We recently learned that Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips made the mistake of shopping at Barney’s while Black. Trayon bought a belt last week and Kayla bought a purse last February, both items the good people of Barneys and the NYPD just couldn’t believe either could afford, were convinced they purchased illegally and subsequently detained and questioned them about for hours. In the very apropos words of the Reverend Al Sharpton: “We’ve gone from stop and frisk to shop and frisk.”
Back in September, Jay-Z and Barneys announced their holiday collection collaboration, said to be worth millions, which many who took to the internet last week called on Jay to cancel. His response: he’s going to wait and see.
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?
This wait-and-see attitude is interesting to me because if I recall correctly, I don’t believe Jay waited to see anything when he called for a boycott of Cristal in June 2006, stemming from comments in an Economist article attributed to Frederic Rouzaud, managing director of Louis Roederer, the company that produces Cristal.
“It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud views the ‘hip-hop’ culture as ‘unwelcome attention’…I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands including the 40/40 Club nor in my personal life.” – Jay-Z
In that article Mr. Rouzaud made comments regarding his champagne and its affinity with rap artists and their fans, comments which were less than friendly; however, he never said he viewed the attention as “unwelcome”. It was the writer of the article, and not Mr. Rouzard, who described the attention as such. This distinction was brought to Jay-Z’s attention, to which his spokesperson replied that regardless of who made the comment, Jay was still offended.
Jay then proceeded to boycott the bubbly and even write a verse or two about it:
I used to drink Cristal, them fuckers racist
So I switched gold bottles on to that Spade shit
Hmmmm. No wait-and-see with Cristal, but when the company who he’s inked a lucrative deal gets busted acting like backwards racists, Jay’s got nothing to say, he wants to sit back and get all the facts. Huh?
To say I’m a little disappointed is an understatement.
Those of you who know me also know I luuuuurrrve me some Jay, have loved him since he hit us with Reasonable Doubt. But lately…I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it, but something has definitely shifted between me and Jigga. And this situation just kind of cements those not-so-in-love, have-removed-the-rose-colored-glasses feelings.
I don’t know what I expected Jay to do or say, but I certainly expected more than his complaints of “being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately[.]” I certainly expected more than his let-me-wait-and-see nonsense.
To quote Jay’s own words: Jigga what?