Russell Simmons sounds off after Don Lemon responded an open letter from Russell Simmons while on CNN defending his statements about black culture and black youth.
CNN anchor Don Lemon gave five directives to the black community for helping our community put an end to stereotypes and injustices. They were 1) pull your pants up, 2) stop using the n-word, 3) don’t litter, 4) finish school, 5) don’t have a baby until you are ready. Sounds pretty simple right?
Many of Lemons critics say that he ignores that the odds, on average, are stacked against African Americans, and these simple directives don’t compare to bigger issues at hand in racial inequality.
In response activist Russell Simmons penned an open letter to Lemon, explaining much more accurately why life is harder for black Americans than for white Americans. Here are some choice excerpts (you can read the whole thing here):
I respect your courage on many other issues, but I can’t accept that you would single out black teenagers as the cause of their own demise because they don’t speak the King’s English or wear belts around their waistbands.
When this country closes 50 schools in black communities and continues to build more prisons, I know that young people see through the institutionalized bullsh*t that is laid out in front of them every single day of their lives.
If you want to tell the rest of America this weekend when you go back on CNN how we fix black America, tell them to re-start the “War on Poverty.” Tell them to end the failed “War on Drugs” that has cost this nation over one trillion dollars and unjustly incarcerated a generation of black men. Tell them to support the President’s plan for universal Pre-K, so no child enters elementary school having to play catch up with the other children who are fortunate enough to go to pre-school. Tell them make college affordable and obtainable for young students who come from low-income families. Tell them that the right to a healthy life should be universal and not just for the fortunate few. And lastly, tell them that young black men and women don’t just need “role models” or “mentors,” they need “sponsors” who are willing to offer them a job.
Russell soon after responded to Mr.Lemon’s remarks via his Twitter and it goes a little something like this: