The New York Times broke a story over the weekend about how TSA's behavior-based system in BOS has become "a magnet for racial profiling, targeting not only Middle Easterners but also blacks, Hispanics and other minorities." It turns out that if you tell agents they're allowed to pick and choose who they want to pull aside, "they just pull aside anyone who they don’t like the way they lookif they are black and have expensive clothes or jewelry, or if they are Hispanic." We know, right?
Apparently at Logan, natural bad tendencies were exacerbated by pull-aside quotas. That might have caused even the most earnest TSA agent to fall back on lazy stereotypes, since the behavior profilers are chronically underfunded and undertrained.
There's no easy answer to this. One solution is to decrease TSA's funding so they close up shop, which won't happen because Americans like TSA. Another solution is to increase TSA's funding so they hire better people, which won't happen because Members of Congress showboat about how Americans don't like TSA. But Congress is going to hold hearings about this anyway, because they're really useful that way.
[Photo: Crashworks / Flickr]