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Jay Z Breaks Silence On Barney’s Uproar; Says He’s ‘No Stranger To Being Profiled’

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For days now, there have been requests for Jay Z to drop his business with Barney’s of New York, after a racial profiling incident was made public.

There have been online petitions encouraging him to do so, tweets heard around the world begging him to take action and entire radio segments wondering why the rapper and mogul has stayed silent on an incident, considering he was so vocal in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin killing.

Over the weekend, Jay released a statement, saying that he was waiting for the facts of this particular case to be made public. He also says that he’s not making any money on his collection at Barneys, and that the Shawn Carter Foundation will reap the benefits of items sold.

Below is his statement in its entirety:

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

Tell us: Does this change how you feel?

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  1. […] allegations that Barneys employees racially profiled black customers, a soirée planned to kick off the rapper’s fashion collaboration with the high-end department […]