Okay, here's the scoop: two young black kids were racially profiled in a high-end fashion store. A young man was arrested/questioned for purchasing a $350 belt with what was called "a stolen credit card." After a couple of hours in jail, he was released when it was determined that the card was actually his.
A young lady purchased a $2,500 purse from Barney's and received a similar line of questioning about how she could afford the bag. Why she used her tax rebate money to buy a purse that expensive is beyond me. Maybe she and the young man are both rich. It's moot anyway. The point is that they were both making legitimate purchases, but were accused of being shady people.
How does Jay Z tie into all of this? Well, he has a contract with Barney's to launch some new holiday clothing next month. Critics are calling upon him to cut ties with Barney's to take a stand against "shopping while black" incidents. However, Jay Z did release a statement on his website that basically denounces discrimination without condemning Barney's.
It appears that Jay Z will choose his pockets over his people and that will be unfortunate for Jay Z if Barney's is guilty of profiling. Tons of people will be pissed at Jay Z saying he's too cowardly to speak out. Including Hitler in the video below. He was really pissed!
Now, I lost respect for Jay Z long ago, so this incident doesn't affect how I feel about him. I lost respect for Jay Z after he dissed a living legend in Harry Belafonte. I can't say that I won't be surprised if he indeed decides to continue his affiliation with Barney's even if it's proven they were at fault. But despite that, this may surprise you: I don't think he should be obligated to cut ties with the store.
I just have a problem with Jay Z saying nothing about it for as long as he did. Nothing. He can at least condemn the incident even if he doesn't condemn the store. We know for a fact that the incident with the young man happened and we know without a fact that it landed him in jail.
But, nope that's not his style. He's not going to piss off a store selling his over-priced swag. He's going to play the victim and whine about people attacking his character. And again, to his credit, Jay Z is being victimized here to a certain extent because he had nothing to do with what happened. But, he's too self-centered to realize who the real victims are in this ordeal.
As for the store, I just think that Barney's needs to readjust the attitude of its employees. I won't call a franchise "racist" for the actions of a couple of idiots. I seriously doubt that they tell their employees to "follow all black customers."
Famous people, regardless of color, would do whatever it took to right a wrong. That trend died a decade or two ago and got replaced with, "I gotta get mine, you gotta get yours." Just like we do with politicians, we blindly support our favorite celebrities despite the fact that they don't always care about our well-being.
Do celebs/athletes have any kind of responsibility to speak up for the "right thing?"