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TSA Will Stop Afro Pat Downs and Other Discriminatory Hair Searches

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Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

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The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) will stop racially profiling black women with afros, dreadlocks and other natural hairstyles and subjecting them to extra security searches, Think Progress reports. TSA reached an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union, who filed a complaint against "unnecessary, unreasonable and racially discriminatory hair searches that single out black women at airports." As part of the agreement, TSA will provide anti-discrimination training for employees designed to prevent black women from being singled out for hair searches, Buzzfeed reports.

TSA agents were unable to provide a uniform reason to justify the hair patdowns and searches, according to the ACLU. "The humiliating experience of countless black women who are routinely targeted for hair pat-downs because their hair is 'different' is not only wrong, but also a great misuse of TSA agents' time and resources," ACLU lawyer staff attorney Novella Coleman said in a statement. "We welcome this agreement and look forward to continuing to work with TSA to ensure agents receive adequate training to protect against implicit and overt racial biases during airport screenings," she said.

Solange and MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry both spoke out about the unfair screenings in recent years, Allure notes. In 2012, Solange tweeted: "Discrim-FRO-nation. My hair is not a storage drawer."