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Russell Simmons for the Win: Buys Up Ad Space for All-American Muslim

As most of you know already, Lowes pulled its advertisement from TLC’s All-American Muslim after being pressured to do so by Islamophobes.  It seems that many other companies have also succumbed to this anti-Muslim bigotry, threatening the very existence of the show.

Enter music legend and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who tweeted:

Just purchased remaining spots for #allamericanmuslim for next week. The show is now sold out! keep your money @lowes and we will keep ours.

Simmons bought the remaining ad space for next week’s episode of the show.  The Huffington Post reports:

After Lowes created some open ad time, Russell Simmons filled it in a high profile way.

The music legend and entrepreneur tweeted on Monday that he bought all the remaining ad space on “All-American Muslim,” the TLC reality show that has been at the center of a recent media buy controversy.

“Just purchased remaining spots for #allamericanmuslim for next week,” he wrote. “The show is now sold out! keep your money @lowes and we will keep ours.”

Corporations such as Lowe’s have pulled their ads from the show, under pressure from conservative protests led by the Florida Family Association. Simmons has called for a boycott of Lowe’s, pushing a petition via Twitter.

Simmons later said that corporations want their longterm ad space, making it difficult for him to purchase all that he wanted. In the space, he’ll push his Visa Rush Card.

This isn’t the first time Simmons has put his substantial wealth towards public activist causes; in November, he offered to pay for the cleanup of Zuccotti Park, in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

It also isn’t the first time that Russell Simmons has stood up against Islamophobia.  In fact, he stood in solidarity with Muslims during the whole “Ground Zero Mosque” nonsense.  At that time, Simmons had courageously said:

America is using the mosque and Ground Zero as a mask for its own Islamoph[ob]ia

Mr. Simmons, LoonWatch is the most well-known anti-Islamophobia website on the internet, and we commend you!

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  • Sam Seed

    That’s good news Kushboo!

  • We need to be careful ~ we need a list of companies that withdrew their sponsorship and a list of companies that showed their support for the show by buying only one or a few advertising slots, so that we do not unjustly confuse the latter with the former, and malign a supporter of the show by mistake.

    It would be smart for Russell Simmons (or someone else) to run ads on the show, exonerating those who might be wrongly accused of withdrawing support when they have done no such thing.
    The Loons are sure to include the innocent in their boasting, just to muddy the waters and provoke supporters of the show against other supporters. The show’s producers know who joined Lowe’s in turning against the show, and although they might not wish to identify all of them, they surely would cooperate in protecting the innocent from an unjustified backlash.

    That said, it’s amazingly entertaining to see Lowe’s commit a possibly-fatal (business-wise) public relations mistake, and then see Russell Simmons cut off any possibility of Lowe’s reversing itself sufficiently to cut their losses. Lowe’s was too slow to realize the magnitude of their mistake.

  • Khushboo

    support your local hardware store!

  • Khushboo

    Email from concerned Citizens:

    Thank you for the continuing Facebook posts, blog posts, tweets, massive media attention, private citizen, elected official, and continuing celebrity and official messages from Mia Farrow, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee, Danny Masterson, Kal Penn, Mayor Cory Booker, Congressman Keith Ellison, Congressman Andre Carson, Congressman John Conyers, Congressman Chris Murphy, NJ Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono, California State Senator Ted Lieu, and so many more – from Americans across the country.

    As of now, we have nearly 30,000 signatures – from Los Angeles to New York, and Seattle to Atlanta – from all political persuasions – and the anti-bigotry petition is growing at its fastest pace YET. It is truly incredible to see such a show of American unity.

    WE CAN MOVE THIS FORWARD TOGETHER – LET’S GET 50,000 TO STAND STRONG AGAINST BIGOTRY!

    The movement’s new Facebook page is now up and running – ‘Like’ it here: http://www.facebook.com/lowesboycott

    For streaming updates, follow us now on Twitter: @LowesBoycott

    Friends, beyond all of the incredible media coverage today – including tonight on OutFront with Erin Burnett and later tonight on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (aired at 11 PM EST on Comedy Central – don’t miss it!) – take a look at some of the awesome tweets that have been sent out by some of this movement’s most influential supporters:

    Kal Penn: @KalPenn: Our next movie: “Harold & Kumar Do Not Go To @Lowes”. Please take a sec to sign & support an all-American show. http://tiny.cc/eqbfw RT
    (To retweet: http://twitter.com/#!/kalpenn/status/146264854997647362)

    Russell Simmons: @UncleRush: Just purchased remaining spots for #allamericanmuslim for next week The show is now sold out! keep your money @lowes and we will keep ours
    (To retweet: http://twitter.com/#!/UncleRUSH/statuses/146330694694608897)

    Cory Booker: @CoryBooker: Stand for tolerance, please consider signing this petition: http://bit.ly/rPQVeu #signon
    (To retweet: http://twitter.com/#!/CoryBooker/status/146443053354319872)

    Mia Farrow: @Mia Farrow: I signed MT@mimisees: @BFriedmanDC Citizens fight @Lowes bigotry w petition for #AllAmericanMuslims http://ow.ly/7Vrk2 SignOn NOW PLZ RT
    (To retweet: http://twitter.com/#!/MiaFarrow/status/146087735634034688)

    Just yesterday, one of the anti-bigotry movement’s strongest allies, Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, issued this statement.

    And in a release today from Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, he told the press:

    I am outraged by the decision of Lowe’s to withdraw advertising from the TLC show “All American Muslim” in response to anti-Muslim bigotry. Muslim Americans and all religious, racial and ethnic communities are entitled to an equal place in our nation, and I urge Lowe’s to embrace diversity and societal responsibility in its corporate practices. New York is the most tolerant city on earth—and whether we’re protesting a neighborhood vandalized by swastikas in Midwood Brooklyn or deploring hate crimes against the LGBT community, we must be vigilant in our opposition to bigotry of any kind.

    The holiday season is a time when New Yorkers weigh where to spend their hard-earned income. During this time, I ask all New Yorkers and Americans to be conscientious of corporate practices which undermine our core constitutional and moral values of equal justice and religious freedom.

    Congressman Keith Ellison also took a bold stand, stating the following in this official statement released today:

    Lowe’s Corporation has chosen to uphold the beliefs of a fringe hate group and not the creed of The First Amendment, which guarantees the free exercise of religion. This is disappointing since the success of ‘All-American Muslim’ shows how ready the country is to learn about Muslims as Americans. This probably makes hate mongers uncomfortable–as they should be. Our nation’s history is full of examples demonstrating how we have repeatedly torn down false divisions hate groups choose to create. But the struggle against bigotry and hatred must continue so we never give in to intolerance like Lowe’s Corporation has done. Corporate America needs to take a stand against these anti-Muslim fringe groups and stand up for what is right because this is what it means to be an American.”

    And in a powerful letter sent by New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono to Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock today, she announced that she will be encouraging friends and supporters to boycott Lowe’s:

    As the Majority Leader of the New Jersey State Senate, I am writing to convey my deep disappointment and concern over Lowe’s recent decision to terminate its advertising during TLC’s program, “All-American Muslim. In New Jersey, we take great pride in our state’s diversity. Tens of thousands of Muslim Americans make their home in the Garden State. They serve their communities in elected and appointed positions. They are active members of the PTA. Their children attend public schools and participate in Little League sports. The only thing that distinguishes our Muslim neighbors is the shocking disrespect that Lowe’s has shown them through its indefensible advertising boycott.

    Lowe’s is a privately held company that has every right to direct its advertising dollars as it sees fit. By the same token, private citizens have every right to exercise discretion in their purchasing patterns. My husband and I have determined to do our small part by boycotting Lowe’s, until your company takes corrective action, and we will encourage our friends, neighbors, and supporters to do the same. A company that throws its lot in with the Florida Family Association should reconsider whether its values are consistent with those of a modern, diverse community.

    Today, the anti-bigotry pressure also reached the floors of Congress! Congressman Chris Murphy of Connecticut explained tonight why bigotry must in fact be an issue of national concern to ALL of us:

    Today, I’m leading a group of members of Congress, calling on Lowe’s to reconsider their decision. This is America. And while we have never been perfect at living up to our founding ideals, we’ve gotten pretty good at calling out bigotry when we see it, and stamping it out before its mark becomes indelible.

    Watch the video here, then contact Chris Murphy to say THANK YOU.

    There is so much more happening, we just can’t list it all.

    ——————————————————————————–

    NOW LET’S MOVE THIS FORWARD TOGETHER – TO 50,000 SIGNATURES!

    So please continue to share this critical petition with your friends: http://signon.org/sign/defend-our-american-values?source=s.em.cr&r_by=1781166&mailing_id=1391.

    If you choose, you can also continue to express respectful outrage to Lowe’s, by messaging customercare@lowes.com.

    Let them know that we will NOT stand for blatantly bigoted decisions in the United States. Remind them that united we stand – divided we fall. And let’s make this one of our nation’s most profound and united “teaching moments”.

    We also want to thank MoveOn.org for taking this up as one of their national campaigns, and working to finally shake up the bigoted and divisive discourse that has been rising once again across our country over the past several years. Thank you to MoveOn! And to those who are receiving this message, THANK YOU for all that you’re doing.

  • Reynardine

    I’m extremely glad he did it. And now, with Lowe’s doing this and Home Depot enmeshed in right-wing causes… where, in good conscience, can we get out DIY lumber, with Builders Square and Scotty’s long gone?

  • Sam Seed

    This guy is amazing…show the bigots the red card.

  • Al

    I hope he didn’t purchase all of the advertising space, it leaves less diversity in sponsoring.

  • RDS

    And LW does not post the tag “Anti-Loon” to this man? For shame.

  • UtterlyAmazedDude

    Wow.
    Simply. Wow.
    Respect.

  • Well done, Sir!

  • Khushboo

    mashaAllah! We need more people like him. He certainly saved us time and money from doing a fundraiser. Thank You!

  • mindy1

    Cool beans-good for him 😀

  • bilal

    holy shit! Russell Simmons is a secret Muslim too??
    THEYRE EVERYWHERE :O

  • Rocky

    What an amazing guy he is, he organizes the be a muslim for a day march in NY and now he buy up All American Muslim’s ad space. A great man, and i wish him all the best.

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