Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Other Significant Problems with TSA's New Policies

Hello Readers,

Richael Faithful, TMA's Editor-In-Chief here. Just before tomorrow's holiday, I wanted to offer two important angles to the recent TSA security inspection controversy.

For transgender or gender non-conforming people, TSA's new inspection procedures may prove especially invasive and troublesome. The National Center for Transgender Equality issued a really helpful resource this week, "Transgender Travelers and New TSA Policies," which tells trans and gender non-conforming people their legal rights against inspection abuse. In my mind, the value of this resource is that it helps people navigate situations in which ignorant or unprofessional officials may subject certain individuals to additional scrutiny (e.g. if one's appearance does not "match" one's ID gender marker) that may led to serious problems.

Another troublesome implication of the new TSA policies is that some politicians are exploiting this opportunity to promote racial profiling. Although most notably, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) wrote to President Obama that he supports behavioral profiling over the new policies, he has commented to the press that he supports "profiling not solely based on race." The latter is racial profiling while the former is an effective law enforcement tool. Anti-racial profiling advocates make this key distinction all of the time--one is illegal and the other is not, for good reason. Check-out the Rights Working Group's new report on racial profiling, "Faces of Racial Profiling: A Report from Communities Across America."

If you are traveling for the holiday, be safe and informed.

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