Last week Forest Whitaker, an Academy Award winning actor, was accused of shoplifting at a New York City deli and publicly frisked by an employee. According to TMZ, Whitaker left the store "baffled and angry," and some are asking whether he was discriminated against due to race.
Dr. Camille Charles, professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Etan Thomas, former NBA & NCAA Player and Tanikia Thompson, blogger for NikkiAndTheCity.com joined Huffpost Live's Marc Lamont Hill on Tuesday to discuss how racial profiling in America is still a reality.
"I think it's definitely about race, whether we try to hide it or not," Thompson told HuffPost Live. "Media plays a huge part in that." Admitting that she herself speeds up when she gets out of her car at night in Chicago, Thomson said the only thing that's thrown at her is "they're a threat to society."
Being seen as a "threat" is very much still a reality that many black parents have to prepare their children for.
"We all have various conversations with our children about the fact that they're not going to be treated fairly necessarily in school," Charles said. "There's really no other way to understand what's happening here except that that child is black and we don't expect black children to excel."
A representative of Milano Market, where the incident took place, denied any racial motivation behind the incident, but confirmed that the employee had been fired.
"The management of Milano Market deeply regrets the wrongful actions of our employee in stopping and frisking Forest Whitaker," the representative told TMZ. "While we can not delve into the employee's mindset, we do not believe that he was racially motivated in his actions, simply misguided."
Watch the Full Segment on Huffpost Live.