Russell Simmons Schools Jay-Z about Occupy Wall Street

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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.


14 Comment

  1. This reminds me of one scene in the HBO Seriies The Wire. Prop Joe said something like ‘ it takes a lot to civiiize this boy.’ Jay Z seems like a case of too little too late…..

  2. Russell, good point well spoken. Once you have achieved the one percent status, you must never forget where you came from, and most of the masses ( us poor people) don't have the same opportunities that you and J-Z have. Set the example and reach back and help someone, if not we won't be able to afford your recoeds or your clothing.

  3. Russell: great point, when you have been blessed to reach the status of the top 2 percent then you have a great responsibility. You must reach back and help some of us ( poor people ) because we do not have the same opportinities that you and J-Z have. Without help, or the proper training in working on becoming self-efficient we must educate our folks that, spending our own money with ourselves is the key, if not, and we continue down the same path, then, we will not be able to purchase your records and clothing lines, won't be able to afford it.

  4. Awesome!!!

  5. It's time to stop looking up to people like Jay Z and his counterparts. The more money such people like this character make, the more they distance themselves from the struggle while blindly falling into a state of falsehood.

  6. The Occupy movement would do well to "follow-the-money" and expose the trail to whom and where it leads.

  7. Jayz, Russell–besides YOU DIDn't BUILD THAT…you follow generations of folks-some that actually died to put you in a political position to be able to accumulate wealth and those that buy your products and support you…money is not necessarily wealth…your money does not cross through all barriers…

  8. Coming from the one who is making millions off the backs of his own people-("the American Dream") Rush card, I cannot/donot find him credible.

  9. Coming from the one who is making millions off the backs of his own people-("the American Dream") Rush card, I cannot/donot find him credible.

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