I am an old white woman. My husband is biracial. If I fly by myself (out of Fort Myers, FL), I get through the line with barely a glance from TSA. If we fly together, we are, EVERY SINGLE TIME, pulled out of line, searched, researched, run through the scanner, on and on. The last time was the last straw. My husband accidentally placed his boarding pass in the gray tray that was X-rayed. When he went through the scanner, the TSA idiot asked, very rudely, “Where’s your boarding pass.” I was behind him, saw the pass in the tray and retrieved it. When I tried to hand it to him, the TSAI started screaming at me, to “put that down,” “don’t touch it,” “get out of line,” etc. We tried to explain that we were together, but they’d have none of it. A supervisor was called, we were searched and scanned for over 15 minutes, our carry on items setting, unguarded and unavailable to us, at the end of the Xray belt. When we were finally allowed to leave, I happened to turn around and saw the TSAI and her supervisor laughing hilariously and high fiving each other. I wanted to go back and give them a piece of my mind, but we were already late. As we walked away, a woman came up to me and said “Can I talk to you? I saw what they did to you back there.” Turns out she had a daughter who is half Filipino and she said she is pulled out of line, same as us, every time she flies. As I told my story later, I discovered about six different situations where people who are not easily racially identifiable or traveling with someone of a different race are regularly and rudely pulled out of line for extra “checking.” I called all the way to the DOJ, where I found a young attorney whose mother was a friend of my sister and even she refused to take a racial profiling complaint. We stopped flying.
By: Joan King