Russell Simmons back in Mid-Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Russell Simmons back in Mid-Michigan

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A hip hop mogul is back in Mid-Michigan Monday to visit with families affected by the ongoing water crisis.

“If this was Beverly Hills, the governor, who was in support of poisoning the people, would be in jail,” Russell Simmons said.

Simmons visited with people sick and tired of dealing with Flint’s water crisis. He said keeping the issues front and center in the news was the key reason why he came back today.

“Well, we have to. This crisis, like many other crisis, they come and go in the media. I mean come on, it was OK for the president to come here and drink the water? But the water wasn't okay? And it's okay for the Democratic debate to come here and then disappear?” Simmons said.

The stars’ visit brightened the hopes and spirits of people during a community forum at New Jerusalem Baptist Church.  

Nakeyja Kade said her children were affected by the lead tainted water. She said it helps when a celebrity comes to town showing support for her and her neighbors. 

“It means a lot because it shows that he cares. Not just the people in the city, it shows a lot and hopefully it will open a lot of people’s eyes,” Kade said.

Simmons also came to check out a pop-up grocery store he helped launch at the church back in February.  It caters to the nutritional needs of people suffering from lead poisoning. 

Simmons said the situation amounts to what he calls "environmental racism.” He hopes with the help of Civil Rights Lawyer Benjamin Crump, the people of Flint can get justice.

“We have to do something to let America know the problem has not been fixed. And we refuse to continue to be well-behaved victims,” Crump said.

“No one can get us full justice to the damage of our children. But maybe he can bring a lawsuit and people can be compensated. Somewhat,” Simmons said.

Simmons also visited Cody High School in Detroit to talk to students about a program he launched to bridge the gap between the community and police.

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