Debate Magazine

Shopping While Black: Barneys Racially Profiles Young African-American Male

By Shauntee @shaunteebattie

Racial Profiling: Barneys Racially Profiles Young African-American Male

I have an “issue” or maybe it’s a “problem” with racial profiling. Let’s just say it pisses me off. The words I need to describe the feeling fails me at the moment, but imagine how it feels to work hard every day and then be told that you couldn’t possibly afford something because of your race; even after you pay for it.  It’s insulting and demeaning to say the least.

Apparently, a young African-American male goes to Barneys in New York to purchase a Ferragamo belt. The clerk rings up his purchase and he presents his debit card along with his ID. He signs for his purchase and leaves. Less than a block from the store two undercover NYPD detectives stopped him claiming his debit card was fake. According to NY Daily News:

Trayon Christian, an engineering student from Queens, says he bought a $349 Ferragamo belt at Barneys and was promptly collared by undercover cops, who asked, ‘How could you afford a belt like this? Where did you get this money from?’


The detectives asked to see his ID and despite seeing all of his identification he was arrested only to be released with his debit card, his purchase, and an apology. Allegedly, Barneys called and reported his debit card as a fake. The young man is an engineering student who has work study and lives with his mom.

He later returned the belt and vowed never to shop there again. With the many successful African Americans we have including our very own POTUS (President of the United States) you would think that racial profiling would not be as bad. I have no intentions of shopping at Barneys or even visiting their website. I don’t have time to pull out all my identification and check stubs to prove I can afford something. Nor do I have time to get arrested for BS. I’m more of a Macy’s girl anyway! I don’t blame him for suing Barneys at all; I would’ve done the same thing!

I wonder if this will affect Jay Z’s partnership with Barneys for the holiday. Barneys reps have yet to respond to this incident.

Have you ever had an issue shopping while black?

Read more here

Photo Credit:

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog