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Natural hair-doBlack women are complaining that the Transportation Security Administration is engaging in a new, humiliating brand of racial profiling: pat-downs of long, natural hair-dos.

According to an article by Joe Sharkey in the New York Times, these body searches are happening even when total-body scans aren’t setting off alarms:

On June 30, a young African-American woman, Laura Adiele, said that a screener at the Seattle-Tacoma airport insisted on patting down her hair, which was also natural and curly, even though the body scan had not set off an alarm. Ms. Adiele said in various interviews that she thought the search had been racially motivated.

The T.S.A. denies that. “All passengers are thoroughly screened coming through the screening checkpoint,” said Kristin Lee, a spokeswoman. “Additional screening may be required for clothing, headgear or hair where prohibited items may be hidden,” she said.

To read the entire New York Times piece, click here.

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