There’s a massive fleet of elite Hip Hop artists who demand justice for George Floyd’s death by Minneapolis police on May 25.
This includes JAY-Z, J. Cole, Killer Mike, Rihanna, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eminem and 50 Cent — even Justin Timberlake is in solidarity with helping the protestors by willfully posting their bail if they get arrested.
In addition, Russell Simmons responded to CNN anchor and renowned Donald Trump whistleblower Don Lemon’s on-air challenge on Saturday (May 30) for Hollywood celebrities to do the same with the protestors in the streets.
Don Lemon calling folks out…. pic.twitter.com/MRMxWfIQS0
— Loni Love (@LoniLove) May 31, 2020
As one of the urban community’s most accessible voices of reason, the social activist and Hip Hop business mogul concurs with Lemon about his own role’s importance. However, Simmons explains Lemon’s rhetoric may not necessarily be applicable for some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names.
“I agree with [Don Lemon] and it inspires me to do more,” Simmons told HipHopDX. “I don’t believe that any celebrity owes anybody anything. I don’t believe that anyone owes social activism to their community. At the same time, I am absolutely certain that your own happiness and salvation is directly tied to the happiness and salvation you promote for others. So, I am committed to do more as much as I can.
“I feel personally responsible to the community and I feel like my voice and my Twitter and my Instagram followers are the people’s, they’re not mine. And I should give them messaging that uplifts them. I feel that way. Everybody didn’t get their following that way. They’re getting their following, some by nudity, some by being famous for being famous. Everybody has a different relationship with their community. I feel the followers that I have expect from me inspiring and uplifting statements because that’s what I try to do.”
On Sunday (May 31), Simmons posted a photo of himself with Peacekeepers.org founder Dr. Dennis Muhammad on his Instagram account at the NOBLE (National Organization for Black Law Enforcement) event approximately 10 years ago. Muhammad and Simmons have been longtime partners speaking to police forces across many U.S. cities by using sensitivity training in the academies to end police brutality.
“I spent 30 years fighting police brutality. And in its instance, I feel a little not as powerful but my voice is still not fully muted,” Simmons said. “What I’m speaking and sharing with them is the same wisdom from 30 years. We’ve been fighting police brutality for 30 years. We’ve asked for the same things, none of which have been executed. Thirty years we’ve been saying we want separate prosecutors.
“Of course, prosecutors controlled by the police will never convict police. That’s just our history and we know that. The police unions have blocked any kind of oversight. So now, with all of the protests, what are we asking for? We’re asking for proper oversight where police can be held accountable. Sensitivity training is useful and should be promoted honestly, and not just as tactic to calm the unrest in the community. But the systematic change which is always talked about but never implemented is what we should get now that we have their attention.”
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Same shit different day Here with my brother @captmuhammad58 we are at the NOBLE convention (National Organization for Blacks in Law Enforcement) Talking about the same shit Maybe 10 years ago My short history of fighting police brutality in America goes back 30 years since before NWA “fuck the police “ and back then the song and the revolt was centered around the exact same kind of instances that we face today.: we protested and pushed .:/what did we get “nothing “ What were ,are the problems and some basic solutions ? 1……Police not being held accountable ? The reason police aren’t charged and convicted is because of the unfair, difficult conflict and or impossible position put between local prosecutors and the local police …police unions have prevented this most basic and critical change We need OUTSIDE prosecutors to be responsible for looking at these cases 2) Police are not charged for participation in or turning a blind eye to their partners criminal behaviors.:: The example in this case is the other 3 policemen are not charged or held responsible for upholding the law when it comes to their partners or other men in blue #bluewall Every time there is an up rising these changes are discussed but never executed Family it’s time to push for sustainable systemic change NOW Ps all over the country for years they have hired my brother to do “sensitivity training “ in part to pacify the community with town halls and a few meetings Until things “get back to normal” in he communities but systematic change NEVER ever comes Let’s please not let this moment come and go without change
It’s evident systemic racism remains deeply embedded in many cases handled by law enforcement and the judicial system. This includes the recent deaths of unarmed African-Americans Ahmaud Arbery by a white retired Georgia cop and his son in February and Breonna Taylor in Louisville one month later. Only one out of the four policemen who were present at the crime scene were charged in killing Floyd.
Former Minneapolis policer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday (May 29) on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges after kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Nearly every U.S. major market has been subjected to millions of dollars in property damage from looting in the aftermath.