A writer for Ebony.com took Russell Simmons to task for his “half-hearted” blog post condemning little known rapper Lil Reese for assaulting a woman. The writer, Sil Lai Abrams, is a relationship expert and a victim of domestic abuse herself. Lil Reese’s violent assault on high school graduate Tiairah Marie was captured on a cell phone video that went viral online.
Reese later apologized for his earlier defiant response to the public outrage — but only after radio programmers and DJs threatened to boycott his music.
Russell Simmons, who was criticized for approving a post on Global Grind written by a black woman defending Reese’s behavior, wrote a tweet indicating he had no editorial control over his own blog.
“I deplore the violence one editor said boycott him the other said team them I said nothing,” Simmons tweeted on Oct. 29. He later deleted his tweet.
In her editorial on Ebony.com, Abrams wrote:
In his own words, Russell said that he would “uplift Lil Reese in private”? I’ve got a suggestion for him: Please stick to advocacy efforts for veganism, PETA and pre-paid credit cards. The anti-violence women’s movement doesn’t need or want you. However, if you insist on speaking out on violence against women, could you at least take a real stand? That is, one other than a half-hearted blog post that says little more than “Lil Reese did bad. Domestic violence is bad. Stars must use their platform for good. I’ll support him privately and use this situation as an opportunity to make myself look good.”
Women beaters should not be tacitly endorsed for their behavior by being able to keep lucrative record contracts that allow them to sling their violent messages to the masses. If Uncle Russy really wants to take stand on the issue of violence against women, then as the founder of the label that Lil’ Reese is currently signed he should pressure the current owners of Def Jam to drop Lil’ Reese as an artist. In the immortal words of one of Russell’s former artists, Big Daddy Kane, “Ain’t No Half-Steppin” on the issue of violence against women.
Go hard or go home.
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