Things That Matter

The TSA Is Supposed To Be Protecting Air Travel But Some Workers Decided To Intimidate Co-Workers With Racist Displays Instead

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it had suspended two TSA officers for allegedly putting up a noose in a baggage screening area at Miami International Airport. The two officers that were suspended had put up an “offensive display” and the incident is now under investigation. 

According to NBC News, the “offensive display” consisted of a noose hanging from the ceiling with two stuffed monkeys attached. The photo of the display had allegedly been posted on Instagram with the caption: “Black People of the Gram.”

The incident happened on July 21. In a CNN exclusive, the publication reports that a TSA employee with knowledge of the situation said that the display was hanging from a “pole right in the center of the TSA workstation located underneath the airport where passengers’ checked luggage is screened before placed on aircraft.” 

Consequently, when other TSA employees caught a glimpse of the display, managers were notified. But according to one TSA employee, the manager didn’t act rapidly to address the situation. 

In fact, the TSA employee tells CNN that, the manager “tried to downplay the noose and gorilla display, saying it wasn’t racist, it was just a joke.”

However, the TSA employees who reported this to their manager became even more upset after their concerns were ignored and downplayed. This then prompted the agency to launch an internal investigation. The two TSA officers who are allegedly guilty of building the display have been placed on administrative leave, with pay. 

Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez of Miami, Florida took to Twitter to address the incident as well. He tweeted that he was “aware of the offensive item found in TSA baggage area at MIA and pleased TSA took quick action to identify those responsible and place them on leave.” 

The Miami International Airport Twitter account also spoke out about the incident saying they “do not condone offensive behavior or material of any kind.”

Although Miami International Airport sent out this tweet addressing the issue, they declined to comment to media outlets, according to CNBC.  

Twitter users who replied to both the mayor and the Miami International Airport account called for them to fire the TSA officers responsible for the display, “suspending is not enough punishment.”

https://twitter.com/ppcpratt/status/1156404205843832833

TSA also released a statement that echoed the sentiments of the airport and the mayor. “TSA does not tolerate racist or offensive behavior and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions. Two TSA officers have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.” 

According to CNBC, this isn’t the first time we’ve read reports from workers about workplace racial harassment. Back in June, a black employee in South Carolina “sued the company saying it retaliated against him after he reported a noose hanging near his desk and that other employees urinated on his desk and chair.” In March, nearly two dozen UPS workers said they discovered a noose in their workplace.

Despite the alleged actions begin taken at the Miami International Airport to address the racist incident, many TSA officers are reportedly feeling “distraught” about it.

CNN spoke to a veteran Miami TSA officer, who chose to remain anonymous, about the incident. The veteran TSA officer said he was “upset about the incident, which he says has many of Miami International Airport’s black and Hispanic TSA officers distraught.” 

“The mood now at the airport is people are upset this hasn’t been properly taken care of yet. We want everybody held accountable for what they have done,” the same officer told the publication. 

In internal emails that CNN obtained, they found that the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security sent a letter to TSA on Tuesday and urged them to make sure the incident was handled promptly and thoroughly investigated. They also strongly urged TSA to have those “involved held accountable for their actions.”

Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson also spoke out about the incident at Miami International Airport saying that it’s unacceptable that those in charge of TSA didn’t take the incident seriously and that it leaves “TSOs to work in an environment where they believe they are not supported or protected.” 

TSA’s acting deputy administrator Patricia Cogswell also wrote an email, obtained by CNN, to other TSA officials and said that “given the number of emails and such coming in to HQ about the MIA situation, please pull together a message for SO (senior officers) to issue, and think about other information that should go out to all offices.”

Other administrators for security operations addressed the “troubling event” that “cuts at the very core of who we are and what we stand for as an agency.”  

The TSA officers involved in the offensive display have not been named or identified. 

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Diego Luna’s ‘Pan Y Circo’ Is Tackling Major Issues Around The Dinner Table

Culture

Diego Luna’s ‘Pan Y Circo’ Is Tackling Major Issues Around The Dinner Table

Rich Polk / Getty Images for IMDb

Diego Luna is more than just an actor. Luna is using his name and his fame to create a space for important ideas to be discussed. His new show “Pan Y Circo” on Amazon Prime is tackling the major issues.

Diego Luna’s “Pan y Circo” is an in-your-face show tackling major issues confronting society.

“Pan y Circo” is a new Amazon Prime show created by Mexican actor Diego Luna. The actor has a table of people including politicians, activists, and entertainers. The first episode focuses on race, a topic that is seeing some global attention following recent events. The discussion got frank with Luna admitting that he has benefited from the system as it stood.

The dinner party atmosphere is something that we can relate to further drawing us into the conversation.

For Luna, according to the LA Times, the dinner conversations are a cal back to a tie when these kinds of hard discussions happened over dinner. This was a time when these kinds of conversations were taken for granted because they were so common that it was normal.

The topics are going to be tough for many in the Latino community because they are so frank.

Abortion is one of the most taboo conversations in the Latino community. The topic is something the divides the Latino community, most commonly on generational lines. Luna’s decision to take this conversation to the mainstream is a major moment for the Latino community.

The first episode of “Pan y Circo” is out now on Amazon.

The next episode will be out on Friday, August 14.

READ: Diego Luna Talks The Importance Of The Storytelling In ‘Narcos: Mexico’ And Why Mexico City Will Always Be His Home

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Two Black Moms Took Their Kids To Play In A Fountain On The Mall Then Secret Service Officers Swarmed Them With Guns

Things That Matter

Two Black Moms Took Their Kids To Play In A Fountain On The Mall Then Secret Service Officers Swarmed Them With Guns

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Two Black mothers headed to our nation’s capital last week to give their children some playtime in the fountains at the World War II Memorial. The day was hot and the mothers thought the memorial would be a perfect place to let their children cool down and have some fun.

Unfortunately, the day quickly turned sinister when the women and their children were swarmed by Secret Service agents who pointed a rifle at them.

Last Thursday, India Johnson, 26, and Yasmeen Winston, 25, were driving their infants to take a splash in the fountains at the memorial when a Secret Service cruiser drove into their front left bumper.

The two women have reportedly been best friends since seventh grade and are mothers to boys: 13-month-old Sir Quincy (Johnson) and six-month-old G’esus (Winston). Both Sir Quincy and G’esus were sitting in the back seat of the car that they were driving. According to the women, Mother Goose Club was playing on the radio. Then, within seconds of the Secret Service cruiser driving into their car, an officer pointed a rifle at them and yelled “Get out!” and “Put your hands in the air!”

Soon enough, more officers surrounded them with guns. Eventually, Winston and Johnson were handcuffed and separated from their children. According to both women, they were detained without being given a reason as to why and were spoken to by police officers who did not wear masks, despite the current coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Washington Post, “Initially, the women said, an officer told them the vehicle had been reported stolen and that the suspects were two Black men. But the women, both African American, said no men were with them and provided proof that Johnson was the owner. She told the Secret Service she had never reported the car stolen. Eventually, the women were released — without an apology or answers to their questions.”

Winston and Johnson are now demanding that the Secret Service investigate the incident and release the details to the public.

“This incident took place near our national monuments across from the White House,” Timothy Maloney, the women’s attorney, wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray over the weekend. “It occurred after eight weeks of unprecedented national demonstrations about excessive police conduct, some of which took place right there on Constitution Avenue. Has the Secret Service learned nothing this summer?”

Speaking about the incident Winston told the Washington Post “I could have been another Breonna Taylor. I could have been another innocent woman who has no record and got shot.”

In a statement to the Post, a Secret Service spokesperson said that they had received a “query requesting the agency investigate an alleged interaction between Uniformed Division Officers and two members of the public” and that they are looking into the incident.

Winston says she and Johnson have spent the days after the incident completely traumatized.

Winston told the Post that she is currently seeking therapy and their friend is avoiding going outside of her home. “We don’t get in trouble. Nothing like this has ever happened to us. I thought the police were here to serve and protect us, and now it’s really uncomfortable,” she explained.

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