Skip to main content

Cornrows Create Controversy

Philadelphia Police Officer Thomas Strain was taken off the street earlier this month after he showed up to work with his hair braided in cornrows.It amazes me sometimes the scenarios and situations that are often reported in the news. A great deal of the time, it is not due to relevance and credibility of the news that is being reported, but the event that happened. Another one of those types of stories occurred this past week. It has been reported by the New York Daily News and Philadelphia Daily News that Thomas Strain, a white police officer in Philadelphia, was pulled of street duty, and ordered to change his hair style by his black superior. Now, what makes this situation so peculiar is that several of Strain’s fellow comrades also sport that same cornrow look, but are black, are still on duty. The report can be read here.

Despite the common tone of the story, there is something about it that raises several flags about our society.

First and foremost, let’s acknowledge the underlying, and obvious truth that cornrows are ethnical, and synonymous with blacks. In some areas, and some countries in fact, cornrows are indeed cultural. So with that said, yes I understand the double standard in the story.

However, my biggest gripe is with that double standard. Exactly what year are we currently living in? I’ve never been in full support of employers frowning upon specific ethnic and cultural appearances such as cornrows and dreadlocks. If kept orderly and professionally presentable while keeping the credibility and safety of the occupation in tact, they should indeed be allowed. Though, that is a discussion for another time.

Yet, we are all in agreement that if hairstyles are subject for employment suspension or termination in various fields, those rules and guidelines should be universal. Hairstyle compliance should not and cannot be judged based on ethnicity or gender.

With that said, the other alarm that goes off is the obvious discrimination that is taking place. Strain is obviously wearing cornrows in support of a specific lifestyle that he chooses to support. And well, hey, there is nothing wrong with that. Our world, despite the stereotypes that some may have and their inability to get passed them, is becoming more and more diverse everyday. If a white man decides to wear cornrows – cool. It is all cool.

After all, it is 2009. We have seen a white rapper, and a black country singer.

Blacks now play golf, Asians now play the center position in basketball, and Latino’s sing reggae.

And how about this, the leader of the free world is a man of color.

All situations stereotyped before towards specific ethnicities. All broken. All in some way, made this world a better (and civilized) place.

For years we were relegated to dress, act, speak, talk, and live our lives a certain way because of race and ethnicity. That has to, will, and must change. Stereotypes are a sickness, and its only cure is through education and blurring the lines between us.

And as for The Philadelphia Police Department, to second the quote made by a police officer in the story, “I can’t believe we are wasting time and energy on this.”

For I’m sure there are much larger issues to be attended to in the city of Philadelphia than who should be allowed to wear cornrows.

Recently Read Posts

Impact Wrestling Emergence 2022 Review: "...Just Solid - So Freakin' Solid."

It probably won't come as a shock to anyone who follows this blog that I will say the following statement: Impact Wrestling may just be the most consistently entertaining and fresh - very important adjective here! - wrestling product that I've engaged with over the past two years. It's just always there, as solid as it can be. No real highs, or lows that push me away as a fan - just good, consistent, thorough, solid pro wrestling enjoyment.  Now, make no mistake about it, over the past summer, I found myself a whopping thirteen weeks behind this solid product in favor of the still new (and intriguing) AEW product and my on-again-off-again hope in the WWE due to nostalgia. However, trusty-work-from-home days have allowed me to binge watch (and work, of course) and it certainly opened my eyes to a new experience when it came to wrestling. Removal from the episodic style habit, and the feel of episodes bridging together seamlessly.  Also, remove from the internet culture of we

Bound For Glory 2020 Review - If A Tree Falls And No One Hears It...

Television in 2020 has been weird. Check that. It's super weird.  In a year marred by pandemics, death, catastrophe, and overwhelming heartbreak, the viewing habits of everything in entertainment has changed - wrestling included. Ratings are down. No one respects appointment television - and heck, there is even less need for the idea of watching content through said television. Where am I going with this on a Wrestling pay-per-view review? Come on, get to the point, bro!  I haven't been shy in communicating my severe disappointment in professional wrestling (namely WWE) during this pandemic ( Pro Wrestling in COVID Times ). When many entertainment options were off the table, most notably that of sports, pro wrestling had an extreme opportunity to give fans something different, and even capture casual fans.  Unfortunately, they didn't. And a large part of my growing disinterest with pro wrestling has been because of the WWE, and to a much lesser extent, AEW. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/7/17

3 Up 1. Captured Girls Return - The evil that is the gross, disgusting, group that is Boko Haram released 82 of the 300-plus they kidnapped over a year ago. Many are still missing, but giving these girls a chance at life away from the clutches of this group deserves the plus this week.  2. Dear White People - I got around to checking out this show on Netflix and boy was I happy to do so. DWP is VERY thought provoking, truthful, honest, authentic, and yes, very funny. And it's a great show, visually. Can't wait for season two.  3. LeBron James - Because most of us are just waiting for the eventual Cavs/Warriors NBA Finals, we're losing sight of really how awesome LeBron James is. The dude really is the difference maker in this league. It's quite astonishing to think about. The Cavs are rolling, and he's just toying with opponents.  3 Down 1. Trumpcare - Look, I'm not going into this full on. But it just seems to me that this administration is

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

What is it about?  A group of college baseball players navigate their way through college, taking advantage of their personal freedoms and learning to navigate their sudden unsupervised life in the 1980's.  Who is in it? Blake Jenner - Jake Tyler Hoechin - McReynolds Ryan Guzman - Roper Glenn Powell - Finnegan