What I’m hearing from brothas and sistas as the reaction from the Barneys shop and frisk scandal is more alarming than the incident itself. Dream and Hustle is in the midst of an investigation but the shocking ignorance I’m hearing from mainstream Black America on this scandal is trumping my research efforts. Let’s go through all of the points many cats are not considering that I already have and things I noticed that is bigger than the shop-and-frisk issue.
Black Economic Ignorance in America is Extremely Glowing
"Why should he be arrested? He can do whatever he wants with HIS money. Everyone doesn't shop at the 99cents store. He had every right to treat himself without being hassled and arrested!"
"To every single person on this thread who thinks that they can stand in judgement of this hardworking young lady for buying herself something..... shame on you. She works, she's going to school to learn an honorable profession, that is in self hard work. If anyone deserves a purse like that, she's it."
We have brothas and sistas on the Internet saying what these two broke ass young adults do with their money is their business and they have a right to buy a $350 belt and $2500 purse and it is no one business. This mentality by these brothas and sistas is the same ignorance that brought down the Black community, help contribute to the global economic meltdown and recession we are experiencing right now.
Look at the Black unemployment rates, especially among young Black adults. Look at the pictures and videos of long lines of Black people in a job fair line or trying to apply for Section 8 or heating assistance with some old women waiting overnight in a wheelchair. Look at the Black community with kids walking to school with syringes and used condoms all on the sidewalk. Look at the housing situation in the Black community where you got boarded up homes in areas once known as vibrate middle-class areas in Detroit and Atlanta. All this economic depression impacting African-Americans and cats are going to say they don’t have an opinion on an young Black adult spending $350 for a belt?
Notice when these same Black folks run their mouth about these young Black adults have the right, they don’t use the word responsibility in their commentary. This is not about “rights” this is about “responsibility” and helping our Black youth make smart decisions with their money. We seen generations of generations of Black folks running around spending lavishly and losing all their material possessions in a blink of an eye and cats got the nerve to argue a point about having the right to pay $350 for a belt? I’m not interested in Jay-Z reaction, I’m looking at the Black people who saying that garbage!
In my opinion, you have to be a serious worthless piece of work to the Black community to convey the message of financial ignorance and not convey the message of financial responsibility to the Black youth. If you do think it’s a right to spend money and too stupid to realize money is a financial resource that must be managed with responsibility, then you basically advertising to everybody around you that you ain’t got money to be talking or having a conversation about money. That’s like saying someone has the right to buy any stock they want on the market...that’s how these dumbass cats sound.
National Action Network Trying to Interlope in this Legal Matter.
Hey everybody, look who shows up all late to the game – it’s Al Sharpton and the National Action Network! You guys thought I was lying when I told you that Black media and these Black leaders do not care about a Black issue until mainstream media covers it first! Didn’t I tell you that on this blog?! New York Daily news and New York Post and local ABC affiliate covered this story about Barneys for over a week and then we hear Al Sharpton days later talking about he and the National Action Network is on this issue like the NAN is on the issue of paying their back taxes to the IRS. In case you didn’t know, National Action Network owe Uncle Sam a lot of money.
I think Al Sharpton got the message his name is dirt and like to mess up people legal cases by involving himself and focusing on the racial aspect when the who matter is more complex than that for a courtroom. So he recruited one of his minions, Kirsten John Foy who claiming they taking charge and on top of this.
However, there is a slight problem – the issue is pretty much already being addressed. Obviously Trayon Christian contacted a lawyer who took the lawsuit to the media and got the headlines. The case is pretty much open and shut from a legal standpoint – someone from Barneys defamed and portrayed Trayon Christian in a false light to the NYPD with a false claim he had a stolen credit card causing him to be detained by the NYPD. The mainstream media covered the story, it is now made aware all over. So why days later, we see the National Action Network all late to the game pretending like they on top of it?
You pretty much know what is going on right? This is the NAN hustle they pull where they try to be hired as a spokesperson by the law firm and try to get a cut of that settlement and force a settlement through race-based agitation. But the problem is all the not guilty verdicts Al Sharpton be interloping himself like with Sean Bell and Trayvon Martin and cats are getting wind that this guy is a liability. Notice something? Yeah, Trayon Christian and his family did not first go to the National Action Network, they went and got a lawyer...tells you how much real respect and influence that National Action Network group really has in the real Black community, don’t it?
Black Community Not Acknowledging the Contributions from Anti-Racism Whites
"Well Barney's I hope it was worth it for you. You will notice you have not just lost minority customers, who you obviously don't want anyway, but also quite a few of your preferred (read "white") clients. To all the people calling bullshit on here, way to go!"
"I am a white professional women in her 40's who can and does shop with you. You will never get another cent from me. You are racist bigots and should be ashamed of yourselves."
The Black community want to badly believe they have helped raised awareness of recent issue involving Black people through Black media but the data show it is the anti-racist movement operated by White groups inspired by Tim Wise that has been the most influential. If a bunch of Black people complained no one would care in Black media, but if you get a bunch of White people taking on the racist issue and claiming they won’t tolerate racism and outspoken, then you see people like Mark Lee who is the CEO of Barneys responding. This strategy was documented and formulated in the last decade by my generation to involve more White people in addressing racial issues to not make it seem like only Black people care about racial injustice.
This movement started by our generation of cats like me and Van Jones and I blogged about this years ago. Basically, White people who know me professionally and personally had sat back and stay silent when racist things from Techcrunch was coming my way and I pulled them to the side and told them their silence is a silent endorsement of the offending actions against me. These are White people I knew almost all my adult life and when something happen to me, my White friends want to go silent Bob and ish? Another factor is I believe Tim Wise was very influential in helping White America understand racism is not a Black problem but an American problem and he made a difference.
The problem is, the Black community do not want to acknowledge that anti-racism groups are involved in helping us in many of these issues. Then what you see happen is the National Action Network comes around and pretend they on top of it and turns it into a Black/White issue and mess everything up. Look, we not going to win trying to fight issues based on a Black identity and need to fight on a united front with all of our people. We Black people have friends and associates of all backgrounds and my Asian girlfriend will help a brotha and has helped a brotha just as much as a sista. My crew working on Hustle Space in the Philippines understand Black urban issues and proposing good solutions so yall brothas and sistas stop with that crap we are going to win wars based on a Black identity. Brothas and sistas have to realize we need to bring everybody on the team to fight this system at racism at every front.
The anti-racist groups lead by many White people who are very active and very effective with their tactics and techniques should be acknowledged by brothas and sistas and we need to stop letting race baiters like Al Sharpton come around pretending he is the one taking care of business. He ain’t led a damn thing and now showing up all late like he always do pretending he is on top of this issue about Barneys profiling customers and working with the NYPD.
Retail Outlets Working with Police to Profile Their Own Customers
The biggest concern me and my crew has is first we heard Eric Snowden claim the NSA worked with wireless companies and Internet firms to spy on American data and communications. Now we are hearing New York undercover police is embedded in retail stores profiling consumers. We heard about the New York undercover police found in that motorcycle gang and we also hear about New York undercover police embedded in the Occupy Movement protest. Now we got undercover police in the retail outlets spying on Americans?
Barneys made an initial claim they had nothing to do with the detention of Trayon Christian and that peaked me and my crew interest. Barneys just dropped a big hint that it is the possibility that New York police has free reign to be embedded in their retail stores and profile people and detain customers as the customer do nothing but come in a private establishment to conduct business. Many of you guys were asking who called the police but you guys missed the big clue.
The big clue both Black young adults said was they were stopped two blocks away after leaving the store. The only way you can be stopped two blocks after leaving a store is if a police was on the radio telling them a mark is on their way. Barneys can’t make a phone call and get a two block reaction time, that is not a 911 emergency call. Even if you used a stolen credit card, it is the job of retail security to detain you and wait for police to arrive. It may be likely this was all NYPD and Barneys had nothing to do with it except made all of us know they have embedded NYPD working in their stores profiling people.
New York City has some kind of surveillance program going on with snitches, embedded undercover officers and stop-and-frisk and profiling that appears to be running deep. People want to forget but Ray Kelly was the guy at Atlanta airport who was profiling Black women coming back from the Caribbean forcing Black women (even Black wives who were with their husbands returning from vacation) to nude strip search claiming Black women are mules for carrying drugs back to the US.
The Bonus Question No One Asked That is the Most Obvious
One of the reasons I’m reserving my judgment on Barneys in terms of treatment is because I’m from the hood and I know from my experience what the most likely possibility is on who would treat Trayon Christian like this. See, everybody running around promoting this image some gay Jewish bigot who hate Blacks coming into his upscale retail establishments would do something like this. Let me ask a question that no one asked in this whole discussion that many of you brothas and sistas should know the answer.
In your experience as a Black person visiting a high end shop like Gucci or Louie Vuitton or Burberry or Barneys or whatever, do you remember how the Black sales associate working there treated you? Think about when you visited the Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes or Maserati or Porsche or BMW dealership – how did the Black sales associates treated you? Be honest and don’t lie either.
Let’s not draw conclusions until we get some facts about who was the one behind calling the NYPD on these two Black youth because in my personal experience, I never had disrespect coming from anybody White when I go to a high end retailer. Most of the White bigot sale associates one would not even bother with me. However, if you want to know how the Black sales associate at these high end stores treated me and judged me and acted towards me when I looked at an expensive merchandise, just look back at your own experience and be honest.