Jay Z has answered calls to justify his relationship with Barneys, the luxury retailer that has been the target of several discrimination lawsuits after black shoppers were accosted by NYPD officers. "I move and speak based on facts and not emotion," Shawn Carter said in his
Thought Catalogue poststatement. "Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?"
The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation receives 25% of the profits from Jay Z's "New York Holiday" line, a fact the rapper is eager to point out. "This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning...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."
Towards the end of his 327-word statement, he finally gets to the discrimination that's at the heart of the controversy: "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."
Barneys representatives and community leaders are set to meet about the allegations this week, a fact alluded to by Al Sharpton, who said one of his deputies at the National Action Network will be present. "If they do not get satisfaction Tuesday, then I'm going down there," Sharpton said. "I don't have the time, and it's going to be slam bam. I'm not coming in for foolishness."
According to WWD, "Sharpton said it's gone from 'stop and frisk,' to 'shop and frisk.' "