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Report: TSA Machines May Be Discriminating Against Black Women's Hair

Most Black women who have gone through airport security will have at least one story about a time their hair was patted down. It doesn’t matter what you were wearing — twists, an afro, braids, or even a scarf — everything seems to be a cause for a search. If you’ve ever felt paranoid for thinking Black women were singled out, here’s some validation. A ProPublica report recently found that even if TSA agents say they’re not discriminating against Black women, their machines might be. The scanners in question are full body scanners made by L3 Technologies. They’re located in just about every major airport. Last year, ProPublica reported that TSA asked for ideas “to improve screening of headwear and hair in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.” This is a law prohibiting federally funded agencies and programs from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. ProPublica received information about the machines being biased from two TSA agents. One TSA...

Vanessa Taylor

Apr 17, 2019