Dear Jay-Z:

I’m a 14-year-old that lives in the suburbs of Maryland. Sometimes I listen to your music, but Kendrick Lamar is more my style as well as some 80’s music.  Although I applaud your efforts in donating profits from your Barney’s collection, I do question one of the items.

As you may know, racial profiling is something that us young black boys have to deal with. It doesn’t matter if you live in the suburbs of Maryland or Brooklyn. When I tell my mother that I’m going out, even during the afternoon, she always warns me to be careful. It’s not that I’m out there wildin’ out or anything but she knows what can happen to young black men.

Although I don’t feel as though people should be policed, for a lack of a better word, in what they wear, your ski-mask screams, “Profile me, 5-0. I’m a young black man with a skull-mask on and I must be up to no good.”  Bank robbers commonly wear ski-mask covering their faces. If you happen to be racing on the Iditarod, you may need a ski mask covering your face. But if I’m walking down the street at night with a ski-mask on, I’m quite sure the cops in my county will not think I’m an Iditarod racer, but someone who just committed a crime.

As much as I like cashmere, my grandfather just bought me some cashmere sweaters; I think I’ll pass on this cashmere ski mask. 1) Because $695 is crazy — and 2) I’d like to live to see 25. I’m sure you already know those statistics about black men.

Jaden Steele is a 14-year-old high-school freshman living in Maryland and plans on majoring in Biochemistry in college.

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