Natural Socialite

Black Woman Has Natural Hair Searched by TSA, Claims Racial Profiling | The Natural Socialite

In Culture & Lifestyle on August 2, 2011 at 9:35 am

Apparently the TSA didn’t get the memo that you should NEVER (without invitation) touch a Black Woman’s hair… 

An African-American woman recently complained to MSNBC that she was completely violated and racially profiled when she was pulled aside at Seattle’s Sea-Tec Airport to have her hair extensively examined.  Laura Adiele was surprised when she was pulled out of the security line after already going through the Advanced Imaging system and was told she needed a pat-down.

“I was turning around and putting my arms out and she said, ‘No, we’re going to have to examine your hair,’ and I said, ‘No, we’re not going to do that today, and you’re going to have to get security or your supervisor,'” Adiele said.

Adiele claimed she looked around and saw plenty of other women with “big hair, ponytails” who weren’t being searched, and it made her mad.

“It’s already uncomfortable to be going through a naked body imaging,” she said on MSNBC’s “Jansing and Co.” show. “For me, my hair is my breaking point.”

 “I played the race card in this just because I looked around and didn’t see anyone else being searched in that way,” Adiele continued. “And at the end of it, I had an African-American flight attendant come up to me and say that she’s had this experience and that she’s seeing it more frequently and that she thought I should complain about it.” 

TSA said that it screens all passengers “thoroughly,” which might sometimes mean their hair. 

“Additional screening may be required for clothing, headwear or hair where prohibiting items could be hidden,” the agency said in a statement provided to the network. “TSA has record of this passenger coming through the security checkpoint. We are happy to work with this passenger directly and address her complaints.”

After agents threatened to call the police, she relented and allowed the search.   She has filed a complaint about the incident but hasn’t heard back from the agency yet.

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