Jay-Z has stepped forward to respond to pressure from activist to cut ties with Barneys over allegations of racial profiling.
Barneys’ flagship store in New York City came under fire last week after two African American teens complained that they were racially discriminating against while shopping at the store.
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Jay-Z, who has a deal with Barneys to sell his products, says if he prematurely cut ties with the store he would be committing the same sin.
This is what Jay-Z said in a statement posted on his website Life+Time:
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. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter
Jay-Z insist he is not profiting off the deal with Barneys since a large percentage of the proceeds will be going to his The Shawn Carter Foundation.
Jay-Z’s collection will be on sale at Barneys starting November 20th.