On Saturday, business icon and philanthropist Herman J. Russell passed away. Russell, an entrepreneur and philanthropist turned a once small plastering firm into one of the most successful Black-owned construction and real estate companies in the United States. Russell, a son of Atlanta, was a key financier of the Civil Rights movement. He was also responsible for developing most of Atlanta’s skyline.
On Monday, Roland Martin and “NewsOne Now” paid tribute to Herman J. Russell by highlighting his accomplishments in business and his involvement in the Civil Rights movement.
Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the King Center issued the following statement after the passing of Herman Russell:
“As a pioneering African American business leader, Mr. Russell’s impact on the city of Atlanta and the world has left an indelible imprint on skylines, not only in Atlanta, but throughout the country, for generations to come.”
Birmingham, Alabama Mayor William Bell said, “I think Herman [Russell] should be studied in all business schools, whether it is Black, White, whatever. He is a role model of any business person coming from nowhere to becoming a major player in the political life of a city [and] in the economic life of a city.”
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told Martin, “I don’t think it is an accident that Atlanta has one of the largest Black middle-classes in America and one of the highest number of multi-million dollar businesses in America.” Reed added, “I think that is an essential part of Mr. Russell’s legacy.”
Priebus told Martin the first thing Republicans need to do is pass a budget. Priebus touted this a as being a “great place to start.”
Priebus went on to mention that the Keystone Pipeline would be the second most important thing that Republicans would focus on and an “Obamacare alternative” could follow now that they are in control of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Martin also pressed Priebus on a number of issues, including voting rights, sentencing reform, job creation and infrastructure. Preiebus told Martin “… I’m certainly aware of what is happening and I get involved in some of the discussion over legislation and direction on agenda, but generally I’m in charge of the campaign arm and we’re doing what we have to do to continue to be successful on the ground, the digital operation.”
Roland Martin, Attorney Benjamin Crump and the “NewsOne Now” Straight Talk panel (featuring Rock Newman, Mayor William Bell, Lauren Victoria Burke, Francesca Chambers and Yamiche Alcindor) dissect the new audio and video released in the Michael Brown shooting case.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who spoke with Martin via phone said, “… at the very beginning Ferguson Police Department did what most police departments do all around the country when they have a claim of excessive force in a police shooting, they try to demonize the victim and put the police officer on a pedestal and find ways to justify the shooting.”
When discussing new video of Wilson arriving and departing from the Ferguson police station, Crump added, Ferguson Police said Darren Wilson had an orbital blowout fracture to his eye socket and said, “… we see in this video over two hours almost three hours later, that there is nothing wrong with his eye.
Crump also said, Wilson “is walking not holding his eye and if you remember on the scene when Michael Brown is laying dead on the ground he is walking around he is not holding his eye.”
Crump said if Wilson’s “injuries are so horrible why didn’t he go to the doctor?” He then questioned claims made by Ferguson Police, asking if this is their method “… to try to justify the killing on an unarmed Black kid.”
All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.