Jay Z Called to Drop Barneys Collaboration After Racist Allegations

Two Black shoppers were targeted by NYPD after buying high-end items at the department store.

Posted: 10/24/2013 05:24 PM EDT
Jay Z, Barneys

A petition is calling for Jay Z to drop his holiday collection with Barneys New York after shoppers claim they were unfairly treated at the department store for being Black. Trayon Christian, 19, and Kayla Phillips, 21, say they were each approached by New York police after buying high-end items at the store. Christian says he was handcuffed and imprisoned and interrogated on how he could afford his $349 Ferragamo belt. He was later released with no charges. Both Christian and Phillips were accused of using fraudulent cards for the transaction.

In response to the accusations, a Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Derick Bowers has started a petition on Change.org asking the rapper to drop the collaboration and take a stance against racial profiling.

"We can no longer tolerate blatant prejudice and discrimination. It is clear that the minority buying power is devalued by some," Bowers writes in the petition, which has 421 supporters as of Thursday evening. "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."

To read the entire petition, click here and tell us: Do you think Jay Z should drop his affiliation with Barneys?


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(Photos from left: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images, Jay-Z Apparel via Barneys)

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