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March 19, 2015
An Open Letter To Jay-Z: One Factor You could possibly Say About Barneys Which may Matter
It’s unlucky but, ultimately, Jay-Z, you’re going to must say one thing.
No one should blame you for cutting a promotional deal — launching an exclusive vacation collection — with Barneys simply earlier than a racial profiling scandal exploded on the luxurious Manhattan division retailer. As one in every of your most well-known songs reminds us, you are not a thoughts-reader.
But they will blame you. Timing is the whole lot and the seeming hypocrisy of a rapper who’s ferragamo nolita bag rhymed about racial profiling and police misconduct now promoting a $33,000 watch on the notorious department store is just too juicy of a headline to disregard.
And, to be fair, it’s been several days now since the news broke that Trayon Christian, a 19-yr-old engineering pupil from Queens, is suing Barneys and the NYPD for racial discrimination after purchasing a $349 Ferragamo belt from the store. He was stopped simply after exiting, handcuffed and detained in a jail cell until the police ran out of reasons to maintain holding him.
It’s been several days, too, because the observe-up story of Kayla Phillips, a 21-12 months-old nursing scholar, who was swarmed by undercover cops after buying a designer handbag at the same retailer back in February. She too is planning to sue Barneys and the police.
Barneys itself has gone into disaster administration mode, issuing a statement acknowledging that the therapy of the 2 consumers was unacceptable and hiring a civil rights lawyer to guide a evaluate of its fairness and equality practices.
However nonetheless no words from you, Jay-Z — one of the most prolific wordsmiths of a technology.
To be honest with you, I couldn’t care less whether or not you retain Barneys’ money. It won’t change a actuality of greater than 700,000 individuals — largely Black and Latino — stopped and frisked by the NYPD in a single yr. It won’t change the reality that our culture encourages the criminalization of communities of coloration. ferragamo nolita bag However I do imagine that you just, together with the rest of Black America, deserve to know extra about what’s happening exterior those department store windows — so many unanswered questions stay.
We should always know more about the other 50 folks arrested near the retail outlet — who they are, the racial makeup of the group. Whether or not they have been eventually charged or let go If you liked this information in addition to you desire to receive more details with regards to Salvatore i implore you to visit our web site. And what was Barneys’ position, if any, in those arrests
That’s why ColorOfChange members are calling on NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to conduct a full investigation into the arrests. Others are talking out as effectively. Rev. Sharpton and the Nationwide Motion Community have demanded a meeting with Barneys’ executives and a Change.org petition, urging you to rethink your contract has already made headlines.
Should you break your silence, maybe you would speak out and be part of us in holding the NYPD accountable too.
It could also be only a forty five-minute subway trip from Brooklyn to the Barneys flagship on the Higher East Aspect, however you of all people know just how lengthy that journey actually feels. All through your profession, you have got been the voice of a technology of Black males who every day endure profiling and harassment from police officers.
Why stop talking now
Rashad Robinson is govt director of ColorOfChange — the nation’s largest online civil rights organization. Signal the web petition demanding an NYPD investigation into the arrests here.