Jay-Z Not Ready to Ax Deal with Store Accused of Profiling

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  • NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z — under increasing pressure to back out of a collaboration with the luxury store Barneys New York after it was accused of racially profiling two black customers — said Saturday he’s being unfairly “demonized” for just waiting to hear all of the facts.

    The rap mogul made his first statement about the controversy in a posting on his website. He has come under fire for remaining silent as news surfaced this week that two young black people said they were profiled by Barneys after they purchased expensive items from their Manhattan store.

    An online petition and Twitter messages from fans have been circulating this week, calling on the star to bow out of his upcoming partnership with Barneys for the holiday season, which will have the store selling items by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z, with some of the proceeds going to his charity. He is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display.

    But Jay-Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — defended himself, saying that he hasn’t spoken about it because he’s still trying to figure out exactly what happened.

    “I move and speak based on facts and not emotion,” the statement said. “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?” he said, referring to local newspaper headlines.

    The two Barneys customers, Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, said this week they were detained by police after making expensive purchases.

    Christian sued Barneys, saying he was accused of fraud after using his debit card to buy a $349 Ferragamo belt in April. Philips filed a notice of claim saying she would sue after she was stopped by detectives outside the store when she bought a $2,500 Celine handbag in February.

    As the criticism grew, Barneys said Thursday it had retained a civil rights expert to help review its procedures. The CEO of Barneys, Mark Lee, offered his “sincere regret and deepest apologies.”

    Kirsten John Foy, an official with the Rev. Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network, said he would meet with Barneys officials on Tuesday to discuss the racial profiling allegations.

    Jay-Z — who rose from a life of crime in Brooklyn to become one of the most heralded rappers and one of entertainment’s biggest superstars — has in the past called for a boycott of labels perceived to be racist, and has become more political in recent years, from speaking out about the killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin to campaigning for President Barack Obama.

    Jay-Z said in this case, he’s still trying to find out what happened —which is why he was silent.

    “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,” he added.

    He also dismissed reports that he would profit from the collaboration. He said he’s “not making a dime” from working with Barneys. Instead, his Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides college scholarships to economically challenged students, will get 25 percent of all sales from the collaboration.

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    8 thoughts on “Jay-Z Not Ready to Ax Deal with Store Accused of Profiling

    1. I tend not to comment, but after reading through a
      few of the responses on Jay-Z Barneys Racial
      Profiling | Black America Web. I actually do
      have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright. Is it simply me or does it seem like some of these remarks look like they are
      left by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are writing on additional places, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post.

      Would you make a list of the complete urls of your public pages like your
      twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    2. Brody. I can see what your saying… Alexander`s rep0rt is cool, on tuesday I bought a gorgeous GMC after bringing in $8328 this-last/4 weeks and-just over, 10 grand this past-month. with-out any doubt it’s my favourite-job I’ve ever done. I started this six months/ago and almost immediately was earning more than $85 per-hr. hop over to these guys……….. http://WWW.JOBS61.¢øm

    3. Jay-Z needs to stop ‘frontin’. It’s all about him and the money. I’m always disappointed with him not taking a stand in Civil Rights issues, especially the during the Trayvon Martin verdict and the state of Florida. There’s only a few entertainers that actually speak up if it involves losing a dollar. Everything in this country is about money.

    4. It’s all about the money, not that he doesn’t have enough. Maybe you’ll think twice before spending your hardearned money on his CDs and concert tickets. He’s not being profiled so what does he care.

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