using chemicals to relax her hair or putting it up in cornrows will damage her locks.

"We feel let down," Jacobs said.

Prince, the army spokesman, said that hair grooming standards are important "to maintain uniformity within the military."

More than 7,900 soldiers and supporters had signed the petition by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. For the White House to address the petition, 100,000 people must sign it.

Related Stories:


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Tom Harkin's Last Hurrah: Change Our National Anthem

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 14:07 PM

Retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin spent his final hours in Congress getting his pet peeve off his chest - the national . . .

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Man Sent to Asylum in Gun Case

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 13:38 PM

In a landmark decision, an appeals court has ruled that the federal law preventing a man from owning a gun because he wa . . .

Bernie Kerik: Bring Back US Fugitives 'If Cuba Opens Up'

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 12:48 PM

President Barack Obama's shift in policy on Cuba opens the door for the return of fugitives to the U.S. that fled there  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved