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Russell Simmons Responds To Abraham Foxman’s Comments On Millions More Movement

May 9, 2005

Mr. Abraham H.

Foxman

National Director

Anti-Defamation League

823 United Nations Plaza

New York, NY 10017

Re: Millions More

Movement

Dear Mr. Foxman:

I am writing in

response to your latest newswire release dated May 2, 2005 entitled, "ADL

Urges Prominent African-American Leaders to Reconsider Their Support of the

Millions More Movement." The upcoming commemoration of the10th anniversary

of the historic Million Man March in Washington, DC, October 14-16, 2005 deserves

the respect and support of all people of goodwill who cherish the universal

love of humanity.

Very disturbingly

and disrespectfully, you are quoted as stating, "When will someone in the

African-American community stand up and say the Million Man March had a positive

message, but the pied piper is a racist and anti-Semite? We cannot understand

why good people continue to tolerate this outrage of anti-Semitic views and

behavior. It seems there is a line of denial ­ indeed a blind spot among

many ­ within the African-American community when it comes to anti-Semitism."

As Chairman of

The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network,

I know that your above quoted statements and the urging and pressure of the

ADL for African American leaders to reconsider their support of the Millions

More Movement and the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March will do nothing

more than increase the polarization of relations between millions of African

Americans and Jewish Americans. It is a sad commentary that your actions will

only help to spread anti-Semitism rather than help to end it.

The planned Millions

More Movement commemoration this year is about the mutual love and respect of

all people and the encouragement of taking

personal responsibility to uplift African Americans and others out of the devastation

of poverty and ignorance. Over 150 key leaders, including the

NAACP, National Urban League and the National Rainbow PUSH Coalition, have signed

on to be National Co-Conveners of the Millions More Movement and have all pledged

to stay focused on the redemptive message and agenda of the commemoration.

Ten years ago,

under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan, the Million Man March not only "had

a positive message," it also had a positive and profound impact on millions

of African Americans and others across America and throughout the world. After

the Million Man March there was a dramatic decrease in self-destructive violence

among young African American males in the major urban centers and a tremendous

increase in youth mentorship, Big Brother, and child adoption programs and projects

in every region of the nation.

Simply put, you

are misguided, arrogant, and very disrespectful of African Americans and most

importantly your statements will unintentionally or

intentionally lead to a negative impression of Jews in the minds of millions

of African Americans. Similar to how you single-handedly caused millions of

persons to flock to see the "Passion of Christ" in defiance of your

call for non-attendance, you are going to precipitate a tremendous negative

defiance of your demands that will again severely hurt and harm relations between

Jews and African Americans.

You should refrain

from pressuring African American leaders to denounce Minister Farrakhan and

the Millions More Movement. This commemoration is as a real opportunity for

establishing healing, reconciliation and fostering a more effective environment

for constructive dialogue between Blacks and Jews. We want a society and world

were there is no hatred, anti-Semitism, violence, or poverty. For the record,

we do not and would not support or endorse any person’s viewpoint that is anti-Semitic,

racist or hateful. You should, therefore, be working with us toward building

more compassion and love among and between all people.

For over 50 years,

Minister Farrakhan has labored to resurrect the downtrodden masses of African

Americans up out of poverty and self-destruction. A few days ago I personally

witnessed him affirm, "A Muslim can not hate a Jew. We are all members

of the family of Abraham and

all of us should maintain dialogue and mutual respect." Our work, commitment,

and lives are all dedicated to uplifting all people through love, goodwill,

equality, peace and justice for all.

Sincerely,

Russell Simmons

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