This is a meeting that must happen.
Rev. Al Sharpton plans to meet with Mark Lee, CEO of Barney’s New York, on Tuesday to discuss allegations that two black shoppers were racially profiled inside Barney’s and then detained by police before being cleared of wrongdoing and released.
There were no apologies, no explanations, no remorse.
“In major cities like New York, blacks and Latinos not only worry about being “stopped-and-frisked” by police, but they also fear the embarrassment of being “shopped-and-frisked” in retail stores,” Sharpton wrote in The New York Daily News. “In other words, minorities are sent a shameful message that no matter what they are doing, they are guilty until proven innocent.”
“Imagine walking into a store, finding something you like and making the purchase only to be stopped, interrogated, searched, handcuffed and locked in a cell simply because someone didn’t believe you could afford the item,” Sharpton wrote.
According to Sharpton’s spokesperson, Rachel Noerdlinger, the meeting between Sharpton and Lee will take place at the National Action Network headquarters in Harlem.
Sharpton wants to hear directly from Lee about two high-profile racial incidents that have received national attention.
Trayon Christian, 19, has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Barneys, saying police targeted him in April because they didn’t think he could afford a $350 Ferragamo belt. He was stopped a block from the store by undercover detectives who held him in a jail cell for two hours before releasing him after they verified his credit card.
“It makes me look at stuff very different based on my race,” Christian told a New York radio station.
In the second incident at Barney’s, Kayla Phillips, 21, told the New York Daily News and the New York Post she was surrounded by police officers after she left the store in February having purchased a $2,500 Celine handbag. She said they demanded to know why she used a debit card without a name on it.
Phillips explained it was a temporary card, and after showing police identification and a new debit card, they released her.
“What is the collusion between the NYPD and your security that four blocks away from the store, the NYPD stops somebody that bought something in your store?” Sharpton wrote.
Meanwhile, some black activists are putting pressure on hip-hop mogul Jay-Z to pull out of a clothing partnership with Barney’s. Critics want Jay-Z to dissolve his association with the high-end clothing store in the wake of the racial profiling allegations.
But Sharpton said Jay-Z should not be vilified.
“Some people want to make this about Jay-Z,” Sharpton said. “No, this is about Barneys first.”
Breaking his silence on the situation, Jay-Z released a statement Monday saying his collaboration with Barney’s is about his foundation, not about amassing personal wealth.
“I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported,” Jay-Z said. “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.”
And responding to the racial profiling allegations, Jay-Z added:
“I move and speak based on facts and not emotion,” he 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?”
Give Jay-Z a break. He doesn’t deserve to be criticized for trying to help disadvantaged Americans through his non-profit foundation.
What do you think?
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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