NY Times: With Hair Pat-Downs, Complaints of Racial Bias

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    NY Times: With Hair Pat-Downs, Complaints of Racial Bias

    Also a writeup in Gawker.com:

    Gawker.com: Is the TSA Racial Profiling?

  2. Redacted

    Redacted Original Member

    I don't think this is racial discrimination. Black people aren't the only ones getting their hair felt up FWIH.
    Rugape likes this.
  3. RB

    RB Founding Member

    May not be racial discrimination but making the claim will get more attention from certain lawmakers than others complaining about TSA running their hands through peoples hair.
    Rugape likes this.
  4. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    I'm going with the passengers. If they believe they were singled out for their appearance alone, then I accept that. Lord knows there's been plenty of that already from TSA.
    KrazyKat likes this.
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The story has been picked up in the UK ...

    Daily Mail: TSA accused of 'racial profiling' after two black women had their Afro-style hair searched

  6. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    And how many times have those gloves been in people's hair? Can anyone spell lice? By the time you are done being felt up with gloves all over your clothes and now through your hair you're going to look like a slob by the time you get on the plane.
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Discrimination does not necessarily have to be overt -- you can discriminate by doing something (whatever good intentions you might have) that disproportionately affects a protected class.

    Are blacks disportionately affected if screeners run their grubby gloves through all full heads of curly hair? You decide.
  8. I'm torn on this. I want to support anything that might put a dent in the nonsense of patting down hair, but I've read plenty of non-black, non-women complain of hair (and bald head!) patdowns. Also, there's also been the issue of how often black female screeners are seen patting down white women, and whenever that gets mentioned on the other site it's criticized as an unproductive discussion. Yet, if you think about it, we see that a lot.
  9. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    That's the deal in my case.
    Laura Adiele's SEA complaint was precisely because there were plenty of other women with big hair going through security not being searched.
    Like everything else, the solution is not more grubby glove groping.
  10. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    I am confused by this "hair pat-down" procedure. What kind of prohibited item and/or WEI could be concealed in someones hairdo (besides a doobie, of course)? IMHO, it is just another silly, useless step in an all-around too invasive procedure that only serves to highlight the insanity of the screening process (aka "security theatre").

    Will one of our enlightened (current or former) TSOs be able to answer my question without revealing SSI? :confused:
    KrazyKat, barbell and BillForster like this.
  11. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    As a balding guy who has willo-the-wisp hair I've gotten the hair patdown as well. Funny thing is that most of the pictures I've seen of the AIT victims, the hair comes out completely transparent to the imager, so any object lurking in the hair should stand out as an item floating in space.

    Suspect it is nothing but a power play on the part of TSOs involved.
  12. BillForster

    BillForster Original Member

    I don't think this specific situation is an example of TSA racial profiling. I think it is an example of TSA paranoia. Black people, specifically women, often have large, thick hairdos and it IS the TSA's practice to patdown large, thick hair. I think the real concern is...Really? They need to pat down my hair?
  13. RB

    RB Founding Member

    What is it TSA thinks is hiding in peoples hair?

    This act is more like a pat down of a convict than an Administrative Search for WEI.
  14. BillForster

    BillForster Original Member

    Their need for this "100% coverage" is insane. They can't catch everything. I am REALLY surprised they aren't looking in people's mouths.
    DeafBlonde likes this.
  15. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Did the hair search protocol come after you left? What could anyone be hiding in his/her hair that could conceivably bring down an aircraft? :rolleyes:
  16. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Doobies? :confused:
  17. RB

    RB Founding Member

    May be more truth to that statement than fiction.
  18. BillForster

    BillForster Original Member

    Agreed. They are looking for drugs. They don't out and out say it (not even to the screeners) but that is what they are looking for. The official stance of the TSA is that they are not looking for drugs but if they find them they will have you arrested. EVERY - EVERY - EVERY single example they gave us in training about hiding stuff in one's hair was about drugs. Every example they gave and every picture they showed us. Then they would add, "It could have been an IED!"

    And, we all know that the war on drugs is as about as successful as the war on terror.

    As far as I know, the rule about patting down hair has always been in effect. I think it is either being enforced more lately or passengers just started picking up on it.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  19. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Yep. The whole "poofy hair" drama is an obvious lie. They really are just trying to figure out what we'll put up with.
    AngryMiller and Lisa Simeone like this.
  20. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    I signed up on the americanselect.org site today and answered their questionnaire - or part of it - that determines political leanings. Among the questions were: Is American winning the war on drugs and is America winning the war on terror? In each case, the responses were overwhelmingly "no."
    AngryMiller likes this.

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