After September 11th, security at airports nationwide was increased to ensure everyone’s safety but recently there have been reports on a different type of security measure. The New York Times reported Timery Shante Nance, an African-American woman with natural hair, went through security at an airport in San Antonio and a Transportation Security Administration officer (TSA) stopped her.

The officer wanted to pat down her hair to make sure there were no dangerous weapons being harbored inside even after she passed the full body scan.

Ms. Nance thought the pat down was a bit peculiar and asked “Is it just African-American women with natural hair who get the hair search?” The response was no, of course, but many believe otherwise.

As we reported, a similar incident occurred at the end of June when Laura Adiele, another African-American woman with natural hair, went through security at a Seattle airport. The TSA released the statement that “additional screening may be required for clothing, headgear or hair where prohibited items may be hidden.” As she didn’t see women of other ethnicities being targeted for a hair pat down, she thought the TSA was engaging in racial profiling.

I’m glad The New York Times is finally reporting on this phenomenon as racial profiling, under the guise of safety protection, is unacceptable.

Do you think it is wrong for the TSA to do hair pat downs on black women with natural hair? Do you think they are more likely to target an African-American woman with natural hair vs. a white woman with straight hair?

-Krystal Holmes

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  • Apart from the fact that there’s no such thing as “white hair”, this is one of the silliest actions I’ve ever heard of. Same old story, if you’re black, you’re automatically suspicious.