Buying while Black
Teen arrested for using his own credit card at high-end retailers
A college student from New York City was arrested after buying a luxury brand from Barneys’ — a high end department store. Trayon Christian, 19, had saved his money to buy a Salvatore Ferragamo belt he had seen rappers wear including Juelz Santanawear. The belt cost $349.
Apparently, the store clerk at Barneys’ didn’t think the credit card was his — even though he showed state ID — and called the police. The police detained the young man until the bank confirmed his identity.
Some say the young man was racially profiled.
Christian returned the belt and is filing a lawsuit against Barneys’ and the New York Police Department.
The incident has brought up several questions: Is this a post-racial America if a young Black man in a high-end store is automatically considered a thief? A number of high profile African Americans, including Oprah Winfrey, have been refused service in luxury stores and with luxury brands. Why do we still support them? What is Barneys’ responsibility to Christian? Will the rappers who wear this brand stand up for Christian?
See related stories:
Busted at Barneys’ for Being Black, NY Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/barneys-accused-stealing-black-teen-article-1.1493101
Barney’s busted Student for Shopping While Black: http://nypost.com/2013/10/22/barneys-busted-student-for-being-black-suit/