Airport Body Scanners May be to Blame for Discrimination Against Black Women

Nicole Rojas SAVE THIS

A TSA security agent stops a traveller for an individual security check at John F. Kennedy Airport (REUTERS/Andrew Burton).

For years, Black women have complained about being unfairly targeted for intrusive hair searches at the airport. These complaints originate from Black women with a variety of hair types and styles.

Five years ago, a complaint prompted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to promise improved training for its agents on hair pat-downs and to provide oversight over the practice, ProPublica reported. However, a bigger issue may lie with airport body scanners.

According to ProPublica, the scanners have a tendency to raise false alarms for hairstyles used by Black women. In 2018, the TSA requested vendors submit ideas “to improve screening of headwear and hair in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.” The law prohibits federally funded agencies from discriminating on the basis of race, color,…

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