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TSA Agrees to Stop Profiling Black Women’s Hair During Screenings

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When hopping on a plane, you expect agents from the Transportation Security Agency to conduct a thorough search of your carry-ons, but what about the hair on your head that you’re “carrying on” to the plane?

As far-fetched as it may sound, two black women, one in California and the other in Minnesota, accused TSA agents of singling them out for extra screening because of their hair, styled into small dreds called "sisterlocks."

"I was going through the screening procedures like we all do, and after I stepped out of the full body scanner, the agent said, ‘OK, now I’m going to check your hair,'" Singleton told the news website The Raw Story.

The TSA recently proposed an expansion of its fastlane-through-airport-security program, that would involve checking passengers’ “commercial data” - such as social media posts and recent purchases. - Sputnik International
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The same thing happened on her return flight home to Minneapolis, Singleton said, adding that she contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and found out that it had happened to one of the lawyers there — also a black woman – and who had filed a complaint that went nowhere.

Singleton said she was traveling with colleagues – none of whom were black – and she was the only one she says the TSA agent singled out.

A TSA agent checks a bag at a security checkpoint area at Midway International Airport, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Chicago - Sputnik International
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After the women filed a complaint, the TSA – which never really gave any specific reason for the searches – said they would no longer single out black female hair.

This isn’t the first time the TSA has come under fire during airport searches. They’ve been accused of requiring a breast-feeding mother to drink some of the milk she had pumped into a bottle to "prove" that it really was milk and not anything harmful.

TSA agents have also been accused of being overzealous and putting toddlers and elderly wheelchair-bound people through extra screening.      

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