Al Sharpton, race-hustler extraordinaire, refuses to apologize for launching a boycott against Barneys New York over accusations that Barneys racially profiled two young black people. Sharpton claimed Barneys racially profiled Tryon Christian and Kayla Phillips. Barneys CEO Mark Lee, frightened by the threat, immediately released a statement saying, “Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies.”
But an internal investigation pursued by US Commission of Civil Rights member Michael Yaki found that when the two blacks were questioned by police, Barneys had no involvement at all. Yaki wrote that Barneys did not “request, require, nor initiate” for the police to confront Christian and Phillips. Yaki even revealed that Barneys has an anti-racial profiling code for employees. Would Sharpton apologize for his race-baiting?
Indeed not. He responded that Yaki’s report “raises more questions than it answers.”
Yaki interviewed employees and the Loss Prevention department policies. Reports indicate that police officers confronted Christian because they saw him buying expensive merchandise despite no complaints from Barneys. The police had the same experience with Phillips.
So how does Sharpton explain that? “If they have given the NYPD the right to do what they want, and they’re racial profiling, then you have turned a blind eye to racial profiling.”
So now Barneys is responsible for the NYPD’s actions because it happened on their premises? That’s a stretch, even for Sharpton.