Note: while I was searching for a politically correct photo for this blog I found one of the beautiful model Kiara at my Diamond Empowerment event who I have known for ten years. And no, we are not dating-I'm not THAT lucky.
It seems that almost every week since I have been single there is a headline on some black internet site that says something like "Russell Simmons is FINALLY Dating a Sista?!?!?!" Surely you have seen these, its a constant in my life.
I am of the view as a philanthropist and businessman that all press is good if it can help me as a brand or bring in more money to my five charities-especially in this time of economic crisis when every charity is struggling to keep afloat. However, I do find this blatent racism offensive. Just last week I was out with my friend Veronica Verikova and the next day had to read about "uncle Russell's brand new blonde bust down". She doesn't deserve that, nobody does! And yes, it is offensive.
Some people believe that if you date a person from another race you are somehow denying who you are. They believe that dating someone with a different skin color somehow makes you a self-hater, loathing that which makes you yourself. They believe that it's an insult to your parents, ancestors, heritage and community. I find this view much more telling about the people who say this than about those who do find a physical, spiritual, mental and emotional connection with someone who looks different than themselves.
Choosing someone who I am physically attracted to and who also inspires, uplifts, educates and keeps me interested is my first priority- not their race. And if these bloggers recall I did marry a woman who was half African American. Furthermore, I have had many high profile relationships with African American women, such as the only serious relationship that I have had since my divorce (who some may already know) with my dear friend yoga teacher/model/philantropist Porschla Coleman.
Elijah Muhammad once said that African Americans were chained for so long that when those chains were released we refused to move. I get where these feelings are coming from but I don't condone them. That kind of collective consciousness by a group promotes negativity in a world that has enough hatred and intolerance - and it saddens me to see these pollutants in my community.
Look, at 51 years old, if I'm still in the blogs and people are still talking about me then I'm lucky no matter what they say. I'm fortunate because as my good friend Bono says, "your cash is your cashe" and I've got five charities that need funding. The more I'm in the press the better it is for my charities, my businesses and my brand. At the end of the day, helping people is what I care the most about. So to the bloggers and commentors I say keep it up -please and thank you- but consider what I have come to know; As the Chairman of the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding I am privy to research that has shown that this generation is far less racist, sexist and homophobic than their parents were. Of course this was proven when America almost elected the first female president (Senator Clinton) and did elect the first African-American President in Obama.
As the new generation of bloggers come into their own, I have no doubt that these racist comments will become a thing of the past as we march forward into a new day.
Love is love people- all you have to do is open your heart to see G-d in everyone.
Happy Holidays and G-d bless.