The U.S. Army Will Review The Regulation That Makes Black Women Treat Their Hair or Face Punishment

Find out why the U.S. Army has decided to review its hair regulations.

Image via Army Times

After a much deserved backlash, the U.S. Army is offically "reviewing" the hair regulation code AR 670-1, which many deemed as offensive and downright racist towards black women. To recap, AR 670-1 disallowed twists, braids, and dreadlocks and cornrows (larger than a quarter-inch in diameter) with the above image included.

Any soldier found violating this regulation could receive a Non-Judicial Punishment, which includes confinement on diminished rations, restriction to certain specified limits, arrest in quarters, correctional custody, extra duties, forfeiture of pay, detention of pay and reduction in grade.

Sergeant Jasmine Jacobs circulated a petition around the White House, which included comments like "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."

The female members of the Congressional Black Caucus joined in, writing to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in an open letter that states "the use of words like 'unkempt' and 'matted' when referring to traditional hairstyles worn by women of color are offensive and biased. The assumption that individuals wearing these hairstyles cannot maintain them in a way that meets the professionalism of Army standards indicates a lack of cultural sensitivity conducive to creating a tolerant environment of minorities."

The outcry worked, and the Army has announced that they will review the regulation, as if anything really needs to be "reviewed" instead of just terminated. It's a shame the likes of the CBC and Sgt Jacobs had to speak out in the first place, but at least their actions were productive.

[via Styleite]

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