TSA mocks blind man

No matter how often we hear these stories, one after another after another after another, for years now, each new outrage is still infuriating. No matter how low you think the TSA can go, it always goes lower.

Thus we have this story about a blind man named Joe Nerney being mocked and ridiculed by TSA agents—plural—at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. According to this account from WTNH, Nerney says he travels all over the world as a professional musician and that the TSA is usually accommodating. But not this time:

Joe has been blind since birth and he needs to be guided through the security machines, but on Thursday while clearing security at Bradley, the TSA agent was condescending, telling him to stand on the yellow line that he could not see. When he finished the checkpoint, they told him he had to go back in.

“I kind of got pushed back in I still wasn’t stepping on the yellow lines so my friend came in and kind of guided my feet toward the yellow line,” said Nerney.

But it doesn’t end there. It wasn’t just the one sadistic agent who insisted Nerney stand on yellow footprints he obviously couldn’t see. Other TSA agents got in on the action:

On this day as he felt his way out of the machine, he says the TSA agents were mocking him.

“I got out of the machine, but for some reason the TSA guys thought it was funny and they were laughing about it,” said Nerney.

This kind of thing should never happen. I don’t want to hear claims about “a few bad apples” and all the usual garbage that TSA apologists throw out there. Only a sick, twisted, sadistic shit ridicules a disabled person. And you can bet this isn’t the only time these agents have behaved this way. It’s just the only time we happened to find out about it.

How many times do we need to say it? How many instances of abuse—thousands of them, well catalogued—do people need to read before they get it through their heads?

The TSA is an out-of-control, criminal agency that abuses people with impunity. And as long as people keep flying, and keep putting up with this abuse, nothing will change.

Lisa Simeone is a writer, editor, political activist, Glamour Girl, and radio host. She publishes ABombazine, where this originally appeared.

One Response to TSA mocks blind man

  1. I stopped flying many years ago when I first heard rumors of a “no-fly list.” That sounded clearly unconstitutional to me. I didn’t have anyplace important to go anyway–certainly no place worth the carbon footprint.

    But when I meet people who have recently flown, I feel like I’m meeting rape victims. It isn’t something you want to remind them of, but it feels uncomfortable knowing what they’ve been through. Until I went to a recent talk by Ken O’Keefe, the pro-Palestinian activist, Mavi Marmara survivor, and founder of WorldCitizen.Solutions (yes, that’s a website).

    Ken had been asked by TSA to step into a scanner, and he refused. He’d been irradiated too many times and was fed up. So he had to forfeit some flights, including one to London and another to Hawaii. Telling his audience about it, he spontaneously decided to spend his unexpected free time on a “Fuck the TSA” tour. If you weren’t lucky enough to hear him speak, check YouTube for Ken O’Keefe.

    Most people put up with abuse, but there are a few who’d prefer to keep their self-respect. Ken is an example for us all.