A Change.org petition spearheaded by Brooklyn entrepreneur Derick Bowers wants Jay-Z to ditch his holiday collaboration with Barney’s New York, after the luxury retailer was accused of two incidents of racial profiling.
This week, 19-year-old engineering student Trayon Christian filed a suit against Barney’s, citing the chain and NYPD wrongfully accused him of credit card fraud after he purchased an expensive Salvatore Ferragamo belt. Most recently Kayla Phillips, 21, said she was profiled as well, when she purchased a $2,500 Céline bag (story here).
Though Barney’s has denied any wrongdoing, saying in a statement, “[We have] a zero tolerance for any form of discrimination,” Derick Bowers wants justice. And he’s looking at Hov.
In a statement, Bowers said, “We can no longer tolerate blatant prejudice and discrimination. It is clear that the minority buying power is devalued by some. We must withdraw support to those who will not support us. I’ve been a lifelong Jay Z fan. Jay Z is currently in partnership with Barneys New York for the release of his holiday collection — called “A New York Holiday” (or BNY SCC). Barneys lacks any connection with the black and hip-hop community. And without his vast wealth and brand power, they would see him the same as they see Trayon Christian. Jay Z should be appalled by Barneys actions, and withdraw all support from them. If he does this, he will send a clear message to all corporations that are likeminded, that this behavior cannot be tolerated any longer.”
Jay-Z is very aware of civil right transgressions, and has voiced his opinions in the past. In his hit, “On to the Next One,” he rapped, “I used to drink Cristal, [but] them f*ckers racist. So I switched gold bottles on to that Spade sh*t.” But where he’ll stand on this issue remains to be seen.
What do you think? Should Jay-Z cut all ties with Barney’s?
Read the full Change.org petition here.