Yesterday I took to my podium as a Blogger and citizen of Facebook and called for Black people to boycott Barney’s New York. This came after two cases surfaced of young Black people buying expensive items, and then finding themselves in jail for it. Read more about them here. Below are the bullet points.
- Two young Black people saved a lot of money to spend on bullshit with prestigious names on it. They have nothing more in common than a hunger for labels and the money to satisfy it.
- The clerk took their money. Got a commission?
- The clerk then waited until they had turned to walk away and called the cops on both of them.
- Undercover Police apprehend them. Bring them to the pokey, cooler, clink or whatever the hell else you want to call that place downtown where nobody wants to end up.
- Embarrassment, stress and humiliation ensue, as two citizens of our country are forced to prove their worth, because they couldn’t have possibly simply earned that money. Right?
Expensive shit has been returned. Lawsuits filed. The NYPD is trying to explain why Barney’s has them on speed dial, and how they became the personal gestapo of high end shop girls. Even Jay Z has dirt on his hands after this one. After all, J has a holiday collection in the works with Barney’s. Because nothing says Christmas more than collaboration between a mega-millionaire rapper and a super high end retailer. It’s called synergy, and if it isn’t in the Bible, it should be.
So, I took to FB and wrote this.
My beautiful Black people… Although I’m not a label kind of guy, I understand that some of you are. And that’s cool.
If you want to drop $350 on a belt, or $2,500 on a handbag, then by all means do so. But, if you take your money to Barney’s after reading this, then you deserve every second that you spend in a holding cell while NYPD runs your credit and gets all up in your financial business. Barney’s does not like you.
Please don’t be one of those people who stalks your exes from the bushes, or tells yourself that you’re different from the rest. Take it like a man, (or woman) and stop supporting this store.
They don’t think that you are worthy. It is not your job to prove otherwise, by shoveling more of your money into their greedy hands. Move on.
Trust me. It’s not you, it’s them.
To be clear, this is the easiest boycott I have ever taken part in. I live in Atlanta, about 900 miles away from Barney’s New York. I also don’t currently have $3,500 laying around for a pair of cuff-links or $900 for some socks, or something like that. But if I did live in New York, and had a stack of cash burning a hole in the palm of my hand, I can think of about 1,000 things I would do with that money before I gave it to Ferragamo, or Celine, Versace or…I can’t think of any other labels. Which should tell you something about me. I don’t care about labels.
Before I go on, let’s recap. Yesterday I leveraged my 123 followers – 550 if you want to include all of my Facebook friends – against a company that is hundreds of miles away and carries inventory in which I have absolutely no interest. That post reached 49 people.
As of this writing, Barney’s stock fell about 1 percent. Such is the power of the written word. One man with a Mac Mini and the will to grapple with big business, just made a difference. One man, 49 views… one percent decline in stock.
When the analysts try to find out why, they will shake their fists and shout, “Chadvs!” (The above stock quotes were from Smith Barney, whose stock devaluation was an untended consequence of my post. I have no regrets. They were collateral damage. Barney’s New York is private.)
Here’s the thing. Should anyone even have to call for a boycott? I mean, this is common sense. Once this news went public, anyone with an ounce of good intentions should have been naturally inclined to stay away.
This shouldn’t require a movement. It should come from within. The same thing that makes you throw away food that smells bad; the same thing that makes you brush your teeth after you throw up, should keep you from buying at Barney’s, no matter how much money you have and how badly you want to rock Versace.
No matter how old you are or what color you are, if you know about how Barney’s treats some of its customers and still want to spend your money there you’re kind of an asshole. And their apology? So what. There are public relations professionals who do nothing but issue professional apologies. Haven’t you seen Scandal?
Anyway, it’s been about two days since the second story broke. Do you truly believe that they’ve changed their policies in the past 48 hours? Unlikely. Have a spine. Don’t be an asshole.