Friday afternoon after over a week of pressure to drop his collaboration with Barney’s over it’s racial profiling of 19-year-old student Trayon Christian, Jay-Z has decided to grace us with a statement.
The glaring thing that stood out to me was the fact that he decided to release his statement late on a Friday. If you’ve studied journalism or are just a connoisseur of news you know releasing statements on Fridays is a way to bury it. In other words it’s well known that if you release a statement on a Friday people will ignore it as it’s the beginning of their weekend. With that said when I found out Mr. Carter had chosen this time to finally speak up I already knew something was fishy.
As of late Jay-Z has taken very little stances on things that matter while attempting to save face and pretending to care. In the case of Trayvon Martin, Jay-Z could have taken the lead on either a Boycott of Florida or used his political clout to take a real stand against ‘Stand Your Ground’. Jay-Z chose to do neither, and instead what we got was a photo op at the Trayvon Martin march in New York City and a tribute to Mr. Martin at a concert.
The statement released by Jay-Z is disturbing for a few reasons and I’ll list the ones that glare out at me. In his statement Jay alludes to the fact that he will gain no personal profit from his venture with Barney’s. Jay is a business man worth half a billion dollars, he didn’t get there by doing anything for free. In his statement Jay claims that “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.” From what I see that’s 35% on a good day (literally) and 35% doesn’t quite equal 100%, so who’s getting the other 65%? We would be foolish to believe a nice chunk of that will not be making it’s way into your pockets Jay-Z.
The next issue that I took wit this was the redirecting of guilt. Jay-Z chooses to tell us that if he does not continue with his collaboration it’s “THE CHILDREN” who will miss out. Once again between Jay-Z and his wife they are worth over a billion dollars. They could easily put their own money into the foundation no help needed from Barney’s AND/OR raise the funds by other means such as 1 night only performances and fundraisers.
Jay-Z has chosen to ignore his community and turn a blind-eye on what appears to be systematic racism stemming from Barney’s all in the name of profit. And from reading the comments on various websites concerning the statement, the public isn’t buying it. You can read Jay’s bullshit statement below and come to your own conclusions.