Black Entertainment : Russell Simmons: A New Black Leader?

Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by Pharaoh Jahil, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. Pharaoh Jahil

    Pharaoh Jahil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    some food for thought y'all:

    www.allhiphop.com/editorial/?ID=132

    Russell Simmons: A New Black Leader?
    By Amadi Ajamu

    The emergence of Hip Hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons as an establishment-endorsed political leader of the new generation of Blacks gives me pause. Being a member of this new generation, I think this should be put on the table for discussion.

    Why have mainstream media's political pundits given Russell Simmons an open mic? He's a guest on Charlie Rose; he's become a constant feature in the New York Times, Newsweek Magazine and many other newspapers and magazine across the country. Hailed as among the one hundred most influential African Americans by Crain Magazine, can helicopter to Albany for private meetings with New York Governor George Pataki on the Rockefeller drug laws. He has organized fundraisers for senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, works closely with former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, teams up with democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton to register new voters, and dines with Shimon Peres, Israel's former Prime Minister discussing a possible Middle East youth summit.

    Either the king makers have peeped Simmons' ability to use his influence over urban youth as leverage in his business and political ventures and they want to control him, or the severity of the US economic recession deems it time to send in the clowns.

    Russell Simmons and his Hip Hop Summit Action Network have orchestrated several very high profile, massive political rallies in New York City, using his connections in the entertainment industry to get mega-stars like P. Diddy, Mariah Carey, 50 cent, LL Cool J, Jay Z and Alicia Keys to attend and draw thousands of Black youth. But it was painfully clear that the majority of youth in attendance were more interested in getting a glimpse of their favorite rap artist than in the city budget cuts in education or draconian drug sentencing laws that send many of our peers to prison for decades. Simmons and his star-studded entourage put on a good show but have yet to present a clear political program of action and vision for Black people.


    < < edited by Destee > >
     
  2. divinity

    divinity Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    ...i agree with u ....
     
  3. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Pharaoh Jah ... thanks for sharing this article, but unless the owner gives permission for it to be posted here, it can't be here. This is one of our own Forum Rules. It's good that you provided a link to it, as it allows the Family to go to the source because i'm going to edit your post, removing the majority of the article. I will leave a few lines of it, but without permission, all of it cannot remain.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  4. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    he is one of america finest of brotherhood
    thanks for sharing and the link
     
  5. ifasehun

    ifasehun Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    (1) Russell Simmons is establishement endorsed. He made it clear several years ago that he realized the impact he had on young black youth by the role he played in hip hop and what kind of music he allowed to see airplay. he realized as a mature adult that it was equally important to empower poor youth, but also important to recognize that the money is now driving the message and there is a lopsided presentation of negative images. (or as Slick Rick said on a Def Jam recording, "ok we all sold drugs, we all know death, we all want money - what else you got to talk about?")

    (2) Russell did what every capitalist turned politician does - he threw money around and used friends of friends to make his message clear "somebody is going to listen to me because i am rich and powerful damnit." and they did. luckily for us his work has been pretty positive up to this point.

    (3) Russell also funds, not supports, FUNDS young black entreprenuerial programs as well. He is developing a comprehensive plan of action of how he, using all that testoterone rap money can make a positive impact. for once i, the eternal conspiracy theorist see a geniune effort on a rich man's part.

    (4)Speaking of wealth. Its ironic that everyone wants, no one thinks anyone that has it is righteous, but that if "they" had "they would do right by it." very ironic. Just because Russell is rich and white folks are closing doors in his face doesnt mean his message isnt sincere. He is playing the game and well. And in the near future you may benefit from it.

    Lastly i am glad to see you write "a black leader" and not "the black leader" - which would naive at best. Russell is "a black leader" for sure. whether we hate him before he does his best work is yet to be seen.
     
  6. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    i agree he is a awesome brutha the best yet to come indeed
     
  7. LostInThought

    LostInThought Active Member MEMBER

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    I saw his recent appearance on Charlie Rose, and I must say I was impressed by his intelligence. He seemed politically aware, and I agreed with most of what he said.

    The article does raise some interesting questions though.

    I definitely do not have a problem with Russell being a Hip-Hop spokesman, which he could do better than anyone.

    He has actual been on Charlie Rose several times. I remember seeing him on the show years ago with KRS-One. I have always loved KRS's music, but on that day he was an intellectual embarrassment. Good thing Russell was there to give the discussion some semblance of good old fashion common sense.
     
  8. Justerika

    Justerika Active Member MEMBER

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    I hate to rain on the "Russell Simmons" parade but I'm not impressed. For someone who appears to work so diligently on
    issues effecting "black people"..........Let's reflect.

    And while I respect Mr. Simmons for his accomplishments...

    First, On national televison (BET of all stations) he referred to "Tavist Smiley" an equally renowned and respected black journalist as (and I quote) "America's favorite House *****".............It still makes me angry to think about it.
    I never really viewed him the same way, after this.

    Second, why is he married to an Asian woman, no matter how
    accomplished..........and believe me I'm not hating but "Why"?
    Someone, please tell me why, if your soooooooooo into black
    america, you marry an "Asian" and give all your little half black
    children "Asian" names.

    Now I have nothing against interacial relationships, or diversity
    However, when you are a public figure.......there are certain
    responsiblities that come along with it........especially if your
    a black male........personally I think Russell is another reflection
    of many unresolved issues between black men and women
    and accomplished "Black Men"...............Why do they always feel
    they must leave us (black women) behind?

    He's also in my opinion, is a very unpolished speaker.........let him stay in the HipHop arena where it doesn't matter and everyone,
    overlooks his imperfections because of the "green" that exudes
    from his skin.
    Politics, I could think of someone better.
     
  9. Pharaoh Jahil

    Pharaoh Jahil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Keep talking Justerika, who do you think would be better?
     
  10. angelicsage

    angelicsage Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I hate to interrupt the dialogue………but this thread caught my attention
    and I’d like to make a suggestion of a somewhat ideal
    person.

    How about Earvin “Magic Johnson”

    “Business Savvy – Socially Conscious – Effective Community
    Efforts – Successful in his endeavors…he doesn’t just talk about
    them………..he has shown and proved.”

    Such as… Social responsibility… meaning he has given back to our
    community. He not only is creating a business legacy but
    Johnson's has a legacy of charitable and community
    activities. In 1991, he founded the Magic Johnson Foundation,
    a non-profit organization which directs its efforts toward the
    health, educational, and social needs of inner city youth –
    completely on point with this one!!!!

    You can also see the effects of his work with organizations as the
    Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Starlight Foundation,
    American Heart Association and the Urban League.
    He has helped raise over $10 million for the United Negro College
    Fund with the “A Midsummer Night's Magic" weekend charity
    event.

    Also, we can’t ignore his efforts in HIV/AIDS education, since he
    shocked the world announcing that he had contracted the HIV
    virus ten years ago. He has shown to all of us that adversity or
    any problem can be fought and defeated with determination and
    perseverance.

    He bravely became the voice and face of HIV/AIDS sufferers all
    over the world. He exposed to all of us the problem of HIV/AIDS
    all over the world. He also invested his time and money and
    became some what of a spokesman for the people, the
    communities and for the organizations that are in the forefront
    on the fight against this disease. Mr. Johnson’s contribution to
    the issue of HIV/AIDS education is quite impressive.

    Also, if I might add to something to Justerika’s views on the
    importance of Black Family Magic is a Black man, with a “Beautiful
    & Strong Black Woman by his side”…….and quite naturally black
    children. “The circle complete”. He doesn’t just appear to be ideal
    and he doesn’t just preach it but he lives it…

    On top of all this, people love him and his charisma! - No contraversy with Tavist Smiley - (just kidding)

    Pharoh Jah, please let me know your thoughts…….you too, Just E.
     
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