If You Like Good Hair and Sticking Up for the Little Guy, Donate to Reason Today!
It’s Day 4 of Reason‘s annual Webathon, and today is all about the importance of good hair and sticking up for the little guy.
But first: I get to announce a second challenge grant! You guys came through for us on yesterday’s match, turning your $25,000 into $50,000 just like that! Another generous soul has stepped up to match your money again today with a new $50,000 challenge grant. So it’s once again time to double your money and support Reason, so that we can keep making all the articles, videos, podcasts, and fundraising posts you love!
We already know Reason readers are generous. How do we know? Because when we report about people who are getting screwed by dumb regulations, over-policing, unjust laws, or unaccountable authorities—whether it’s immigrants, sex workers, Venezuelans, or small businessmen—you always ask us how you can help; whether it’s reaching out with a little financial support, tweeting your outrage, or contacting your legislators.
When Tennessee told Elias Zarate in 2017 that he couldn’t be a barber, for example, it wasn’t because he was bad at cutting hair or because he’d hurt a customer. He simply didn’t have a high school diploma.
Becoming a barber in Tennessee requires 1,500 hours of study in a barber school—but just getting into one of those schools, as Zarate learned the hard way, is impossible without a high school diploma or GED. That doesn’t make much sense. Cutting hair doesn’t require knowledge of geometry or an understanding of To Kill A Mockingbird, of course.
“I don’t feel like anything in my entire schooling from grade school through senior year had anything to do with my barbering skills,” Zarate told Reason in 2018 when we first covered his story. At the time, he’d been busted for barbering without a license and fined $1,500—a fine that he had no idea how to pay off since the state was forbidding him from working and forbidding him from getting the license he’d need to work legally.
The story took off. Reason readers helped pay off Zarate’s fines through a GoFundMe account. And it turned out Reason had some readers in high places.
“I read about Elias’ case in early 2018, in a superb article in Reason written by Eric Boehm,” says Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. “Eric put it so well: in Tennessee, ‘you can r
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