Members of the TSA have to undergo training to take a more critical look at their own practices to determine whether they’re guilty of discrimination.
ACLU attorney Novella Coleman lobbied a complaint with the TSA after her hair was repeatedly inspected for weapons during her travels. She told “Huffington Post Live” about how TSA agents searched her after she’d been through the full-body scanner at LAX.
After nothing unusual came up from the screen, she was “completely caught off-guard” when she was told that an agent would then search her naturally styled hair. They didn’t find anything after squeezing her hair from top to bottom.
She felt singled out when she saw that she was the only person from her group to be subjected to such a thorough search. “The two white women that I was with from work went through. Nothing happened. They weren’t searched,” she said.
Novella realized that she wasn’t the only one getting this treatment, though. “I noticed that there was a pattern among black women, particularly those with their hair in a natural style, being singled out for these discriminatory and intrusive hair searches,” she recalled.
After speaking with officials from the TSA, Novella and her client Malaika Singleton settled on an agreement with the agency to launch several measures that would prompt its employees to treat all travelers respectfully regardless of race.
As part of the new campaign for fair inspection practices agents will participate in training for racially neutral practices. On the administrative end of things, the TSA said that it would track complaints to determine whether passengers were experiencing discriminatory incidents.