“Don’t push me, cuz I’m close to the edge. I’m trying not to lose my head. It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.” – Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five
I am absolutely dumbfounded by the situation in Flint, Michigan. Not only am I angry that families have been poisoned, I am ready to fight over the fact that the Governor knew about this and did nothing about it. Look at that water! People are expected to brush their teeth with that mess?! You have GOT to be kidding me! I am pissed to the highest pissedivity! How could anyone turn a blind eye to the poisoning of an entire town?!
Flint is a blue collar town that has a population of about 99,000 people. General Motors was founded there and it is the place where the Flint Sit-Down Strike happened in 1936-1937, which gave birth to the United Auto Workers union. Still wondering why this crisis has been ignored?
The median household income is $24,834. Still wondering?
A majority of its citizens are African American. Still wondering?
Let me spell it out for you. This town is populated by a demographic that rarely has a voice at the table. It is populated by people who are not viewed as a threat to anyone’s political livelihood. It is populated by folks who barely make enough money to take care of themselves and their families. They most certainly don’t have the money to buy influence over the decision makers of the state.
When you read this timeline of events from NBC news, if you weren’t already angered by this situation, you will be. GM complained about the water rusting car parts and nothing was done?! Oh wait. GM has a loud voice in Lansing, so Flint thought fast and made arrangements for GM to use a different water supply, but continued to subject its citizens to the dangers of lead in the water. As the old folks say, they oughta be ‘shamed of themselves. It is apparent the city of Flint put economics first on its list of priorities and the safety of its citizens is at the bottom of the list. “They don’t care cuz the stay paid anyway.”
This is not just Flint’s problem. To paraphrase Slick Rick, this type of mess happens everyday to the voiceless people in our country. Substitute healthcare for water, and you’ve got the same situation in the states that decided against the Medicaid expansion. Same kind of population. Same “we don’t care about your health and safety”-type decision.
A late apology isn’t good enough. The lawyer in me hopes that the citizens of Flint band together and sue the pants off the State under the provisions outlined in the Safe Drinking Water Act. The political animal in me hopes that the people of Flint get organized, register people to vote, and rally other communities to do the same. The nurturer in me prays that the children effected by this are getting all of the care and attention they need.
Now let me find a few dollars and figure out how I can help the people of Flint.