Anti-Defamation League to Russell Simmons’: Holocaust Comments Are Outrageous – The Hollywood Reporter
The Anti-Defamation League is shocked and disappointed that hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons compared New York’s horse-drawn carriages to slavery and the Holocaust.
Speaking at an event organized by horse-carriage opponents, Simmons said of those who were OK with horse-drawn carriages, “There were people for slavery, remember. Slavery was fine. There were people who put people in ovens. There are all kinds of ethnic cleansing, people for it.”
“The comparison of animal suffering to that of human suffering in the Holocaust and in slavery is outrageous, offensive and insensitive,” ADL national director Abe Foxman, who himself is a Holocaust survivor, said in a statement.
He went on to say that the organization is disappointed that someone in New York, who’s worked with the Jewish community would say such a thing.
“We would have expected better,” Foxman added. “As someone who has worked with the Jewish community and should be sensitized to these issues, Russell Simmons should know better than to use inappropriate comparisons to the Holocaust or slavery, particularly in New York City, which is home to the largest Jewish community in the U.S., as well as to Holocaust survivors and a large African-American community.”
Simmons claimed on Instagram that The Wall Street Journal and New York Post took his comments out of context in their reports and that he wasn’t comparing slavery or the Holocaust to the suffering of 200 horses.
“NO ONE SAID THAT… THE TAPE AND TRANSCRIPTS ARE CLEAR THAT I WAS REFERING TO THE WORST KARMIC DISASTER IN HUMAN HISTORY,” Simmons wrote, in all-caps. “AND THAT IS THE ONGOING SUFFERING OF THE 100 BILLION ANIMALS WHO ARE BORN TO SUFFER UNIMAGINABLE ATROCITIES EVERY YEAR. SO WE CAN DESTROY MOTHER EARTH AND POISON IT’S INHABITANTS.”
Still, the ADL thinks Simmons needs to apologize.
“We are even more disappointed to read that Simmons has expressed no regret for his remarks,” Foxman said. “I believe he owes an apology to the Jewish and African-American communities. The murder of six million Jews and millions of others who perished in the Holocaust, and the many millions who suffered under slavery, should never be used to make a political point.”