In an apology posted to GlobalGrind.com, Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons says, "I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry."
Simmons' mea culpa was his step-two move in the wake of a wave of criticism about a controversial Harriet Tubman video featured on the recently launched All Def Digital YouTube Channel. Step 1? Remove the video, which he did.
Here's the statement Simmons posted on GlobalGrind.com Thursday morning:
"In the whole history of Def Comedy Jam, I've never taken down a controversial comedian. When my buddies from the NAACP called and asked me to take down the Harriet Tubman video from the All Def Digital YouTube channel and apologize, I agreed.
"I'm a very liberal person with thick skin. My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there's still tremendous injustice. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I can now understand why so many people are upset. I have taken down the video. Lastly, I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry."
Incidents such as this spread like wildfire through the social media universe and beyond. As this one journeys on, here's a reference to Underground Railroad "shero" Tubman for guidance:
"I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger."
The road to awareness is long and winding.
(Karanja A. Ajanaku, Executive Editor of The New Tri-State Defender.)