Russell Simmons to Trump: “You Cannot Target a Religious Group of People”

Russell Simmons to Trump: “You Cannot Target a Religious Group of People”
“We will be watching you to make sure that your power does not corrupt the entire union,” he writes in an open letter.

By Kevin Lozano and Jazz Monroe.

Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons, a longtime associate of Donald Trump, has shared an open letter criticizing the president-elect, via the Huffington Post. Titled “A Prayer For Donald Trump And America, From An Old Friend,” his letter repudiates Trump’s rhetoric, proposed policies, and the uptick of hateful incidents around the country, then attempts to advise him on how to best serve the American people.

“The far right wing and the alt-right were your most staunch supporters, but those people are not your friends and you know that,” Simmons writes. “You have the chance to be the first true independent president this country has ever seen, but your radical beliefs you ran on during your campaign must be addressed.”

He continues:

Donald, you cannot target a religious group of people. That is dangerous. You cannot separate families and deport people who have only known this country as their home. That is immoral. Donald, you cannot further militarize the police and empower them to antagonize and terrorize black communities. That is unjust. You cannot wage war against women’s rights. That is disastrous. You must stop with the hateful and harmful language towards women and people of color. That is unacceptable. Donald, you cannot rip up all of our regulations that protect our planet, continue to subsidize the meat industry and put people in power that think climate change is a hoax (the rumor of who you want to appoint to run the EPA is frightening). That is beyond repair.

Simmons ends the letter writing, “An entire generation of young people fear that this country has just elected its first dictator, and I cannot blame them for thinking that.” He warns Trump that, if he listens to Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pence, the next “four years in the White House will be incredibly unpleasant.” Read the letter here.

This is Simmons’ second open letter addressed to Trump. Last year, he wrote a letter for Global Grind, asking him to “stop the bullshit.” Find more of the music world’s reactions to the election results here, here, and here.

This story originally appeared on Pitchfork.

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