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The loud roar of disapproval has come after Jay Z following news of discrimination at a New York Barney’s department store. In a statement with Life + Times, Jay announced that he has no intention of ending his collaboration with the high priced retailer which is set to begin over the holidays. His response follows a large public cry condemning the store and requesting that the 43-year old rapper pull out of the collaboration due to the racial profiling of an African-American teen attempting to buy a $350 belt.

“I move and speak based on facts and not emotion,” Jay Z said in the statement, opting not to make a move until the case better presents itself. “I am not making a dime from this collection … The Shawn Corey Carter Foundation is the beneficiary.”

The collection entitled “BNY SCC Gallery” (Barney New York Shawn Corey Carter Gallery) launches on November 20th at Barney’s locations in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Beverly Hills & Chicago.

This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. 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. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.

I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? 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. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education. I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.

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. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter

Photo via Marco Torres

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