Latifah Muhammad
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Black Female Soldiers Call U.S. Army’s New Hair Restrictions “Racially Biased”

 

The U.S. Army’s new set of hair rules –banning female soldiers from wearing twists, dreadlocks, and cornrow braids bigger than a quarter of an inch in diameter — isn’t getting rave reviews.

Released Monday (March 31), the restrictions are being called “racially biased” for intentionally singling out Black women.

According to an update of the Army Regulation 670-1 locks, which have been prohibited since 2005, are only allowed depending on the size, and style.

Officials even added pictures models to remind soldiers which hairstyles are acceptable.

Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, of the Georgia National Guard started petition against the 670-1 regulations on the White House’s “We The People” page.

Just over 8,600 people have signed the petition so far, which reads in part:

In the proposed changes, unauthorized hairstyles include twists, both flat twists as well as two strand twists; as well as dreadlocks, which are defined as “any matted or locked coils or ropes of hair.” These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent. This policy needs to be reviewed prior to publishing to allow for neat and maintained natural hairstyles.

Jacobs’ petition needs 100,000 signatures by April 19 in order to be reviewed by the White House. “I’ve been in the military six years, I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear,” she said.

She added that many Black women wear their hair in twists because the hairstyle is easy to “take care” of while they work. “Most black women, their hair doesn’t grow straight down, it grows out,” she explained. “I’m disappointed to see the Army, rather than inform themselves on how black people wear their hair, they’ve white-washed it all.”

Jacobs said that she has decided to wear a wig rather than chemically straighten her hair, or wear cornrows.

Soldiers who don’t comply with the new hair rules are subject to punishment.

Photo: Army Times

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