Black women’s hair off-limits
The American Civil Liberties Union said it has reached an agreement with the Transportation Security Administration to ensure that black women are not singled out for pat-down searches of their hair.
The agreement came in response to a complaint by neuroscientist Malaika Singleton, a black woman who says TSA agents squeezed her “Sisterlocks” styled hair at Los Angeles International Airport and again at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport during a 2013 trip to London to attend a Group of Eight summit.
In an email to the ACLU, a TSA attorney said the agency will retrain security officers at LAX and Minneapolis to emphasize “race neutrality” and will track TSA complaints by black women to see whether excessive hair searches are problems at other airports.
“I hope that this agreement and the proposed trainings will lead to more equitable treatment for all travelers,” Singleton said.
In a statement, the TSA said racial profiling is not tolerated at security checkpoints and “is also an ineffective security tactic.”