We’re going to stretch a bit for today’s post. We usually stick to criminal convictions, sentencings, or issues that have been confirmed with a preponderance of evidence and avoid he-said-she-said stories.
But this story was picked up on The Atlantic blog, and many news sources. TSA, of course, is denying it.
The story goes like this:
While I was going through the TSA, some of them started laughing in my direction. I thought it might’ve been someone behind me, but I found out otherwise.
They went through my bag (for no reason), and found a couple bags of candy I brought. I was told I wasn’t allowed to fly with that (wtf? I’ve flown with food before — these were even sealed still because I brought them right in the airport). I was then asked if I would like to donate the candy “To the USO”. Since I know the airport there has an Air National Guard base, and I figured it would go to the soldiers, I (annoyed) said sure, why not?
The guards, as I was getting scanned, started eating the candy they just told me was for the soldiers. In front of me, still laughing at me (very clearly now). One of them asked why they were laughing, and one of them came up to me, pointed at my shirt, laughed at me and said, “Fucking deafie“. The Louisville TSA called me a “fucking deafie” and laughed at me because I was deaf, and they expected wouldn’t say anything back (or wouldn’t hear them). Make no bones about it — she was facing me and I read her lips. There was no mistake. I would later find out that they had called at least 4 other individuals the same thing.
I have no idea how the passenger knew they called 4 other passengers the same thing; but let’s just consider the things that we’re directly witnessed by this passenger.
- The TSA was laughing at the checkpoint. That’s inappropriate. If they want to make jokes, they should be working at a comedy club
- The TSA was eating candy that was confiscated from passengers bags.
Even if we give assume that this passenger mis-read the TSA Officer’s lips and the officer actually said “Have a nice day, dearie” (for example), laughing and eating candy instead of expediting passengers is wrong.
And that’s enough for me to call the TSA out on this one.
The TSA, of course, denies everything, but hasn’t released the video footage. The passenger was an individual who frequently blogs about deaf issues, and was attending a conference for deaf people. We can’t just dismiss his claims completely based on the TSA’s response. Of course, even hearing people misinterpret what people say; that’s why we made our determination that the TSA acted inappropriately based solely on what this passenger saw the TSA do.
And since we’ve had the TSA laugh at us, Shiny Badge knows that mocking passengers and laughing at them is something that the TSA does.