Yesterday, it was singer Nicki Minaj who complained about a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent who she claims "overtly fondled" her. Now, we have yet another story -- this time it comes from a deaf man who claims that he was bullied by TSA agents at the Louisville, Kentucky, airport. Among other actions and comments, he says he was called a "fu**ing deafie."
The man, who goes by "teaandtheatre" on Tumblr, writes that he was on his way home form the National Association for the Deaf's biennial conference with some friends when he encountered intense discrimination. Here's how he described the alleged incident involving TSA agents:
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.
You can read the rest of the man's posting here, which includes other instances of alleged discrimination. While his story hasn't yet been verified, if it's true, it's certainly disturbing. But, it's also important to note than anyone can wage accusations against the TSA. It's easy to jump on the bandwagon and assume the worst. Then again, anything is possible.
Update: As Reason notes (and as we've discovered), the man's Tumblr account now appears to be down or removed. According to a commenter on Boing Boing, he removed his note due to concern over negative fallout that he and others with disabilities could receive as a result of the post. While this may be the case, it will certainly fuel controversy over the authenticity of the original story.
(H/T: Boing Boing)