It is “appalling” that people of color still face discrimination for their hairstyles, Mayor de Blasio said Tuesday — throwing his support behind a city effort to ban it.
“You’d think, it’s 2019, how on earth could this still be happening? It’s happening, I assure you. African-American women are being discriminated against because of their hairstyles to this hour, of this day,” he said at an unrelated press conference in Brooklyn.
The city’s Human Rights Commission issued guidance Monday warning employers and schools against restrictions on natural hair as a form of racism.
De Blasio, whose wife Chirlane McCray is African-American, said he’d heard many stories of black women in particular facing those kinds of restrictions — saying his “education on the question of hair” began when he and his wife got together in 1991.
“She told me many, many stories of people, particularly women, being looked down on because they had natural hair, or because they had dreadlocks, or whatever it may be,” he said. “And it’s appalling to me that (it) ever went on, but it still goes on to this day.”
And de Blasio’s son, Dante, became a bit of an icon on the 2013 campaign trail in part for his own Afro hairstyle.
“They’re conscious of the fact that there’s been a whole history of discrimination and it’s unacceptable. So I applaud the Human Rights Commission. I think it had to be done,” de Blasio said.
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