Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh, Just Blame Jay Z...

Other the last few days, the Trayon Christian vs Barney's story has been all over the web and tv. It's a ridiculous story. And, Barney's is dead wrong. They basically profiled the kid for shopping while Black. I have so many issues with it. You can catch all the info in the NY Daily News. That is one issue within itself. It leads me to this new ridiculous point. Somehow, folks have decided to make my favorite rapper/entertainer/businessman a scape goat. I am, of course, speaking of one Shawn Corey Carter aka Jay Z. How? Why? The back story is Jay has a holiday deal with Barney's to benefit his foundation to award scholarships. People want Jay to back out of the deal because of this new story. I do not think he should. And, I'll tell you why. This is not the first case of shopping while Black nor will it be the last. What will Jay walking away accomplish? Also, there has been a call for a boycott. What? o_O I'm sorry but this is stupid as well. IF you weren't ever a Barney's customer, then you've been boycotting it all your life. You cannot boycott an establishment that you never frequented to begin with. That's just silly. This past Saturday Jay released a statement on his Life & Times website that I totally agree with. Read below:
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” Carter
Change is needed in so many areas in the U.S. Let's not act like we are living in a post-racial America because our President is Black. We are not. We are living in the America that racists who were mad because a Black man had the audacity to run for President (and win twice!), where a party of racists (GOP) who literally threw a tantrum (aka shut the government down) because they didn't like the law that President declared. This is not post-racial. This is blatantly racist. No one can make me believe otherwise. I know what I see. Barney's is not the first store to practice such ridiculous acts. I've had it happen to me in Dillard's. And, guess what I did? I wrote to the head of the company and I stopped shopping at all Dillard's. That was my personal win because I used to spend a lot in that store. Haven't in years. Blaming Jay is not the answer. Place the blame where it belongs - on Barney's. Write in to the powers that be, boycott them if you were a customer. Be the change you want to see in the world. That's my personal take on this issue. 

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