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California Approves Bill Banning Racial Discrimination Based On Hairstyles

“Hair remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences.”

California is set to become the latest state to ban racial discrimination based on hairstyles. Senate Bill 188, also known as The Crown Act, was introduced by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) in January and unanimously approved in a 37-0 vote Monday (April 22).

The bill outlines the proximity between race and hair and how the history of the U.S. has been “riddled with laws and societal norms” that equate  “blackness’” which includes physical traits such as “dark skin, kinky and curly hair” with inferiority, and therefore subjecting black people to “separate and unequal treatment.”

“This idea also permeated societal understanding of professionalism,” Morgan states in the bill. “Professionalism was and still is closely linked to European features and mannerisms, which entails that those who do not naturally fall into Eurocentric norms must alter their appearances, sometimes drastically and permanently, in order to be deemed professional.

“Despite the great strides American society and laws have made to reverse the racist ideology that Black traits are inferior, hair remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences, especially for Black individuals,” Morgan continues.

Furthermore, dress codes and grooming policies prohibiting “natural hair” have a “disparate impact on Black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter Black applicants and burden or punish Black employees than any other group.”

The 1964 Civil Rights Act banning racial discrimination extends to afros as well but doesn’t include other hairstyles. As pointed out in SB 188, “courts do not understand that afros are not the only natural presentation of Black hair. Black hair can also be naturally presented in braids, twists, and locks.”

Although the bill has yet to be signed into law, the state isn't alone in making moves to end the racist bias against natural hair. In February, New York City passed a similar bill in February imposing a $250,000 penalty for hair discrimination.

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Florida Teacher Arrested For Carrying Knives And Loaded Guns In Classrooms

A fourth-grade teacher at Starkey Elementary School was arrested Monday (May 20) after authorities found knives, a 9mn Glock with seven rounds of ammunition and other weapons.

According to reports, the 49-year-old had the weapons, including a six-inch fighting knife and a two-inch finger knife, in classrooms with students.

Reportedly, Starkey Elementary School principal saw Betty Soto behaving suspiciously as she carried the backpack with her wherever she went.

Law enforcement arrived on campus after being notified by the principal. They interviewed Soto and found the weapons. The teacher reportedly was let out on bond at 9 PM Monday night and when asked by reporters why she brought the weapons to school she attributed it to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"Ask Desantis," she answered. "Ask your governor."

In early May, the Republican governor signed a bill that will allow teachers to carry guns inside a classroom. The measure was a reported response to the Parkland High School shooting.

Soto's Facebook page will be investigated as part of the overall investigation due to a post that was shared. "Are you surprised I'm a revolutionary? You should have seen it coming. Hate that I was on my way to the plantation, but I had to free some minds."

Erica Kennedy, a mother of two at Starkey Elementary, described Soto's behavior as "militant" and "suspicious."

"She seemed very abrupt, the way she was speaking. I almost felt like she was talking to these kids like she was their parent, you know, just really, a little overboard. So, it made me kind of, something kind of went up in the back of my hair like, hmmm," Kennedy explained.

Soto reportedly will not be returning to Starkey Elementary School.

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Tom Lynn

Milwaukee County Declares Racism A Public Health Crisis

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele signed a resolution Monday (May 20) stating how racism is a public health crisis and that the county plans to take action.

"Everybody has been reading and hearing about the same set of statistics in Milwaukee for decades," Abele said. "We lead in an unfortunate way the racial disparities in employment, in education, incarceration, income and even things like ... access to capital."

The resolution hopes to take actionable steps to level the playing field in Milwaukee, a playing field that finds minorities disproportionately affected.

Nicole Brookshire, the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs Director, was with Abele at the signing and spoke on the potential power of the resolution.

"We need to address racism as a public health crisis but on a large scale to make sure that we transform our culture, transform how we serve our residents and we drive solutions that are equitable," she said.

The resolution hopes to assess internal policies and procedures to make sure racial equity is a core element of the county, work to create an inclusive organization and identify specific activities to increase diversity and encourage other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis.

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Stephen Sisler

Cop Fired For Hiring Hitman To Kill Her Husband And Boyfriend's Kid

A New York police officer has been suspended without pay and charged with use of interstate commerce for murder for hire.

The cop in question, Valerie Cincinelli, reportedly asked her boyfriend to hire a hitman to kill her estranged husband and his own daughter. Instead, the boyfriend told the FBI about her plans.

The New York Times reports, Cincinelli was a cop for 12 years and worked in the domestic violence unit of the 106th precinct. She and her soon-to-be ex, Isaiah Carvalho Jr., were married for four years. However, in January, Carvalho filed for divorce which led to a custody battle, that seemingly came to halt months prior to their case going to court.

What 32-year-old Carvalho didn't know was by February, his estranged wife had been plotting to kill him and her boyfriend's school-age daughter.

The botched murder-for-hire plot was supposed to look like Carvalho's death was caused by a robbery gone awry, and the girl's death look like an accident after suggesting the killer run over her with a car near her school.

On Feb, 18, Cincinelli withdrew $7,000. That same day, her boyfriend withdrew $6,935 in gold coins. The two discussed the plot extensively and according to reports Cincinelli used social media to track the child. On May 13, Cincinelli met with her boyfriend to discuss the two potential murders unaware that he was wearing a wire.

“It’s your worst nightmare scenario,” said Matthew Weiss, Mr. Carvalho’s lawyer.

Local cops reportedly went to great lengths to convince Cincinelli the murders took place and appeared at her home to inform her they were investing it. Immediately afterward, she texted her boyfriend to ensure their alibis were aligned and instructed him to delete the thread.

Later that day she was taken into police custody and charged.

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