US Politician Fronts Bill to Protect Kenyan Woman and Her Two Sons in Vermont


A Kenyan woman living in Vermont is set to be part of a revolutionary step if a bill drafted to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s hair passes. 

The woman who shared her ordeal of being discriminated against due to her different hair noted that she feared her two sons may face the same predicament. 

She thus raised the matter with her state representative Mike Mrowicki who has co-sponsored a bill to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s hair.

“I introduced this bill at the request of constituent Angela Lawrence, who came to the US from Kenya at age 10, later joined the US Army and after that became the mother of 2 young boys.”

Vermont Representative Mike Mrowicki during a past event

Photo

Randolph T. Holhut

“She asked for this bill for her sons, hoping to prevent the kind of treatment all too many people of colour experience in regards to their hair,” he stated.

The bill was co-sponsored by Mrowicki counterpart Saudia LaMont who was looking to protect members of his constituent from being bullied for their texture and hair styles. 

“This bill aims to prevent an erasure and minimisation of the experiences of marginalised people,” Lamont stated.

According to the two representatives, more members of the constituents had faced constant discrimination due to their hair. Some of them were even affected while in school forcing the politicians to intervene. 

Additionally, the representatives noted that some of their constituents were denied jobs after being judged by the texture, style and type of their hair. 

They hence agreed that such models of recruitment were unfair as qualified candidates miss out on opportunities owing to their appearances.

“The reality is that people of colour are often ostracized or mistreated because of their hair. It can be as seemingly innocent as people wanting to touch it — which is an invasion of people’s space,” Mrowicki remarked.

Vermont House passed the bill on Wednesday and Mrowicki is hopeful that the Senate will approve it too before it’s sent to the governor to be signed into law. 

If approved, it would expand the anti-discrimination statute that prohibits bias in public places and calls for fair employment.

Vermont will also join other US states including California, New York, Washington and Texas, in prohibiting discrimination based on hair texture. 

Vermont Representative Saudia LaMont at the Vermont House

Photo

Vermont Public





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