Jay-Z urged to drop Barneys deal 

Jay Z is getting pressure from fans and black leaders to pull out of his lucrative merchandising deal with high-end retailer Barneys in the wake of some reported disturbing incidences.

According to the New York Daily News, at least two black customers were unfairly profiled after they purchased expensive merchandise at the store with their credit cards.

In February, Kayla Phillips, 21, was swarmed by cops after she purchased a $2,500 Céline handbag, and in April, 19-year-old Trayon Christian was handcuffed and detained after he bought a $349 belt. In both instances the police questioned whether they were using stolen credit cards, apparently based solely on the fact that they were young and black, even though they both had identification to prove their identities.

An online petition has been started to get Jay Z to pull out of his merchandising deal, and he has yet to speak about the accusations against the retailer except to say that all the attention he has gotten on the issue amounts to "demonizing" him. Dude, playing the victim here isn't helping.

"This could be his family Barneys is profiling," said a woman from his old neighborhood, Bedford-Stuyvesant. "They would've done the same thing to him back in the day, before he got to where he is now. He should remember that."

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Katy St. Clair

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