Jay-Z Tolerates Barneys Alleged Racism and Racial Profiling – Defends Getting His Cut Of The Profits

Jay-Z Tolerates Barneys Alleged Racism and Racial Profiling - Defends Getting His Cut Of The Profits


Let’s start from the beginning. Two black Barneys New York customers, Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, said this week they were detained by police after making expensive purchases. Christian sued Barneys, saying he was accused of fraud after using his debit card to buy a $349 Ferragamo belt in April.

Barneys said Thursday that it had retained a civil rights expert to help review its procedures. The CEO of Barneys, Mark Lee, offered his “sincere regret and deepest apologies.

Which caused “the black Moses” himself, Rev. Al Sharpton to chime in saying “We’ve gone from stop and frisk to shop and frisk, and we are not going to take it,” the civil rights leader said. “We are not going to live in a town where our money is considered suspect and everyone else’s money is respected.”

Jay-Z Tolerates Barneys Alleged Racism and Racial Profiling - Defends Getting His Cut Of The Profits

The good reverend is calling for a boycott of Barney’s and all it’s supporters. Kirsten John Foy, an official with Sharpton’s National Action Network, said he would meet with Barneys officials on Tuesday to discuss the racial profiling allegations.

The only theft that took place at Barneys was Barneys’ stealing the dignity of these young people,” said Foy, who joined Sharpton at his weekly rally at the organization’s Harlem headquarters.

Sharpton said black New Yorkers should put shopping at Barneys “on hold” if the retailer’s response is inadequate.

What does this have to do with Jay-Z you ask? Well Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation receieves 25% of the proceeds from a collaboration that Jay-Z has with the high end department store called “A New York Holiday” which has been described as an unprecedented collaboration celebrating the spirit of the city.

As part of this event, Barneys New York and Mr. Carter have partnered with some of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world—Balenciaga, Balmain, Lanvin, The Elder Statesman, En Noir, Hoorsenbuhs, Just Don (coming soon!), Proenza Schouler, Rick Owens, Stutterheim, Acne Studios, and Cutler & Gross.

People have been pressuring Jay-Z to pull out of his partnership with Barneys and also have been bashing him for his hesitation to make a statement concerning Barney’s alleged civil rights abuses. So Jay-z took to his own personal blog LifeandTimes.com and finally left the following statement:

This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.

I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education. I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.

I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgments, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter

Meanwhile Macy’s flagship store in Manhattan was hit this week with a similar lawsuit courtesy of HBO series Treme actor Robert Brown stating that he was detained by police June 8 after employees contacted authorities about possible credit card fraud.

I guess depending on where you choose to shop, “green” isn’t always the universal color, especially depending on color of the hand that’s holding it.