Russell Simmons wrote an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump published in the Huffington Post on Friday urging him to keep an open mind and heart in the coming four-year term.
The Def Jam co-founder writes that he has known Trump for “nearly 30 years” and asks him to rethink his campaign’s rhetoric and to be careful of the precedent he’s setting for the country.
“Since you were elected, Donald, we have already seen hundreds of incidents around the country of hate, whether swastikas spray-painted on buildings or students taunting children of color… it is terrifying,” Simmons writes. “And many of them claim to do it in your name. As our president-elect, as a man, as a human being with children (who I have known since they were all born), it is your duty to denounce this kind of behavior immediately. This is not the legacy you want to leave behind.”
Simmons addressed Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants, his proposed Muslim ban and his views on climate change. He ended the letter asking Trump to listen to other viewpoints.
“An entire generation of young people fear that this country has just elected its first dictator, and I cannot blame them for thinking that. However, I know you and I have to believe that you want to listen to outside people. But if you want to just listen to people like Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pence, then I am sorry to tell you that your four years in the White House will be incredibly unpleasant. As always I stand with ALL the people and strongly admonish you to do the same,” Simmons concluded.
Read the full letter here.