Re: Racist Letter from Penn State Alum to football player Jonathan Sutherland about his “disgusting” and “non-attractive” hairRead Now
RE: RACIST LETTER FROM PENN STATE ALUM TO FOOTBALL PLAYER JONATHAN SUTHERLAND ABOUT HIS “DISGUSTING” AND “NON-ATTRACTIVE” HAIR
Written by Crystal Monique Richardson, Esq.
Recently, an alum of Penn State University sent a letter to sophomore safety Jonathan Sutherland addressing Sutherland’s long locs to what he considers “disgusting” and “certainly not attractive.” The CROWN Campaign advocates for all black people to wear their hair in whatever style they choose, including natural and protective hairstyles like locs. Locs are no less professional, unclean, or unattractive than any other hair. The CROWN Campaign believes this racist letter is discriminatory at its core because it suggests that long dreadlocks are not “clean cut” and even describes Sutherland’s hairstyle as “awful hair.” Black Hair is a critical form of identity for many individuals in the black community. Hairstyles, such as dreadlocks empower black individuals and connect them to their ancestral roots. Additionally, this form of natural hairstyle is often healthier for black individuals in that it does not require hazardous chemicals or the pulling of sensitive hair follicles on the scalp. This letter highlights the stereotypes and biases white people frequently place on black people to mold themselves into their Eurocentric standards. Sutherland even states that he has been wearing his dreadlocks since he was a small child and deems it as part of his identity. Yet, this Penn State Alum believes it is okay to submit a letter to this student to criticize and demean his hair. Shame on you, Dave Patterson. Thankfully, Penn State does not share the same sentiments as Patterson. Penn State has not verified the letter and immediately disassociated itself with the critiques listed in this letter. The CROWN Campaign works feverently to dismantle and breakdown stereotypes and bias through public education and policy change to end ignorance of individuals like Dave Patterson. We need your support as we travel around the country and the world providing knowledge and advocacy to support individuals like Jonathan Sutherland, who is just trying to live his life authentically and unapologetically.
Support The CROWN Campaign here: Donate
From CROWN Campaign
Ending discrimination and injustice