After rapper Jay-Z spoke out against Occupy Wall Street this weekend, calling the radical movement un-American, Russell Simmons tried to put him back in line, posting an essay Simmons hoped would “educate my long-time friend.”
Simmons wrote, “Jay-Z Is Right 99 Times, But This Ain’t One," which is a play off of Jay-Z’s hit song “99 problems." Simmons, who lives lavishly and ostentatiously, has hosted $38,000-a-plate fundraisers for President Barack Obama, but incredulously has tried to associate himself with the Occupy movement.
Simmons said he knew Jay-Z was a “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.”
“So, Jay, here’s the deal,” Simmons wrote. “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 said he went to Zuccotti Park, “the home-base of the Occupy Wall Street movement, almost everyday for months, and he “listened to the young people talk about their 99 problems. The 99 percent.”
“If he understood it and endorsed the movement, it would make a big difference to poor people,” Simmons wrote. “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.”
Simmons wrote Occupiers talked about a host of issues like “the war machine” “Healthcare reform,” “Lack of affordable education,” “Climate change,” and “Crumbling housing projects.” Simmons said he never saw “an official agenda or media-friendly talking points.”
Apparently, Simmons missed movies like “Occupy Unmasked,” which starred the late Andrew Breitbart as he dismantled the notion that the Occupy movement was an organic, grassroots uprising. Instead, Breitbart exposed the Occupy movement as a top-down community organizing project by the institutional left to undermine America’s free market principles, from which those like Simmons have handsomely profited.
Simmons accused corporations and special interests of “destroying the fabric of the black community and make billions of dollars in return.” Simmons cited the “War on Drugs,” which he accused the prison lobby of helping manufacture, for disproportionately locking up “black and brown people, including many of your friends and mine.”
Simmons then said, “If we have to occupy Wall Street or occupy All Streets to change the course of direction of this nation, then we must.”
Left unsaid by both Simmons and Jay-Z? The sexual and physical violence that permeated the movement over the last year or so.