His comments arrive in the wake of the Charlottesville attack,
Russell Simmons has got a pretty clear explanation on the relevance, or lack thereof, of a statue of Robert E. Lee in a 21st century America. According to the mogul and philanthropist, honoring Lee is no different from honoring the likes of Adolf Hitler.
As many public figures continue to speak out against the presence of Confederate memorials in the United States of America especially in the wake of the violent Charlottesville rally that was the result of the removal of a confederate statue in the state of Virginia, TMZ caught up with Simmons to gauge his thoughts on the subject, and he didn’t hold back.
“Hitler lost, right? We don’t have a memorial for Hitler,” Simmons told the outlet. “We don’t have a whole celebration of his effort. His effort was wrong. His intention was bad; hurtful. So, we don’t put up statues of him or, in fact, any opponents.”
“The South says, ‘Well, what are we going to have to represent the South?’ use the American flag, right? That’s all you need.”
The “Unite the Right” rally that took place last week certainly supports Simmons’ comparisons as it was host to various groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis who flaunted swastikas and ‘heil Hitler’ salutes.
The rally would later prove deadly after James A. Field Jr. plowed his car into a sea of those opposing the rally, killing 32-year old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.
Fields is currently facing at least six felony charges with one of those being 2nd-degree murder, while also facing a civil suit filed by two sisters who assert that Fields’ car plowed into the back of their car during the attack.
In the same moment, TMZ also asked Russell about his thoughts on the recent passing of comedian Dick Gregory, who also served as a civil rights activist during his lifetime.
“He said things that were biting, real, inspired and were truthful. A lot of people are afraid of the truth, right? A lot of the truth is scary…about America and the suffering of black people. That stuff is hard to say for some people,” Simmons approiately noted of the late actor and comedian’s legacy.