Reconsider Army regulation barring natural hairstyles, Congressional Black Caucus women urge

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

The Congressional Black Caucus’ 16 women members Friday sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, urging him to reconsider the impact of a regulation that makes natural hairstyles traditionally worn by minority women as unauthorized.

The policy, said Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, “has been seen as offensive and discriminatory to many minority women serving in our Armed Forces.”

Army Col. Steven Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, promised a response.

"The (Defense) Department has received the letter from the Congressional Black Caucus, and will respond promptly and directly to them," Warren told McClatchy. "We appreciate their concerns regarding this issue."

The letter notes that Army officials have responded to criticism of the regulation by saying it applies to all soldiers regardless of race, and that the rule is meant to protect safety.

“However,” the letter pointed out, “the use of words like ‘unkempt’ and ‘matted’ when referring to traditional hairstyles worn by women of color are offensive and biased.”

Such assumptions, the letter said, suggests that those with such hairstyles cannot maintain them in a professional way. Such thinking, the letter said, “indicates a lack of cultural sensitivity conducive to creating a tolerant environment for minorities.”

       -- David Lightman and James Rosen contributed.

 

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • Annual Ford dinner to celebrate 90th birthday

    The annual Wendell Ford Dinner that honors the longtime Kentucky political leader will be held Thursday at a hotel in Louisville.

  •  
In this July 23, 2014Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo greets supporters with his 'three-finger greeting' symbolizing 'The Unity of Indonesia', the third of Indonesia's five principles, during a gathering in Jakarta. President Barack Obama’s quick congratulation for Indonesia’s election victor Widodo, even as the losing candidate rejected the result, underscores Washington’s intent to deepen ties with Jakarta and support democracy in Southeast Asia.

    US hails Indonesia democracy in turbulent SE Asia

    President Barack Obama's quick congratulation for Indonesia's election victor Joko Widodo, even as the losing candidate rejected the result, underscores Washington's intent to deepen ties with Jakarta and support democracy in Southeast Asia.

  • US hails Indonesia democracy in turbulent SE Asia

    President Barack Obama is congratulating Indonesia's presidential election victor Joko Widodo (JOH-koh WI-doh-doh), even as the losing candidate rejected the result.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category