Rapper Jay Z is responding to backlash over his holiday season collaboration with Barneys New York. The department store is under fire after a Black teen was detained by police back in April after purchasing a $350 Ferragamo belt from their store.
A Barneys employee reportedly called police after the purchase was made and suggested that Trayon Christian, 19, used a stolen credit card to buy the belt. After a two-hour interrogation, authorities determined the credit card belonged to Christian and released him.
In the past few days, thousands have signed an online petition urging Jay to ax his partnership with Barneys, but Hov says we all should refrain from acting hastily.
“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,” Jay writes on his Life + Times website.
“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.”
Hova says he doesn’t stand to “make a dime” from the collaboration, as falsely reported. The business mogul says the money will be going towards helping those who are less fortunate.
“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.”
What do you think? Do you believe Jay should still walk away from his partnership with Barneys?