Following President Donald Trump‘s astonishing remarks on the uprising of white supremacists in Charlottesville, his former friend, Russell Simmons, has penned an open letter calling on the nation’s leader to change his tune–for America’s sake.
“If you do not change your course immediately, you will go down in history as the great divider, the destroyer of the environment and the embodiment of everything we as Americans have fought so hard to call ours,” Simmons wrote in a piece published in the New York Daily News.
“The racist, bigoted movements you are feeding now are gaining power by your words, actions and refusal to hold people accountable for the destruction they are causing in your name.”
In the letter, Simmons recalls a different Trump from their days as New York City millionaires. “Do you remember all of your New York Jewish and African-American friends you probably spent more time hanging out with than all the WASPs you could find? Do you remember making sure Jews who were turned away at other country clubs had an open door policy at Mar-a-lago?
“I do. That was the Donald I called friend. That is the Donald I know. Where is he now? I have to believe he is still in there, somewhere.”
If Trump doesn’t come around on his stance on certain social and policy issues, Simmons argues, America could be in jeopardy of becoming yet another global tragedy, or as he puts it: “It takes but a second for disaster to strike.”
Remember Rwanda? As I assume you know, it was started by extreme Hutu nationalists in the capital of Kigali and soon before anyone could stop it, the genocide spread throughout the country with staggering speed and brutality. Previously law-abiding citizens were incited and encouraged by local officials and the Hutu Power government to turn on their neighbors. Sound familiar?
History, and even more, Trump’s legacy is on the line, Simmons warns. “. ..the Trump name will come to be regarded in American history as a wannabe dictator who surrounded himself with bigots, white supremacists and money-hungry wolves.”
Still, the hip-hop mogul says it’s not too late for Trump to turn things around. “You can find your highest self. You can become conscious. Scripture tells us the Donald I knew — or an even greater Donald — is still there inside you, sleeping,” he writes. “It is time to wake him the f— up.”