TSA, Miami International Airport, Racism
Someone found a racist display involving a noose and two toy gorillas — both symbols of hate against African Americans — at a TSA workspace at Miami International Airport. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)

Two TSA Officers on Leave After Racist Display Found in Miami Airport

A racist display including two toy gorillas and a noose in a baggage-screening area of Miami International Airport has two Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials on leave.

CNN obtained the photo, originally posted on the @blackpeopleofthegram Instagram page shows objects that relate to imagery historically used to dehumanize and terrorize Black people in the U.S.


The TSA said in a statement that the officers who discovered the display immediately notified management, and it was taken down. An investigation is underway.

“TSA does not tolerate racist or offensive behavior and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions,” the statement said.

However, when CNN reported on the incident, a nameless TSA employee said the manager “tried to downplay the noose and gorilla display, saying it was just a joke.”

The employee also said the display was on a pole in the center of the TSA workstation where officers screen luggage before placing it on the plane. Though it was not visible to passengers, another source who asked CNN for anonymity for fear of retaliation said Black and Hispanic officers at the airport felt distraught.

No one has released the names of the TSA officials allegedly involved.

Though the noose has been used as an execution device throughout history, it is a generally-recognized symbol of hate against African-Americans, alluding to lynching. The image of an ape has historically — and to this day — been used to dehumanize Black people and justify treating them as subhuman.

This is not the first workplace racism case of its kind. In March, Black UPS workers in Ohio filed a lawsuit against UPS for fostering a racist, hostile work environment after other employees hung nooses and Confederate flags around the workplace and spoke about attending Ku Klux Klan meetings.

Related Story: Black UPS Employees in Ohio Subjected to Racist Company Culture for Decades: Lawsuit

Last month, a noose was found hanging at the Boeing plant that builds the 787 airplane.

The Miami International Airport has not released any statement regarding the incident, and The New York Times reported a spokesman for the airport declined to comment.

Latest News

Video: How Companies Are Ensuring Equity for People With Disabilities

The National Organization on Disability held its annual forum in Washington, D.C. last week, bringing together community leaders, advocates, government officials and corporate leaders and influencers to focus on the advancement of people with disabilities in the workplace. DiversityInc also met up with leaders from Capital One Financial (No. 22…

Validated Allies wallpaper

DiversityInc Announces 2022 Validated Allies

Allyship is a journey rather than a destination. The work of an ally never really ends and allies understand they are not necessarily always working toward a goal, but rather, serving a greater purpose. Each year, as part of our Women of Color and Their Allies event, DiversityInc recognizes a…

CDO Series: Sysco’s Adrienne Trimble

Following the murder of George Floyd, the role of Chief Diversity Officers has become more important as companies started to be more intentional with their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, which has made the last few years tumultuous for many CDOs. In the latest installment of a series of articles…

NOD Forum: Honoring the Disability Rights Movement

The road to disability rights has been a long one. One that started long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was passed. In celebration of 40 years of the National Organization on Disability, disability leaders, supporters and activists gathered in Washington, D.C last week to discuss the…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: September 29

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Research Outlines Lack…

Marriott International building

Marriott International Receives 12 Platinum Honors at the MUSE Creative Awards

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   Marriott International’s unmatched portfolio of luxury brands earned 12 Platinum Awards representing 5 dynamic brands, across 10 categories in the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards — an international competition for creative professionals. The industry leader within the luxury…

Marriott International Debuts Its New Global Headquarters Focused on Wellbeing

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   After six years of planning, design and construction, Marriott International has opened its global headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. The 21-story, 785,000-square-foot, LEEDv4 Gold-certified building is the new workplace for corporate associates, supporting over 8,100 hotels in 139…