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Last week, in an interview with New York Times Style magazine, Jay-Z made some comments about Occupy Wall Street and those comments caught Russell Simmons’ attention. Now Russell Simmons has written an open letter to Jay-Z.
According to the interview that Jay-Z did, he felt that the Occupy movement did not establish clear enough goals and stand firmly in opposition to the wealthy, especially addressing a nation that values hard work and entrepreneurship.
In the piece, Jay-Z said,
“I think all those things need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly because when you just say that ‘the 1 percent is that,’ that’s not true. Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad. Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on.”
In Simmons’ opinion, Jay-Z missed the point and he felt strongly enough to write him an open letter. In his letter on Global Grind, Russell Simmons writes:
“If he understood it and endorsed the movement, it would make a big difference to poor people. As the same man that said he would pay more taxes if it helped educate more children and create affordable healthcare, Jay-Z’s words matter. He was honest enough to say that he didn’t understand it. A lot of Americans don’t. He was also honest enough to recognize that there are some in the 1 percent who ‘deceiving’ and ‘robbing,’ so I know in his heart he gets it. I know he is a compassionate person who cares about the poor, so I’m certain if I had two more minutes with him, I could change his mind.”
Simmons made reference to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s using him as an example saying,
“So, Jay, here’s the deal. You’re rich and I’m rich. But, today it’s close to impossible to be you or me and get out of Marcy Projects or Hollis, Queens without changing our government to have our politicians work for the people who elect them and not the special interests and corporations that pay them.”
Simmons went on to say the 1 percent spend millions being destructive to the black community and make billions of dollars off of them.