Jay Z Responds to Call to Step Down From Barneys Campaign After Racial Profiling Allegations
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Jay Z Responds to Call to Step Down From Barneys Campaign After Racial Profiling Allegations

After a group of impassioned fans implored Jay Z to end his working relationship with Barneys after the store has been accused of racially profiling minority customers, the rapper has finally addressed the issue.

Last week, New York City residents Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips both claimed that they were stopped and harassed by either Barneys clerks or police after purchasing luxury goods from the luxury retailer.

Since word of the incidents became headline news, Jay Z, who has an upcoming holiday partnership with the iconic brand, has been pressured to end his relationship with the company as a show of support for fans who don’t want a side of racism to go along with their designer wares.

However, Jay has fired back on his Life + Times blog, explaining the reasoning why he’s not going to step down from his partnership, telling fans his partnership is for charity, not personal profit, and he’s not going to give it up before he has all the facts.

“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 judgements, 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.”

Do you think Jay Z should stop working with Barneys?

Source: Life + Times

10.29.2013 / 12:00 AM EDT by Sarah Crow
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