As soon as these stories broke JAY Z became a target for people to attack. Apparently JAY Z has a relationship with Barneys and they plan on launching a collection specifically for their store and more importantly the proceeds go to his scholarship fund for underprivileged kids. Its a great idea for a good cause. None, I REPEAT NONE OF THE MONIES GAINED FROM THE COLLECTION GO TO JAY Z HIMSELF. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE SCHOLARSHIP FUND! But even that wasn't enough to quiet the masses. People were in a uproar and wanted JAY Z to immediately sever his ties with Barneys. It took JAY Z awhile to respond to his critics but he did release a statement saying the following:
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” CarterThis statement has fallen on deaf ears and people are not happy with his response. He's set to still release his collection in Barneys. Sales will speak as to how people feel. Personally I would've released a collection in like Kohls or Kmart or TJ Maxx. Somewhere that everybody can access. Most middle class citizens are not shopping at Barneys of New York, #imjussaying.
Here are the facts: These two individuals were accosted by the police more so than the store. Barney's employees were probably involved but the company as a whole, I don't think they are discriminating against African American customers. I'm going to play devil's advocate here and just look at both sides. I think the people who work for Barneys are discriminating against African American customers. Its unfair to just blame the company as whole for the wrong doing of 2 employees. Now unless you have definitive proof that the company (not a supervisor, manager or store owner) itself advised all employees to watch out for suspicious purchases and African American customers then you have would have to assume that it is not Barney's policy and they are not responsible for the views of certain individuals. However seeing as how an incident like this has struck twice in the same city and store I HIGHLY DOUBT that it was a coincidence. Someone in that store is racially profiling customers and alerting the police thats what I believe.
In terms of Jay Z, one could be on either side. On one hand Jay Z has no problem denouncing products he deems to racist toward him or his profession. In 2006 when the executives of Cristal (a very expensive and famous champagne/spirits company) said they didn't like their product being associated with hip hop, Jay Z immediately took offense to the statement pulled the champagne from ALL his clubs and never drank the champagne again. To this day he still references them in his songs accusing them of being racist. Case in point on Jay Z's album Blueprint III the song On to the Next One has a line that goes: "I used to drink Cristal, the muh'fucker's racist". This is not the first nor the last time he has referenced that company as being racist. I think he took what the executive said out of context. I don't think that the product Cristal was made to be endorsed by rappers and hip hop artists alike. Their product was made for a more sophisticated audience not someone who raps about selling rocks, having promiscuous sex with countless women, and killing people. I'm just saying use your head and think before you just jump to conclusions. They never said they didn't appreciate the business or that they didn't appreciate the pull they got from the hip hop community. They simply said in their original outlook for their product they didn't intend on it becoming synonymous with the wealth of the hip hop world.
Now I could be wrong but I'm just going by the facts. And on the other hand Jay Z could be right. As I said before this may not be a "company problem" this may be an individual, employee problem. If you notice all these stories took place in New York city at one Barney's store. It seems to be concentrated down to just one store not the entire franchise. I don't think Jay Z doing business with the store makes him unaware or oblivious to the facts. I think he accessed the situation and came to the realization that Barneys may not be the problem.
JAY Z has a right to choose who he does business with. And I didn't understand why he was being targeted. Let it be if you don't like that hes still with Barneys then don't purchase his product.
Don't chastise him for his decision. People need to understand. People are rich because of US! We make the world go round. If you don't like them or how they deal here's what you do: Don't purchase their products. Don't buy their music. Stop supporting their careers. Hit him where it hurts!
Source: NewsOne & BBC