Seems like Jay Z has replaced Martha Stewart as the new doyen of what is right in the world. There was a time when the masses looked to Martha for all the trimmings and what was apropos of everything or nothing but the times they are a changin’. Jay Z and Beyonce have replaced the Kennedy Clan for the title of American Royalty, though that must make the Kardashian Klan furious and the Tea Party psychotic.
The recent racial profiling cases at Barneys a.k.a “shopping while black” has sent people turning to Jay Z for answers since he is doing a promotion with Barneys. People are clamoring for Mr Z to slap Barney (no S intended) on the wrist and back down from doing business with them, even though the project is a benefit for the Shawn Carter Foundation to provide college grants for underprivileged students in need. Then again, which retailers wouldn’t kill to work with Jay Z.
I’d like to shift the conversation a bit to say–besides the fact that Barneys is beyond lame for challenging those kids the way they did–might we also look at the fact that those kids needed to buy a Salvatore Ferragamo belt and Chloe handbag. Can this also be a discussion about how our society has become so label obsessed that buying designer brand provides unparallelled comfort, like a pacifier to a baby? This is a huge problem for the youth culture both black and white. Hello Rachel Sacks, nominee and probably winner of Gross Baboon of the Year! (Click to read if you don’t know about the Grossest Baboons on Earth.)
This is a problem that Jay Z should bear no responsibility in. He is a business man living his life to the fullest and that should be the inspiration to others. Jay Z seems to be a man of integrity and until all the facts are in, the jury should sit put. His reaction was exemplary. The internet might take a lesson from the law and get the full story first before chiming in and vomiting all over the place. I would also like to know if Barneys has done what they did to those African-American kids to low-rent, mad, white trash. It might be worth an ask.
Far be it from me to avoid the delicate conversation about race and the profiling issue. I am horrified at the situation at a time when having a black president has done so little for race relations. The strides the black community has made over the past 30 years have paved the way for Barack Obama. Not the other way around. This might be a time for Jay Z to open a national dialogue on racial profiling the same way Obama did when he talked about race during his first presidential campaign. Heck, Jay Z for President!
First of all, Barneys better take a look at their PR department, perhaps sign them all up for New School night classes in PR 101. The way security is handled surely falls under that department. One would imagine there should be an open line of communication with PR and security teams and when tender situations are happening. Don’t you think that department would be contacted at once? False arrest is a fotz and if in the final analysis that is the case, then yikes. One imagines that Jay Z will do the appropriate thing.
Frankly, I’d love to see people arrested for being annoying, clientele or staff. Lord knows I would love to see someone getting arrested for being pretentious. And at Barneys, that could be more than the NYPD can handle.