When traveling nowadays one would not think that our privacy could not be violated any more than it already is, especially with the metal detectors, body scans and having to take off one’s shoes. However, recently the Transportation Security Administration (T.S.A.) is either taking their job way too seriously or they are just racially profiling African-Americans. Not long ago a friend of mind sent me an email with a link to a New York Times article, called “Natural Hair Pat-Downs Warrant a Rethinking,” by Joey Sharkey, where she says that the T.S.A. and security measures have been taken to a level of ridiculousness.

T.S.A. officers are no patting down women’s hair, but it is not all women who are being targeted, from recent reports it is African-American women who wear their hair natural (free of chemicals or straighteners) or curly. In the article a woman by the name of Timery Shante Nance was given a public pat down after already going through the full body scan without setting off an alarm. While being screened Nance asked the T.S.A. officer why search her when women of other races and ethnicities with other hair styles and hair textures were being waved. The only reason the T.S.A. could provide for the hair pat-down is that “if you have certain kinds of ponytail or bun, you have to get your hair patted,” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/business/natural-hair-pat-downs-warrant-a-rethinking.html?ref=race).

Being treated in this manner makes it seem as though we are back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, where minorities were treated unfairly and with disrespect. This shows that as a society the United States has not progressed as much as many like to believe. Even though T.S.A. says that the pat-downs are for security purposes to make sure that item that are prohibited not be hidden. Seriously, who puts “hidden items” in their hair? What are they going to do next make you wash your hair in public to make sure that no extra liquids or gel get on the plane?


Sharkey, Joe. “Natural Hair Pat-Downs Warrant a Rethinking – NYTimes.com.”The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., 15 Aug. 2011. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/business/natural-hair-pat-downs-warrant-a-rethinking.html?ref=race&gt;.


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