Since the announcement of a proposal to ban all Muslim travel in the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what’s going on,” Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump been has staving off criticism with a strategic round of media appearances to defend a xenophobic and dangerously unconstitutional plan.
But despite condemnation from Democrats like Hillary Clinton — and a number of Republicans who rushed to distance themselves from what many are calling a hateful proposal — no criticism has been more scathing than that of entertainment mogul Russell Simmons, with whom Trump has been friends with for over three decades.
Simmons, who appeared on NewsOne Now with Roland Martin Thursday morning to discuss his decision to blast his friend, took to the entertainment website GlobalGrind.com to urge Trump to “stop the bullsh*t.”
“You are a born leader, who is set to possibly win the nomination of your party, but don’t compromise what I know is in your heart to do it,” Simmons wrote. “You are a generous, kind man who has built a career on negotiating deals where everybody wins. Now, you seem like a one-man wrecking ball willing to destroy our nation’s foundation of freedom.”
“Stop the bullshit. Stop fueling fires of hate. Don’t feed into the rhetoric created by small-minded people. You’re smarter and certainly more loving then you let on.”
The co-founder of Def Jam, who is also the chairman of the The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, “whose sole mission is to fight bigotry of all kinds,” asked Trump to recall a moment they shared at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York some years ago.
“You were very gracious,” Simmons wrote. “At that time, you walked into that house of worship and you felt all the love vibrating in that mosque. Try to remember how sweet and enlightened my good friend, Imam Shamsi Ali was, and all of the people you met with.”
It’s not clear if Trump read Simmons letter, but during a round of interviews this week, Trump ensured the public that his Muslim friends also agreed with his plan. While speaking to Don Lemon Wednesday evening, Trump even surmised that he was “doing good” for the Muslim community.
“I’m doing good for the Muslims,” Trump told Don Lemon in an interview for “CNN Tonight.” “Many Muslim friends of mine are in agreement with me. They say, ‘Donald, you brought something up to the fore that is so brilliant and so fantastic.’”
You can read Simmons’ full letter at GlobalGrind.com