An Open Letter To Jay-Z: One Factor You possibly can Say About Barneys That might Matter
It’s unlucky but, ultimately, Jay-Z, you’re going to must say one thing.
No person ought to blame you for reducing a promotional deal — launching an exclusive vacation assortment — with Barneys simply before a racial profiling scandal exploded at the luxurious Manhattan department retailer. As one among your most famous songs reminds us, you are not a mind-reader.
However 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 infamous division store is simply too juicy of a headline to ignore.
And, to be honest, it’s been a number of days now because the information broke that Trayon Christian, a 19-12 months-previous 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 just after exiting, handcuffed and detained in a jail cell until the police ran out of reasons to keep holding him.
It’s been several days, too, for the reason that comply with-up story of Kayla Phillips, a 21-12 months-previous ferragamo sale in london nursing pupil, who was swarmed by undercover cops after buying a designer handbag at the identical retailer again in February. She too is planning to sue Barneys and the police.
Barneys itself has gone into disaster management mode, issuing an announcement acknowledging that the treatment of the two customers was unacceptable and hiring a civil rights lawyer to lead a overview of its fairness and equality practices.
But nonetheless no words from you, Jay-Z — one of the prolific wordsmiths of a technology.
To be sincere with you, I couldn’t care less whether you keep Barneys’ money. It won’t change a reality of more than seven-hundred,000 folks — mostly Black and Latino — stopped and frisked by the NYPD in a single year. It won’t change the truth that our culture encourages the criminalization of communities of colour. However I do believe that you just, along with the rest of Black America, need to know more about what’s happening outdoors these division retailer home windows — so many unanswered questions stay.
We must always know extra about the other 50 folks arrested near the retail outlet — who they are, the racial make-up of the group. Whether they had been finally charged or let go In case you liked this post as well as you wish to receive more details with regards to Salvatore generously pay a visit to our web site. And what was Barneys’ role, if any, in these 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 National Motion Community have demanded a meeting with Barneys’ executives and a Change.org petition, urging you to rethink your contract has already made headlines.
Do you have to break your silence, perhaps you would speak out and be a part of us in holding the NYPD accountable too.
It could also be only a 45-minute subway experience from Brooklyn to the Barneys flagship on the Upper East Facet, however you of all folks know just how long that journey actually feels. Throughout your career, you could have been the voice of a era of Black men who every day endure profiling and harassment from police officers.
Why cease talking now
Rashad Robinson is government director of ColorOfChange — the nation’s largest on-line civil rights group. Sign the web petition demanding an NYPD investigation into the arrests right here.