Simmons headlined the event, which was co-organized by the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding and the Nusantara Foundation in response to the increased anxiety over President Donald Trump’s executive order limiting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“We are here today to show middle America our beautiful signs and, through our beautiful actions and intention, that they have been misled. We are here unified because of Donald Trump. We want to thank him for bringing us together,” Simmons told the crowd.
He added, “We are focused on things that are not helpful to America, we’re using the Muslim community as a scapegoat. We are being mean to the people who are the victims of terrorism. All of the diversity we see here today will prevail.”
Also at the rally was New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chelsea Clinton, Q-Tip and Susan Sarandon, who the Daily Mail reports told the crowd that it’s no longer possible to remain neutral and that “We will fight hatred with love.”
Earlier this week, Russell co-authored a blog for The Huffington Post with Rabbi Marc Schneier that promoted Sunday’s rally and argued that Muslim immigrants have made great contributions to the country:
All of the above-mentioned people are Muslim immigrants who have proven through their life’s work that they truly “support our country and deeply love our people.” It is high time President Trump should acknowledge — perhaps through a series of tweets ― that these American patriots and untold thousands of other Muslim immigrants from all walks of life are improving the quality of life of all Americans.