Image for Jay-Z Continues Barneys Partnership Amid Racial Profiling Allegations

Jay-Z Continues Barneys Partnership Amid Racial Profiling Allegations

Written by Greg Moskovitch on November 17, 2013

Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z has defended his partnership with US department store Barneys, amidst allegations of racial profiling taking place at their flagship store in New York City, saying “The easy position would have been to walk away,” in a new post to his official website.

The two customers at the centre of the racial profiling dispute, Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, claimed last month that they were each detained by police after making expensive legitimate purchases from Barneys’ New York store.

In the wake of the allegations there were calls from the black community, including an online petition and an aggressive Twitter campaign, for Jay-Z to step away from his partnership with the high-end retailer, for whom he is set to design holiday apparel and accessories.

“While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling,” Jay opens in the post.

“I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue,” he continues. “The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem…I am choosing to take this head on.”

Jay also takes the opportunity to announce that 100 percent of the sales from his collection will go to his charity organisation, The Shawn Carter Foundation, having previously stated that the foundation would receive 25 percent of the sales, saying:

“As I previously stated, the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation. From this collection, the Foundation will receive not only 25% of sales, it will now receive the additional 75% of Barneys’ sales, totalling 100% of all sales from BNY SCC.”

Readers can check out Jay-Z’s full statement, below.

A Statement From Shawn “JAY Z” Carter 11.15.2013

In the past several weeks two separate investigations were launched as a result of the wrongful detention of Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips. My team has been privy to the status of the Barneys third party consultant investigation. In continuing our research, we also contacted the New York State Attorney General’s office for the status of their investigation into both Barneys and Macy’s. Those findings are not yet available.

While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling. I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.

As I previously stated, the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation. From this collection, the Foundation will receive not only 25% of sales, it will now receive the additional 75% of Barneys’ sales, totalling 100% of all sales from BNY SCC. Along with 100% of sales from the collaboration, the Foundation will receive an additional 10% of all retail sales from Barneys New York stores nationwide and Barneys.com on November 20th. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter

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