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March 18, 2015
An Open Letter To Jay-Z: One Thing You may Say About Barneys Which may Matter
It’s unlucky however, ultimately, Jay-Z, you’re going to need to say something.
No one should blame you for slicing a promotional deal — launching an unique holiday collection — with Barneys just before a racial profiling scandal exploded on the luxury Manhattan division retailer. As one of your most well-known songs reminds us, you are not a thoughts-reader.
But they will blame you. Timing is everything and the seeming hypocrisy of a rapper who’s 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 truthful, it’s been several days now because the information broke that Trayon Christian, a 19-yr-previous engineering student from Queens, is suing Barneys and the NYPD for racial discrimination after purchasing a $349 Ferragamo belt from the store. He was stopped just after exiting, handcuffed and detained in a jail cell until the police ran out of causes to maintain holding him.
It’s been a number of days, too, since the observe-up story of Kayla Phillips, a 21-12 months-outdated nursing scholar, who was swarmed by undercover cops after buying a designer handbag at the identical store again in February. She too is planning to sue Barneys and the police.
Barneys itself has gone into disaster administration mode, issuing an announcement acknowledging that the remedy of the 2 salvatore ferragamo belts in springfield il consumers was unacceptable and hiring a civil rights attorney to steer a assessment of its fairness and equality practices.
However nonetheless no words from you, Jay-Z — one of the vital prolific wordsmiths of a generation.
To be honest with you, I could not care less whether or not you retain Barneys’ money. It will not change a reality of greater than 700,000 people — largely Black and Latino — stopped and frisked by the NYPD in a single 12 months. It will not change the fact that our tradition encourages the criminalization of communities of colour. However I do consider that you, along with the remainder of Black America, deserve to know extra about what’s occurring exterior those department retailer home windows — so many unanswered questions remain.
We must always know more about the other 50 people arrested close to the retail outlet — who they are, the racial make-up of the group. Whether they had been finally charged or let go In the event you beloved this article and also you wish to get guidance regarding Salvatore kindly check out the web-site. And what was Barneys’ position, if any, in those arrests
That is why ColorOfChange members are calling on NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to conduct a full investigation into the arrests. Others are talking out as nicely. Rev. Sharpton and the National Action Network have demanded a gathering with Barneys’ executives and a Change.org petition, urging you to reconsider your contract has already made headlines.
Do you have to break your silence, maybe you possibly can converse out and join us in holding the NYPD accountable too.
It could also be just a 45-minute subway ride from Brooklyn to the Barneys flagship on the Upper East Side, however you of all individuals know simply how lengthy that journey really feels. All through your profession, you have been the voice of a era of Black males who every day endure profiling and harassment from police officers.
Why cease speaking now
Rashad Robinson is government director of ColorOfChange — the nation’s largest on-line civil rights group. Sign the net petition demanding an NYPD investigation into the arrests right here.