It greatly disturbs me to know that in 2010 that we still live in a society that continues to judge us by the color of our skin and in so many cases the texture of our hair. We, as Black Americans, face prejudices from non-whites as well as from our own kind. Recently, in Auburn, Alabama, a black basketball coach for the predominantly white high school has received much attention because of his stand against "his" players wearing braided or locked hair. The coach argues that his stand against braided or locked hair is about discipline. Please tell me,
"Are all black boys with unbraided or unlocked hair disciplined?"
"Are all black boys with braided hair or locked hair undisciplined?"
How ludicrous does that sound? I have two problems with this rule. My first problem with the argument is that the coach's rule only pertains to black boys - other boys do not typically wear their hair in such styles. Cornrows, braids, plaits, locs are signature styles of many blacks. Therefore, this rule discriminates against black boys. I would have no problem if the rule was against long hair in a boy's face that may prevent his ability to successfully play the game of basketball. However, that is not the rule. Auburn High's coach obviously has no problem with long hair since at least one of his players spends much of his game time fanning his long caucasian hair from his eyes.
My second problem with all of this racial nonsense is that Auburn City Schools clearly state that this is not An Auburn City School policy, but a policy of the coach. In other words, if this racial nonsense becomes national, the school system will leave the black coach "out to dry" and continue to stand on the fact that the policy is not a school system policy but the policy of one of its coaches. Can anybody see that this is a case of the white man using the black man to do his dirty work? Can anybody see that to tell a black student that his hairstyle which is a trademark of his race is considered undisciplined only perpetuates the lie that there is something wrong with all things that are uniquely black? Can anybody see that this attitude only fosters another generation of young people who believe that in order to get ahead you must assimilate into the expectations of white America?