Los Angeles, CA - 

This past Sunday, (February 19), Russell Simmons hosted his “I Am A Muslim Too” rally in New York City’s Time Square. Beginning promptly at 12 p.m. and running for four straight hours, the goal was to protest Donald Trump and his administration’s ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

HipHopDX had the pleasure of catching up with Uncle Rush at the 2nd Annual All Def Movie Awards, which took place at Belasco Theater last night (February 22) in downtown L.A. The awards ceremony (which airs Sunday at 7 p.m. EST on Fusion), honored Ice Cube and Amber Rose and celebrated diversity in film and entertainment.

On the black carpet, Russell informed HipHopDX that the rally resulted in over a billion impressions on media and explained the purpose of the movement.

“We want to get people the same kind of respect, love, and opportunity that we have for ourselves,” he shared. “The Muslims fighting for the Jews, which we’ve done all around the world. The Jews fighting for the Muslims, which we try to continue to do all over the world. And in America, where Islamophobia is so big — everybody fighting for them to gain the kind of opportunity, kind of appreciation that they deserve. That was for us a very easy one.”

As the Chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, this is what Russell does for a living.

“I want to say one more thing: we wouldn’t be able to do it and have such a loud voice, if not for our current President,” he stated. “He’s given us the opportunity to unify on many levels. Whether it’s women, gay, or any of them. Everybody marginalized seems like they all now gravitate towards each other, because they’re all in the same boat.”

When DX asked for his personal stance on Trump as president, he responds, “I’ve been a longtime friend for 30 years. I wouldn’t say supporter. I would say a person recognize that his being in office is a unifying force for America.”