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  • Writer's pictureERG

Lansing Has a Bad Hair Day

Business-unfriendly Lansing lawmakers have outdone themselves by recently passing the risible CROWN Act legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, amends the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act “to include hairstyles as an aspect of racial identity that cannot be discriminated against in the workplace.”

The legislation was championed by State Sen. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) who also created the website to “collect stories of people who have been impacted by hair discrimination.” There aren't many anecdotes on the website, and the ‘discrimination’ drama featured was school-centric not workplace-oriented.

For the record, ERG thinks it’s rude to belittle other folks’ ‘dos, whether they are twists, braids, beehives, pink highlights, ombre extensions, or buzz cuts. And we agree with india.arie (pictured) when she sang, “I Am Not My Hair. I am the soul that lives within.”

But the State of Michigan – due to the nagging of Big Gretch and the MI Legislative Black Caucus – will soon be regulating workplace decorum, including hair grooming. This is a troublesome infringement of property rights and yet another reason for businesses, small or corporate, to relocate to Florida.

As Jason D. Hill, a legal scholar, noted, “The workplace is not primarily a place for one to express one’s ‘unique’ individuality. One is a paid contractor or employee — uniformed or not — in the service of one’s employer, who has the right to determine in the name of his or her company’s image, what constitutes company decorum and the dress protocol that upholds it.”

At least two members of the Freedom Caucus, who were not cowed by the public pressure, voted against the CROWN Act legislation – Rep. Steve Carra and Rep. Neil Friske.

ERG spoke with both gentlemen.

Rep. Friske, who represents the 107th, said that it sets a terrible precedent. “Pretty soon, there will be a bill for everything.” Like protection against split ends? Greasy locks?

Rep. Carra, who represents the 36th, is concerned that the CROWN Act will unleash a flurry of “frivolous lawsuits.” And line the pockets of greedy lawyers.

These two reps are in the small minority. The Michigan Senate, by a vote of 33-5 (which included a ‘yea’ from John Damoose) passed the bill. In the Michigan House, the bill passed by a vote of 100-7.

But don’t worry your pretty little head over this. Keep hope alive that some of these hairbrained lawmakers will be successfully primaried.

P.S. For some comic relief, read the comments that follow this tweet from Governor Greg Abbott who signed the Texas Crown Act into law, yesterday.

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