What is happening in Flint, Michigan right now is systemic genocide, and the victims are people of color and poor people. The city’s population is 60% Black and 42% of the residents live below the poverty line. They are being poisoned with lead-tainted water that is coming out of their faucets, and it is from the willful neglect of those charged with running the city and the governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder.
Long story short (TL:DR): Governor Snyder wanted to save money, so he decided to stop having Detroit water be the supplier for tap water in Flint. Instead, he felt that the very polluted Flint River would be good enough for the residents, in spite of the fact that the water is so full of lead, if you reach into it, you’d pull out a box of number 2 pencils. And probably a scantron attached for good measure. That was in 2014.
Fast forward to now and a state of emergency has been declared in Flint, Michigan. The number of kids with higher than acceptable levels of lead in their blood have spiked, and the unfortunate thing is that lead poisoning stunts development and affects behavior.
The World Health Organization says: “Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”
And guess what? When researchers at Virginia Tech tested the water from 271 homes in Flint, they said the water was so polluted that it actually met the EPA’s definition of “Toxic waste.” That means the water in Flint is basically radioactive and we should expect fish with 5 eyes and legs. I’ve seen this episode of The Simpsons before.
So, the residents of Flint are being poisoned by their water. WATER. A basic human need. We are 80% water and we NEED IT. This ain’t designer shoes or a smartphone. This is the elixir of life, and people are consuming a version so tainted that it is killing them slowly. IN THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA IN 2016!!!
The pollution isn’t even the invisible kind. Water is supposed to be clear, but what is coming out of the faucets at Flint looks like Apple Juice, and folks say it smells too.
That looks like the color of pee when all you’ve had to drink is coffee all day. THAT water, looks like it might coagulate and become a mutant you can only vanquish if you put a drain under his feet. THAT is the water that the people of Flint have been told to use everyday. They were told it was safe.
I’ve seen people say “but how can people believe it’s safe?” What are their other choices? What are people to do when they’re barely making ends meet? You want them to go buy bottled water? With what extra money??
There is one thing to poison a population but there is another to lie to them and tell them the poison doesn’t exist. That is where the state of Michigan is guilty of purposeful carnage. They assured people that their water was okay to use for everyday things, but not to drink.
Even after the state of emergency was declared, the state officials kept lying like the scum they are, and they placed a poster of reassurance on the Michigan website.
Every time I want to not hate everything, people do things that make me hate everything. Are you fucking kidding me? No really. ARE. YOU. FUCKING. SERIOUS???
Michigan wins the GOLD in the Deplorable Olympic Games. This poster makes me want to send the ghost of Bruce Lee to dropkick everyone in the Governor’s office and health department in Michigan. Just run through and put a foot into someone’s face. There’s just so many things wrong here.
They’re like: “BTW, TOTALLY don’t drink the water that is poisoned with lead but WARM IT UP and it’s safe to bathe with. AND HERE ARE TWO CUTE BABIES OF DIFFERENT ETHNICITIES PLAYING. K BYE!”
First of gahtdamb all, LEAD is not some simple dirt that can be handled with boiling water. Bill Nye the Science Guy should go slap whoever even suggested that by warming up the water, it makes it safer.
Then, they tell people that “lead will not soak into your skin fast or at high levels.” BUT IT STILL SOAKS INTO SKIN, NUMBNUTS?!? It’s like saying your leg will just be a little broken.
Who are these intergalactic imbeciles?!?
They also make sure to let folks know that their kids shouldn’t drink the water they use to bathe. Because: “yuck.” iSweaterGAWD whoever is behind this poster is either dumber than a box of pencil shavings or more evil than Jafar from Aladdin. Or both. But I think it’s more evil than anything.
Kids drink their bath water like juice, because THAT IS WHAT THEY DO. You poor water over their heads and they stick their tongues out like they’re trying to taste fresh falling snowflakes. If they dip their toy in the water and suck on it, or if their pacifiers fall in the water, what happens?
BUT WHAT PISSES ME OFF THE MOST is that condescending ass font! That adorable, cutesy font, because you know. They can’t let on how serious the issue is. What is cuter than lead poisoning?? NOTHING, YOU GUISE.
Jesus take the wheel, be a fence and hold my mule because the devil is hard at work and doing the wop in the state of Michigan.
I guess we should be glad it wasn’t Comic Sans. This could have been worse. That is a poster of lies!
This poster even existing (it’s been pulled now) and the coverups that happened after the lead poisoning was discovered, and the continued lack of accountability makes you realize that MJ was right when he said “All I wanna say is that they don’t really care about us.”
Access to clean water should be a right, not a privilege, and what’s happening in Flint is a human rights debacle. In THE United States of America in 2016, people are being told to drink hot dog water. We should be embarrassed, because we always play Captain Save-a-Planet, talking about third world countries and their failures to their citizens. This failure is epic. It is a disgrace, and it is criminal.
This isn’t just a civil issue. People need to go to JAIL for this Flint thing. These officials gotta see some bars in front of them, because what do you do when someone aids and abets the death of someone else? SOMEBODY gotta go to jail over this thing in Flint. Some PEOPLE. Heads have got to roll because what the governor officials have done is criminal, and it is on a massive scale.
And to think. This crisis began because they wanted to save a few bucks. How is it even an option to cut corners by serving people tainted water? The few bucks that Snyder tried to save will be tiny compared to the amount that Michigan will have to spend to treat poisoned people. But when you do not see people as real humans, and you see them as pawns on your chess board, you can make a decision that will leave lifelong wounds. And when those people are poor, or Black OR poor AND Black, it makes it easier.
The saddest thing about all of this, is that Flint’s crisis is not the first of its kind and it won’t be the last. Everywhere in the world, the poor are used as stepstools to get the rich richer, and their lives are used as collateral damage.
Edit: Nayyirah Shariff, who lives in Flint tweeted me this image of the demands that Flintstones are making. It’s in English and Spanish.
Also, there’s a public thread on my Facebook profile where I asked what folks in Flint need the most from us. Read that thread for the good discussion that’s happening.