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July 25th, 2013
12:04 AM ET

Donny Deutsch asks his guests: "Am I racist?"

Ten days since the six female jurors rendered a "not guilty" verdict in the highly divisive George Zimmerman trial, the topic of race remains as polarizing as any in America.

With a live studio audience hanging on every word, this evening guest host Donny Deutsch asked a very provocative question: "Am I racist?"

Filling in for Piers Morgan, the television personality and "Today" show contributor had begun his inquiry by admitting that if he were to see a young, African-American male in a hoodie walking down his street, he would pause. Deutsch noted that such an occurrence would be out of context, hence his hesitation. But, he asked Star Jones, does that make him a racist:

"You would not be showing racism by just thinking it, but what you would be showing is implicit bias," explained the lawyer, and former "The View" co-host. "This is what this conversation has generated. Implicit bias is that when, because of what you've been programmed to think, when you see a young African-American man in a hoodie, or in some jeans, you immediately start to think this silly statistic that there are more Black men in jail than there are in college, when that's absolutely not true."

Seated beside Jones, "HuffPost Live" host Marc Lamont Hill spoke to Deutsch's initial question:

"I don't think you're racist, however, I think that assumption would be have to come to terms with the fact that the assumption is racist. So many White folk and Black folk – there's plenty of Black folk that see a Black person in a hoodie and have the same kind of pause," he explained. "I teach at Columbia University, all my kids walk through the campus with hoodies on. Winter time, White folk wear them with shorts and hoodies. Ain't none of them robbing nobody."

Joining via satellite, Ben Crump offered analysis on a larger scale, suggesting that blaming racism on clothing trends is short-sighted and small-minded:

"I think we try to use the hoodies as this metaphor," said the attorney for Trayvon Martin's family. "Thirty-five years ago, there were not hoodies, and they were still profiling African-American men. So we have to be real about it."

Watch the clip for more of Deutch's panel discussion on race in America with Crump, Jones, and Lamont Hill, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. bagladyboutique

    Reblogged this on Bag Lady Boutique.

    July 25, 2013 at 12:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. LisaMarie

    Danny Deutsch was FANTASTIC tonight. WOW! Is he impressive. First of all, he is incredibly articulate. He has that verbal, inter/intra personal "gift" of being able to really articulate exactly what he or others are thinking and feeling during any given moment. Second, he was SO honest. When he said to Lonny that he thought Huba (??) was actually an Opportunist and that he didn't trust the sincerity of the "Stand by your Man" thing – I think he read the minds of HALF the women in America. It was AWESOME excellent. He just has great candor and a wonderful way of expressing REAL thoughts and emotions.
    I now only wish he was on more often. VERY very impressive.

    July 25, 2013 at 3:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Canadian

    I agree that it was absolutely refreshing to hear Danny Deutsch last night. He was FANTASTIC! I only wish that Piers would consider moving on as people just don't trust him in his reporting. Too many confrontations for the sake of madness on his show and it is beginning to look like a comedy hour.
    Please Danny do stay for a while. We thoroughly enjoyed your program last night. Great discussions!!

    July 25, 2013 at 6:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • LisaMarie

      Totally agree, Canadian, Piers should move on!
      I'm afraid I commented on the wrong show. In PHX we had the Weiner-Gate show last night which is posting like it's on tonight elsewhere? Anyway – it's a great piece and Danny hit a home run all the way through, imo.
      Whoever hasn't seen it – watch it tonight!

      July 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Patricia Kelley

    Danny, I agree that if I came home and saw a black wearing a hoodie in my yard or around my house, I would be concerned. Furthermore, I would be just as concerned if it were a white man, white woman or black woman. By saying a (black wearing a hoodie) makes it racist.

    July 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Kathryn

    I would be concerned if I saw someone in my yard at night wearing a hoodie where I couldn't see their face regardless of who they were. Also, I have been seeing reports the Trayvon had purchased a Arizona Watermelon Citrus drink and Skittles, which are 2 of the ingredients used along with cough medicine to make something called Lean that kids are using to get high. If this is true why does everyone keep saying he was killed walking to his Dad's house after buying candy and "tea"? Why not just say he bought the Arizona Watermelon Citrus drink, if that is what he bought?

    July 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. jrt1098

    Piers Morgan is a buffoon and a shallow political hack .. He should be FIRED
    Marc Lamont Hill is simply a prettier version of Al Sharpton ... and is just a slicker version of infamous RACE BAITERS ... 2 of whom have gotten particularly wealthy in the last 20 years !!!

    July 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Payton Hill

    It is a discussion but with that discussion things will probably not change. And that is unfortunate. If I see a young black man walking with a hoodie during a rainy night, I would not "pause". I would think he was attempting to stay dry. But unfortunately, I am in the minority and that is sad. We can not reprogram ignorant people but maybe we can try and educate them by not tolerating racist bias.

    July 26, 2013 at 3:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Harold Touches

    Speaking your mind on anything is not being racist...what he said was sincere.

    July 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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