TSA is dealing with a rising number of complaints from Black women who say they’re being targeted even after going through security checks. It’s not the body pat downs that are drawing criticism…it’s the HAIR pat downs! WTH!
30 year old Timery Shante Nance says she was racially profiled when a TSA agent insisted on publicly patting down her hair after she had already gone though a full-body scan without setting off any alarm.
Ms. Nance was departing from the airport in San Antonio in late July. After she passed through the body scanner, she said, a female T.S.A. screener told her to stand facing her possessions. “You’re good to go, but first I have to pat your hair,” the officer told her, she said.
I’m like, pat my hair? O.K., I guess,” Ms. Nance said.
But it wasn’t O.K. Ms. Nance, who had been visiting her husband at the Air Force base where he’s stationed, was deeply embarrassed as other passengers stared at her, “as if I’d done something wrong.”
She asked the screener why her hair was searched while others, including white women with ponytails or bushy hair, were simply waved through. “Is it just African-American women with natural hair who get the hair search?” she asked.
The screener said no, “but if you have certain kinds of ponytail or bun, you have to get your hair patted,” said Ms. Nance. She’s not alone, on June 30th, a young Black woman, Laura Adiele (seen in pic below), said that a screener at the Seattle-Tacoma airport insisted on patting down her hair, which was also natural and curly, even though the body scan had not set off an alarm. Ms. Adiele said in various interviews that she thought the search had been racially motivated.
The T.S.A. denies that. “All passengers are thoroughly screened coming through the screening checkpoint,” said Kristin Lee, a spokeswoman. “Additional screening may be required for clothing, headgear or hair where prohibited items may be hidden,” she said.
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