TSA Hair Search Prompts Racism Accusation

Posted Jul 8th 2011 11:20 AMUpdated Jul 8th 2011 11:21 AM

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stevendepolo/Flickr

A Seattle woman is crying "racism" after having her curly hair inspected by Transportation Security Administration officers after passing through a security checkpoint at Sea-Tac International Airport.


Laura Adiele, who is of mixed race, filed a complaint against the TSA, which has a stated policy of inspecting head coverings. She took to the airwaves to tell to tell an NBC affiliate that the search was "racially motivated."

Adiele claimed that other white women with big hair were not searched and that she felt violated when a female officer fondled her curly coiff. A TSA spokesman reacted by pointing out that this is the first hair related TSA scandal, which is actually pretty impressive considering the number of scandals the TSA has had.

The hair-search controversy is probably a tempest in a teapot, but its half-life (and the fact it got any traction at all) are a pretty good indicator of the contempt that people seem to harbor for the TSA.

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Sharon Green

Racist?? Is that all she could come up with?? She couldn't think of anything better?? That "racist" comment is really getting old and really isn't getting the attention that it use to when someone screamed "racist"!!

August 14 2011 at 6:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Sharon Green's comment
Chris

I am very obviously Caucasian, I have light skin, blue eyes and thick straight hair. I have had my hair searched TWICE at the Seattle SEA-TAC airport. Never in a million YEARS would I consider making it a racial issue! Was it little overkill on the behalf of TSA? Probably. But the most offensive part of this entire story is that she pulled the "it's because I'm black" card. Being African American is not a hindrance or a disability -- so stop making yourself a victim when you simply are not one.

December 15 2011 at 3:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
_cherB

You wouldn't know racist. You have no idea You should do some research and see if racism still exist!!!

July 09 2013 at 2:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tomra1212

Next week their comming to search tour house

July 15 2011 at 3:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
tomra1212

do tsa agents have prison records

July 15 2011 at 3:39 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
songofmorning21

This was definitely not racially motivated. The TSA are just trying to take away our freedoms as American people. I am of mixed race too, half black half white, and I was subject to a full body scan whereas other people, both black and white were let through without question.

July 15 2011 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SacredLotus

For some people patdowns and go through someone's hair is a personal violation. I know I don't like being touched by random people, gloved officials or not. And even moreso, I don't want anyone outside of my significant other or hairdresser sticking their fingers in my hair. Would I have screamed racism? No. Would I have been peeved? Absolutely. This woman's reaction seems to be a bit over the top. Why fly when you know you're in store for any manner of madness when dealing with TSA and prepare yourself to scream foul? It's post-9/11. At this point, nearly anything goes in the over-claimed name of "National Security."

July 15 2011 at 12:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Cathy

Pre-TSA x-ray machines and advanced patdowns, I was asked to take my hair tie (metal-free of course) out and let my hair down upon returning from Cancun during my customs walk-through. No biggie- I had mid back length hair up in just a lose comfy ponytail poofy bun, I have fine very straight blond hair, so curl and bulk were not the issue. it was simply a check to make sure it was all hair up there, and check for any contraband. The lady ran a gloved hair down my locks, smiled said thanks, and let me proceed through. NO PROB- took all of 10 seconds... PS- My mom has a traditional beehive hairstyle, full of bobby pins, she also has a chunk of metal in her head from a cochlear implant, as well as a metal rod in her femur- she flies all the time and has never been asked to take her hair down, and God help the TSA agent who would ever try to pat my mom's coveted, carefully cared for up-do as she leaves her old-school trained hairstylist in another state for a week or more.... LoL

July 14 2011 at 5:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
norroderi2

I guess I better put in my complaint from this December in Salt lake City. I was patted down after the screener said it was OK for me to keep my wig on.I did and I was asked to be patted down going through the machine, whereby they found a hairpin in it.(the wig) the screener was a younger female of ? desent and tried to be careful , when I told her I was ticklish in certain areas. They never took off the wig but I know that was why I was searched. Not a happy feeling.I'm 71 , & wear a suppot item for protection from leakage. i don't know how I would have reacted if they found I was" wet" ... but I had a change
WHO CAN IMPRESS THE FOREST,BID THE TREE UNFIX HIS EARTH BOUNDROOT.'____VENICE,ITALY
'La Sernissima',the Most Serene One"

July 14 2011 at 11:27 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Kim

this is total crap. I have been pulled aside at the airport to have my hair checked because I have thick, curly hair and guess what I am white. Everything is not about race so stop making it that.

July 13 2011 at 9:18 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
jrmccusker

Why do people get in line? take the bus if you don't like it. It makes the line shorter for all of us, thanks.

July 13 2011 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Proud Conservati

There are too many people with a chip on their shoulder and just looking for an excuse to yell "racism". Her attitude alone should have gotten her pulled out of line and subjected to a REALLY thorough search.

July 13 2011 at 7:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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