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Selita Ebanks: Racial Profiling Is ‘Old News’

Selita Ebanks and Dascha Polanco.
Selita Ebanks and Dascha Polanco. Photo: Getty Images

Now that racial profiling is suddenly in the news, owing to various allegations against Barneys New York and Macy’s, let’s pile on before the story blows over! As Romany Malco reminds us, to ask a black male if he’s experienced discrimination in a department store seems “like a facetious question, seriously. Or rhetorical.” Orange Is the New Black star Dascha Polanco agreed. “I’m very disappointed that in this day and age, we still have that mindset,” she told the Cut last night during the Angel Ball at Cipriani. “Yeah, I’ve been followed [in stores], I’m not gonna lie. But I let them know. I’ve been mistreated, of course, but when I’m followed, I tell ‘em straight up, ‘Hi, I’m not gonna take anything, but if you need me to, then you can help me with it.’” 

Will the allegations against Barneys keep her from shopping there? “You know, I’m going to be honest with you, I’ve never been to Barneys,” she admitted. “Now I’m not interested in going there at all, but I wasn’t before. I stick to my regular Bloomie’s, or local little stores. I love supporting local businesses.” 

Model Selita Ebanks, also in attendance, couldn’t believe that Barneys was taking so much heat for what is obviously a larger problem. “That’s old news. Why’s everybody trippin’ out?” she asked. “Let’s be real, you know, [Barneys] is a very high-profile shopping place and profiling has happened to some of the best of us. I mean, look what happened to Oprah Winfrey. Hello! This is the world that we live in.”

Selita Ebanks: Racial Profiling Is ‘Old News’