Russell Simmons helped organized and lead a gathering in New York City today (Feb. 19), with thousands uniting in solidarity against President Trump's "Muslim ban" executive order.
"We are here today to show middle America our beautiful signs and, through our beautiful actions and intention, that they have been misled," the Def Jam founder said, addressing the crowd in Times Square. "We are here unified because of Donald Trump. We want to thank him for bringing us together."
As reported by Rolling Stone, the 'I Am a Muslim Too' rally was organized by Simmons, Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali, with folks such as New York mayor Bill de Blasio, Q-Tip and activist Linda Sarsour all coming out to support.
"We have to acknowledge there's a change in our country," Simmons continued. "We have been fighting Islamophobia for many years, but there is a shift towards more hate crimes and more hate. But at the same time, we have to recognize there's also an acknowledgment of that hate and a connectivity that it brings, and a partnership and unity that it brings, so we can have this lovefest today."
Prior to the rally, Simmons issued a statement further explaining why he feels it necessary to help organize rallies, such as the one today and why we must advocate for equality, especially during Trump's presidency.
"Everyone except white privileged males are in immediate danger," the statement reads. "African-Americans, women, Latinos, Asians and LGBTQ are all at risk, but there is no freedom in that privileged status either because the spirit of the oppressor is oppressed as well. We are living in a time when unity will make America great. This is a special moment for all Americans of good will to band together to promote the kind of compassion and equality for others that we want for ourselves."
Take a look at some recap footage from the 'I Am a Muslim Too' rally in the posts below.