Although the Hampton University business school's ban on dreadlocks and cornrows isn't exactly new news --- this rule has been in effect for roughly a decade --- it somehow became new news last week, as it became discussion fodder for people across all social media platforms. Perhaps Chad Johnson leaked the news to get us to stop talking about him.
And, while some expressed ambivalence, people involved in this discussion seemed to hold one of two stances.
1. Although his methods may seem a bit out-of-touch, Hampton University Business School dean Sid Credle is in fact correct to ban dreadlocks and cornrows from his program. The only purpose of a university is to prepare its students for life outside of the university, and while the ideal world would be one where Black men with dreads or braids were considered to be as “professional” as anyone else, corporate America doesn’t work like that. By giving his male students the best chance to be hired, Credle is just doing his job.
(Also, those who have an issue with his policy could always, yanno, go to another school.)
2. By enacting this policy --- which, to be quite honest, seems to be more about his personal preference than what “corporate America” thinks --- Credle is doing exactly what Black people have accused Whites of doing to us for centuries --- seeing our names or our skin or our hair and immediately making judgments on our competency and intellectual capacity. Also, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to want Hampton’s best and brightest to be employed at the types of places that wouldn’t hire them if their hair was too "Black." Lastly, like those who lump all rap music --- gangster, hipster, trap, backpacker, etc --- together as some homogenous, hate-spewing entity, Credle makes the mistake of putting cornrows and dreadlocks on the same level, even though there's a huge cultural and professional distinction between the two.
Personally, I agree with Credle. An educator’s job is to prepare students for the world that is, not the world they wish existed. With this in mind, I have a few more suggestions to help Credle ensure that the students Hampton graduates have the best chance of landing a job.
Sure, women will have no problem getting hired, but since they’re going to make something like 70 cents for every dollar a man makes, why even waste their time, especially since their brains are 5% smaller than a man’s brain anyway?
One thing Hampton could do, though, is kill two birds with one stone by starting up a Hampton Beauty School for all the women currently in business school. This way, you give the women a nice trade, and they can practice their future occupations by helping to cut off all the hair of the dreadlocked and cornrowed male students.
Ban short men
The average height of a male Fortune 500 CEO is six feet --- three inches taller than the average American male. Also, taller men are more likely to get hired, command higher salaries, attract better looking women, and are less likely to get picked last on the company volleyball team. Plus, what’s the point of even admitting midget men into your school if you’re going to have to buy stools so that the annual business class picture doesn’t look like the school basketball team took some pictures with the ballboys?
In fact, while we’re at it…
Ban Black men
Although we’re supposed to be smack dab in the middle of the post-racial era (Ha!), the fact remains that the discrimination of Black men continues to permeate corporate America. We are the last to be hired and the first to be fired.
Since this doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon, why not just get ahead of the curve and not admit any Black men to the business school? I mean, nothing says “we intend to guarantee your success in corporate America” better than graduating nothing but six foot tall White men.
May seem drastic, but hey, what better way to prepare Black men for the real world than to just not prepare them at all?