I first heard about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan on December 2o, 2015 on the Rachel Maddow Show. Rachel started covering this story long before it got any national attention. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing back in December, but I knew that Rachel does her homework. She had clearly done so in this case as well, and she offered a compelling back story to the history behind what has only recently been covered by national news outlets.
Last night, President Obama responded to Governor Rick Snyder’s request for Federal aid in dealing with the worst public health crisis in recent history. I say “worst” because this public health crisis is totally self-inflicted, and Governor Snyder, his Emergency Manager, and members of the City Council of Flint, Michigan inflicted it upon the citizens of Flint out of ineptitude and botched decision-making.
The bottom line is that to save money, Snyder and his appointed Emergency Manager encouraged Flint, MI officials to switch their water supply as a “cost saving measure.”
It didn’t take very long before the people living in Flint began to complain that the water tasted different, and some even complained that bathing in the water made their skin sting.
Those who complained were told that they were wrong…nothing was wrong with the water. For months, those who bothered to complain were ignored.
In the meantime, thousands of people–including thousands of young children–were poisoned by water that is contaminated with lead.
I am so personally outraged that I don’t know where to begin. It is my personal opinion, however, that Rick Snyder and all of his fellow state and local officials who contributed to the poisoning of thousands of Michigan citizens should step down immediately. I also believe they should all face criminal and civil charges including negligence and failing to uphold the minimum standards of providing for the safety, health, and well-being of the citizens of Flint.
If you have seen a post on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media platform featuring Michael Moore, political activist and movie director, demanding Governor Snyder’s arrest, now you know why. Here is the link to the petition.
In the meantime, you may have heard that last week, while the Flint, Michigan story is unfolding in the national spotlight, in Detroit, Michigan, teachers participated in a sick-out in protest to their school environments all across Detroit. For more information about that crisis, click here.
I have been sitting with my outrage over the Flint, Michigan matter for weeks. I don’t have a lot of influence, I know, but I could not stay silent on this matter any longer. The children and the adult citizens of Flint, Michigan deserve better from each and every one of us. Silence only makes us complicit in the crime that has been perpetrated upon them by their “leaders.” I will be silent no longer. Please, at least, know what is happening in our own country, in a town not so far away from you. If it could happen in Flint, Michigan, what is to say something similar couldn’t happen where you live?