Try not to be shocked, but another spoiled millionaire celebrity has weighed in on the confederate statue controversy. This celebrity’s “hot take” on the controversy, however, is so over-the-top, it’s embarrassing.
It’s one thing for someone to have a problem with the legacy of Robert E. Lee. Despite his military genius, his open rebellion against the United States and dedication to the South and the institution of slavery makes him a complicated figure at best. His place in history, however, is undeniable, and attempts to erase his presence in the public arena betrays everything history is meant to be.
To marginalize Lee, the left is using increasingly over-the-top rhetoric, so it should be no surprise that Lee is now being compared to Adolf Hitler. That talking point is being pushed by rap mogul Russell Simmons, who apparently doesn’t realize that such comparisons push the boundaries of logic.
Simmons made his mark by founding the record label Def Jam, one of the pioneers of hip-hop. He also founded major clothing lines like Phat Farm and Tantris, and is currently CEO of Rush Communications. He has a net worth of close to half a billion dollars reportedly, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t prone to overstating a point.
Everyone knows that once you start comparing someone to a Nazi, you’ve lost objectivity and people will “tune out” your argument, even if they are inclined to agree with your original position.
Over the weekend, TMZ cornered Simmons outside of a Hollywood restaurant. They asked him his opinion on the Confederate statue controversy, and Simmons launched into a line of reasoning that defies logic. “Hitler lost, we don’t have a memorial for Hitler. We don’t have a whole celebration of his effort,” Simmons said. “His effort was wrong. His intention was bad. It was hurtful. So we don’t put up statues of him. The South says that, ‘What are we going to have to represent the South?’ Use the American flag. That’s enough.”
Despite his faults, it is a stretch to even begin to compare Lee and Hitler. That doesn’t stop anyone left of center, however, because why bother to debate when you can play the “Nazi” card and shut down any opposition?
Here are Simmons’ comments as recorded by TMZ.
Ironically, Russell Simmons has been friends with President Donald Trump for years, only splitting with him after Trump ran for President. Even though Simmons had no problem calling him a friend before, he suddenly finds himself criticizing him now. In an open letter to Trump last November, he wrote “Donald, you cannot target a religious group of people. That is dangerous. You cannot separate families and deport people who have only known this country as their home. That is immoral,” he said. “Donald, you cannot further militarize the police and empower them to antagonize and terrorize black communities. That is unjust. You cannot wage war against women’s rights. That is disastrous. You must stop with the hateful and harmful language towards women and people of color. That is unacceptable.”