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Simmons Responds to Abraham Foxman about the Millions More Movement
Hop Summit Action Network Chairman, Russell Simmons released the
following response to ADL Director, Abraham Foxman's letter urging
prominent Black leaders to reconsider their support for the upcoming
Millions More Movement:
NEW YORK--May 9, 2005--Hip-Hop Summit Action Network
Mr. Abraham H. Foxman
823 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Re: Millions More Movement
Dear Mr. Foxman:
am writing in response to your latest newswire release dated May 2,
2005 entitled, "ADL Urges Prominent African-American Leaders to
Reconsider Their Support of the Millions More Movement." The
upcoming commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the historic
Million Man March in Washington, D.C., October 14-16, 2005 deserves
the respect and support of all people of goodwill who cherish the
universal love of humanity.
Very disturbingly and disrespectfully, you are quoted as stating,
"When will someone in the African-American community stand up and
say the Million Man March had a positive message, but the pied piper
is a racist and anti-Semite? We cannot understand why good people
continue to tolerate this outrage of anti-Semitic views and
behavior. It seems there is a line of denial, indeed a blind spot
among many, within the African-American community when it comes to
As Chairman of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the
Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, I know that your above quoted
statements and the urging and pressure of the ADL for African
American leaders to reconsider their support of the Millions More
Movement and the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March will do
nothing more than increase the polarization of relations between
millions of African Americans and Jewish Americans. It is a sad
commentary that your actions will only help to spread anti-Semitism
rather than help to end it.
The planned Millions More Movement commemoration this year is about
the mutual love and respect of all people and the encouragement of
taking personal responsibility to uplift African Americans and
others out of the devastation of poverty and ignorance. Over 150 key
leaders, including the NAACP, National Urban League and the National
Rainbow PUSH Coalition, have signed on to be National Co-Conveners
of the Millions More Movement and have all pledged to stay focused
on the redemptive message and agenda of the commemoration.
Ten years ago, under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan, the
Million Man March not only "had a positive message," it also had a
positive and profound impact on millions of African Americans and
others across America and throughout the world. After the Million
Man March there was a dramatic decrease in self-destructive violence
among young African American males in the major urban centers and a
tremendous increase in youth mentorship, Big Brother, and child
adoption programs and projects in every region of the nation.
Simply put, you are misguided, arrogant, and very disrespectful of
African Americans and most importantly your statements will
unintentionally or intentionally lead to a negative impression of
Jews in the minds of millions of African Americans. Similar to how
you single-handedly caused millions of persons to flock to see the
"Passion of Christ" in defiance of your call for non-attendance, you
are going to precipitate a tremendous negative defiance of your
demands that will again severely hurt and harm relations between
Jews and African Americans.
You should refrain from pressuring African American leaders to
denounce Minister Farrakhan and the Millions More Movement. This
commemoration is as a real opportunity for establishing healing,
reconciliation and fostering a more effective environment for
constructive dialogue between Blacks and Jews. We want a society and
world were there is no hatred, anti-Semitism, violence, or poverty.
For the record, we do not and would not support or endorse any
person's viewpoint that is anti-Semitic, racist or hateful. You
should, therefore, be working with us toward building more
compassion and love among and between all people.
For over 50 years, Minister Farrakhan has labored to resurrect the
downtrodden masses of African Americans up out of poverty and
self-destruction. A few days ago I personally witnessed him affirm,
"A Muslim can not hate a Jew. We are all members of the family of
Abraham and all of us should maintain dialogue and mutual respect."
Our work, commitment, and lives are all dedicated to uplifting all
people through love, goodwill, equality, peace and justice for all.
Sincerely, Russell Simmons, President, HSAN
for Hip-Hop Summit Action Network
Jody Miller, 212-431-5227
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