Jay-z is one of the coolest on the planet, tonight his fans are accusing hem of being part of something unquestionably cool. All part of a deal the rapper signed with a high end department store now... See More
Jay-z is one of the coolest on the planet, tonight his fans are accusing hem of being part of something unquestionably cool. All part of a deal the rapper signed with a high end department store now accused of racism. Jay-z find himself thrust into the national debate over something called shopping while black. The man who famously rapped about having 99 problems now has one more. Jay-z husband to beyonce, father to blue ivy and global icon of cool facing tough questions about his deal with high end retailer barney's to design exclusive items that will go on sale next month. Like this raincoat which will cost $675, this double gold ring, and this leatherback pack. Meant to be an homage to new york by the man who come posed this city's anthem "empire state of mind ♪ . ♪ New york ♪ the deal became extremely controversial however this week after two young african-american shoppers came out to say they were racially profiled at barney's. Very embarrassing. Very. Trayon christian, a college student says he bought a $350 belt with his debit card. After he left the store he says two undercover cops chased him down the street and handcuffed him. Undercover cops, on the left side, had regular clothes on, stopped me. And I got a call from barney's saying your card is not real. They had me in the cell for an hour or two. Just in there waiting, patiently waiting. After that an hour or two go past. I'm sorry your car was real. Sorry for awful this. They let me go. Christian is suing barney's. So potentially is a 21-year-old nursing student whose own brother is a new york city cop. She came forward the day after christian with a similar story. I was feeling helpless, demeaned, confused, hurt, embarrassed, humiliated. She says she used tax rebate money to buy the $2,300 bag at barney's and was stopped by the cops. She has a message for jay z. I know he will make the right choice. What is the right choice? To don't have any dealings with barney's. Though jay z signed the deal before the incident came to light and 25% of sales go to his charitable foundation which gives scholarships to needy children he is facing pressure from friends, fans and fellow celebrities to bow out. One fan tweeting, will blue ivy be racially profiled when she purchases her first designer bag? Another saying if jay z does a campaign with the racist store he is dirt mine book. Today the new york city police clarified in cases like these they're called by the store and dupe n do not act independently. Police officers responding to retailers in the city is an every day occurrence. Barney's offered deepest apologies for the experience described in recent media reports. It insisted it has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and has hired a civil rights expert to review its policies. But this is not a new problem in stores across america. It even has a name, shopping while black. There may be a presumption that young black men or young black women are somehow unable to afford, you know, we are either poor, or that we are unable to afford this, or that we shouldn't somehow want these things and even go into these places. Just today in fact, actor robert brown who stars in hbo show, sued macy's saying she was unlawfully searched by undercover detectives. Macy's is investigating. Other black celebrities made similar complaints. Oprah winfrey spoke to et in august about an episode in an upscale store in switzerland. I was in zurich the other day at a store whose name I will not mention. I say to the woman, excuse me, may I see that bag right above your head? And she says to me, no. It's too expensive. Now why did she do that? Even president obama has talked about this. There are very few african-american men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. The abc show "what would you do" tested this premise several years ago, casting actors to play the shopkeeper and the shopper. I don't need you any further in the store because I can't keep my eye on you. People look you come in and they take things. People like me. I think you know what I am talking about. Would onlookers come to the aid of the shopper. Many did not. However some did. Do you know how embarrassing this is, why are you singling her out? Worth pointing out. Jay z who group in the housing projects in brolyn has rapped about being racially profiled. Check out the music video for his hit "99 problems." You know what I'm stopping you for ♪ whether you have billions or hundreds it seems like if you are black and you try to go to these stores then you might experience these problems. I think we could all relate to that. I have had those experiences. So what does jay z say about the barney's uproar. Absolutely nothing. He is on tour in sweden tonight where he was reportedly asked by journalists about the barney's controversy and refused to comment. One of the people in his entourage was quoted as saying "jay z is not allowed to speak on this matter." A member of his entourage said jay z will address the issue when his new barney's collection launches next month. Which would seem to indicate he is not dropping out of this
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