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?
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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