Black women’s hair once again focus of clueless TSA

My Master List of TSA Crimes and Abuses is full of stories like this — and worse — where a black woman has her hair pawed by a blue-shirted goon in the name of “security.” But apparently people still don’t get it.

MSNBC host and columnist Melissa Harris-Perry finally got the treatment the other day, and though she rightly takes issue with it in a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole (which will have no effect whatsoever), she still, unbelievably, writes: “I am grateful for the diligence of the TSA in doing the tough job of keeping us all safe.”

Glad you’ve finally kinda sorta come on board, Ms. Harris-Perry, but the TSA isn’t doing a “tough job” and isn’t “keeping us safe.” You shouldn’t be grateful. You should be hopping mad.

The TSA is an out-of-control, criminal agency that abuses people with impunity. Its little charades, including groping your body and shoving fingers into your hair, are obedience training. The fact that you and millions like you still don’t get it — and even make light of it — ensure that this abuse will continue for many years to come.

(Graphic by yumikrum/Flickr Creative Commons)

Cross-posted at ABombazine.

  • melissa harris-perry lost me when she said snowden wasn’t sacrificing enough … said he should’ve stayed and allowed himself to be incarcerated in one of our lovely sadist camps

    • wiseoldsnail, I’m not a fan of hers. But she has a big audience so she can bring attention to this issue. And we need all the attention we can get, since most of America is sleeping.

      • i hear ya, and have been a big fan up ’til the day i heard her say that

  • Tika1505

    I feared this. If they can suspend the 4th Amendment, they can suspend the 13th. Be afraid. BE VERY AFRAID!

    • Tika, it’s already been suspended, in practice if not in name. We have a legalized slavery system in this country: prison. The U.S. imprisons more people — in raw numbers and as a percentage of the population — than any other country in the world.

    • Daisiemae

      They already have suspended the 13th along with all the rest of it.

      We no longer own our own bodies. We no longer have the right to determine who views us naked or who touches our breasts, buttocks, and privates.

      A person who does not own control of his/her own body is a slave. The person or entity who owns controls of the bodies of other people is a slavemaster.

      The federal government has assumed control of our bodies; ergo, the federal government is now our slavemaster.

      The 13th amendment is meaningless to the federal government…as is all the rest of the Constitution.

  • Annapolis2

    On the topic of slave training, I was loudly complaining at the TSA checkpoint on Wednesday that, “I am NOT a suspect,” when an ignorant woman interjected, “We’re all suspects!” in a tone of voice that let everyone know she was eagerly hoping to be treated like a criminal, degraded and humiliated. She actually endorsed the concept that buying an airline ticket is like committing a crime. I don’t even know what to do with that kind of stupid and that kind of cowardice.

    • Annapolis2, she reflects most of the American public.

    • Daisiemae

      It’s interesting to me that you mention “slave training.” One of the first thoughts that occurred to me upon learning of the nude body scanners and the sexual grope downs was the similarity to the slave block.

      Our federal masters have decided that they own our bodies and they have unlimited access to them. They strip us naked and examine our bodies to decide if they are acceptable. Then they fondle and molest us to decide where we go. We are made to stand there in the marketplace and submit quietly. If we complain or resist, the punishment is swift and severe.

      According to the federal government, we do not own our bodies. They do. What does that make us? The word that comes to my mind is SLAVE.

      (I actually voiced my objections on this new federally adopted slavery during the open comment period to TSA.)

      All Americans should be in open revolt against this enforced slavery. Most particularly African Americans. I cannot believe that any American, let alone any African American, would be making cutesy jokes about government goons searching her hair.

      As for the “ignorant” woman you encountered, one day she will receive a very rude awakening. Unfortunately, it may be too late to resist at that point.

  • They constantly target black women who have thick, long, or braided hair. They also target women and men of other ethnicities who have long and/or thick hair (yes, they groped my hair, back in the days before I quit flying). It’s ridiculous, insulting, and pointless–if I were hiding a weapon in my hair, it would make the magnetometer alarm. Lisa is correct: this isn’t about security. It’s about obedience training.

  • Dolt

    “I realize this is an occasional occurrence in my otherwise privileged
    position of getting to fly around the country for my job. And this isn’t
    a “stop-and-frisk,” Stand Your Ground, end-of-the-Voting-Rights-Act
    kind of problem.”

    This “letter” has no credibility. She is not concerned one bit. She doesn’t care about her rights or the trampling of them. She simply wanted to make some story about race and the TSA was the backdrop. The entire point of her story was the misunderstanding of African American Women’s hair, not about the civil rights of every citizen or the abuses by this Government. I wouldn’t have even deemed this article worthy of mention on this website.

    • Dolt, anything that gets somebody to wake up about the TSA is worth talking about.

      • Dolt

        Lisa, you are right. I was a little hasty and harsh in my reply due to very high frustrations. I have seen lots of stories or comments to stories lately where someone appears at first to be complaining about TSA procedures or rights abuses, but then immediately they walk it all back by qualifying the “need” for “security”. I’m not sure they quite understand that it completely negates their complaints and concerns if they immediately follow it with “but we need it”.

        The point I was trying to make before getting too harsh and forceful with it, is that I don’t believe Melissa Harris-Perry actually feels any different about the TSA due to her incident. When I was abused by the TSA the first time, I started asking “is this necessary?”. I see other people who truly feel wronged asking the proper questions such as “why are we doing this?”; “does this work?”; “is there a better way?”. Instead, Melissa makes light jokes about hair and says she is understanding and sympathetic to TSA. I disagree that she actually woke up to anything, which is why I harshly suggested it should not appear here.

        I take back that sentiment, however, because it is still important to get the story out to other people who might become enlightened or more understanding of the reality by reading it. Even if I believe Melissa Harris-Perry herself is not.

        • Dolt, I understand what you’re saying. And I agree that Harris-Perry is still missing the boat. But who knows — maybe this experience will open her eyes a little more and get her to see the big picture. We can only hope.

  • Daisiemae

    Disgusting perverts. It’s also disgusting that she is joking and being all cutesy about it. She should be screaming her outrage.

  • frostysnowman

    It’s not shocking to me that a member of the media would praise the TSA for “keeping us safe”. Most of them seem to be TSA apologists.
    This hair fascination is extra-creepy. My 13-year-old daughter had her shoulder-length hair in a pony tail at the airport earlier this summer, and the TSA made her take it out when going through security. And I heard one of the creepy male TSA workers ask whether they needed to pat her down because of the pony tail. Luckily, the female he asked said no. So we don’t wear pony tails to the airport any more.