By DANIELLE COHEN
Two black customers at the high-end department store Barney’s in New York City claimed to be subjects of racial profiling by the store’s employees.
According to the Huffington Post, Barney’s has been criticized for profiling African-American customers. Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillip were separate victims who recently have been examples of Barney’s profiling instances.
Christian sued Barneys after he was accused of fraud after spending money at Barney’s when he bought a Ferragamo belt in April.
Phillips filed a notice that she will sue after detectives stopped her outside of Barney’s after she made a high-end purchase of a Celine bag in February.
The CEO of Barneys, Mark Lee, apologized and claimed they have hired a civil rights expert to address the situation.
This situation is not only hurtful to Christian and Phillips and the people who could relate to this situation, but it is hurting Jay-Z and his fashion collaboration.
Jay-Z, who grew up in a life of crime in Brooklyn, is now an international star and rapper. He is very aware of civil rights. He is thoughtful and thinks about his labels and if they would be considered racist.
He also stood up and spoke about the killing of Trayvon Marton, a black teenager who was killed because he was mistaken to be dangerous just because of his race.
Jay-Z is currently in the processes of collaborating with Barney’s to create a jewelry line and clothing line for the holidays in which he would not profit in anyway. Twenty-five percent of the total profit is planning to benefit economically challenged students to help them pursue an education.
There has been discussion in the news and social media because many of his fans believe that he should not continue his collaboration with Barney’s because of their racial profiling.
Saturday, Jay-Z announced that he had been “demonized” over his new collaboration and has been under pressure from all ends of social media to end his involvement with Barneys.
There have been Twitter remarks made to Jay-Z about this situation.
An online petition was even made to convince Jay-Z to drop his partnership with Barneys. This petition spread all over social media. This petition has received 13,670 signatures.
On top of all the social media recognition about this heated petition, people have been criticizing Jay-Z for not speaking publicly about his thoughts on the issue. This has even landed him on the cover of the New York Daily News.
Yesterday, Jay-Z spoke out. He stated, “I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys.”
Because Jay-Z has such fame and such a large following, any news about him could and most definitely will cause a social media uproar with people sharing their opinions. If the news was not as established as it is today, people would be unable to retrieve all the information and they wouldn’t have the capability to share their opinions within social media networks. They also would not have been able to gather so many names on a petition.
In my opinion, social media are great for advertisers and for sharing news within seconds, but they also allow for a platform of negative opinions to be shared, petitions to be made, and people’s lives and reputations to be tainted.
After understanding what Jay-Z is going through, I began to think about how peoples lives would be changed drastically if social media did not exist because people would make more of their own decisions.
Social media is essentially creating a persuasive stream of comments that are unnecessary and that just simply complicate people’s lives.
There is news being created that is simply stemming from what people say on social media. If social media was eliminated this whole era of news would be eliminated.