As many are aware, there have been allegations thrown at Barney’s the high end department store in New York City regarding Trayon Christian, 19, who filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court claiming he was racially targeted by workers at the Barneys’ flagship store on Madison Avenue. Huffington Post reports that according to the lawsuit, police approached and detained Christian after he had purchased a $349 Ferragamo belt because they didn’t believe a young black male could afford it. Cops eventually confirmed that the debit card used for the purchase belonged to Christian and he was released.
Barney’s released a statement on Facebook in an attempt to stop the bleeding. The statement said,
“In this instance, we feel compelled to note that after carefully reviewing the incident of last April, it is clear that no employee of Barneys New York was involved in the pursuit of any action with the individual other than the sale. Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and we stand by our long history in support of all human rights.”
Christian’s lawsuit claims that Barneys staff called police and said that the belt purchase was fraudulent with no provocation to do so other than the fact that he was black.
As a result of the fall-out Jay Z was called upon to end his standing collaboration with the department chain. Today he answered those calls for separation by releasing a statement that said,
“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 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”
The Urban Daily will continue to update this story as information becomes available.
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