Very few celebrities have been meek in voicing their political leanings in 2016. Another A-lister using their star power to advocate for their particular presidential preference is mogul and activist Russell Simmons. Sitting down with Yahoo News, the founder of Def Jam Recordings asserted his views on Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
The 58-year-old entrepreneur poignantly described his fear that Trump’s incessant fear-mongering and hateful sentiments will polarize the nation beyond what we can imagine. Simmons states, “The horrible things I am hearing, that are spreading through the media, these statements that are being left unchecked, are part of a wave of the old regime saying things that they couldn’t say 10 years ago, and five years ago.” He continues, “My greatest fear is, not that Donald Trump will be elected president, but that he has separated this country in a way that we have not seen it.”
Following the reality-star-turned-presidential-hopeful’s fervent Islamophobic discourse, Simmons has launched a new campaign “Muslims Speaking Out” in conjunction with his founded nonprofit The Foundation For Ethnic Understanding. The campaign seeks to combat the notion among some communities in the United States that Islam is synonymous with extremism and consequent terrorism. Simmons explains, “The Muslim communities in America have been demonized by Donald Trump. His whole hateful campaign, even when he is defeated in a landslide, has opened the door to hateful speech. … What he has done has allowed Americans to say things that are festering deep in their hearts that they could never say.”
Most recently, Trump has reignited anti-muslim attitudes in response to the now famed words of Khizr Khan. At the DNC last week, Khan vividly illustrated the Republican nominee’s overall lack of empathy which, he reminds us, is a critical trait for any POTUS. Trump’s reaction to the impassioned speech can be summed up in a tweet.
“Muslims should be treated fairly, and we shouldn’t demonize them as Mr. Trump has done,” Simmons decrees. “The Republican Party should be ashamed of their support of him. They are supporting ideas that are un-American, and should be off-limits to a major American political party.”
Simmons then cites that pushing for equality is an inherent part of the fabric of our nation “Fighting Islamophobia should be part of the American Dream. America is built on tolerance of religions and tolerance in general.”