21st Century Genocide: Flint, Michigan

The water serving the citizens of Flint, MI has been poisoning them for nearly two years, and Michigan government officials have known for nearly as long. How is it that Governor Rick Snyder and his crew of idiots are not in jail yet?

I’ve been on a sabbatical from the blog for a few reasons: (1) I’m working on an album, and (2) there are a plethora of resources out there that are dedicated full-time to these issues. I’m just a guy passionate about Justice, and I still share a lot of pertinent articles on our Facebook page, but I have other responsibilities. But the non-action and non-prosecution to this modern-day genocide is truly disgusting.

For those living under a rock, here’s what’s going down in Flint, MI:

In short: every person who has ingested the contaminated water in Flint since 2014 has been exposed to high levels lead, the effects of which are irreversible. Flint’s mayor lost his re-election bid, and several government officials have resigned amid the backlash. Meanwhile, Governor Rick Snyder (who has known the entire time) is still in office.

Let’s summarize:

  • To “save money”, Michigan government officials switched the city of Flint’s water source from a freshwater lake to a contaminated river.
  • They found out about the issues a year ago and did nothing… except quietly provide state employees with bottled water a year before it was made available to residents.
  • Every person who has ingested water in Flint at any point in the last two years has been infected.
  • The state-issued water filters issued do nothing.
  • Children are becoming brain-damaged.
  • Dozens of people have died from lead poisoning.
  • No one has been prosecuted for this genocide, and the governor is still in office.

President Obama declared the situation a national emergency, which qualifies the city for $5 million in relief funds. Thankfully, the Obama administration denied Snyder’s request (and appeal) to declare this a federal disaster, which would have funneled millions of federal dollars through the very offices that caused this catastrophe in the first place.

Filmmaker (and Flint native) Michael Moore started a petition calling for the arrest and prosecution of Governor Snyder. Although he has been a bit extreme in many of his causes, he is spot on with this one:

This is a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. There is not a terrorist organization on Earth that has yet to figure out how to poison 100,000 people every day for two years – and get away with it. That took a Governor who subscribes to an American political ideology hell-bent on widening the income inequality gap and conducting various versions of voter and electoral suppression against people of color and the poor.

It was those actions that led Michigan’s Republican Governor to try out his economic and racial experiment in Flint (and please don’t tell me this has nothing to do with race or class; he has removed the mayors of a number of black cities. This, and the water crisis in Flint, never would have been visited upon the residents of Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe — and everyone here knows that).

We have now seen the ultimate disastrous consequences of late-20th century, neo-conservative, trickle down public policy. That word “trickle,” a water-based metaphor, was used to justify this economic theory — well, it’s no longer a metaphor, is it? Because now we’re talking about how actual water has been used to institute these twisted economic beliefs in destroying the lives of the black and the poor in Flint, Michigan.

So, do you still want to help? Really help? Because what we need in Flint – and across the country – right now, tonight, is a nonviolent army of people who are willing to stand up for this nation, and go to bat for the forgotten of Flint. [Read more]

Let’s look beyond the clear racism: Flint’s population is mostly African-American, and (as Michael Moore said above) Snyder has a habit of removing mayors from “black cities”. It amazes me how blatantly criminal some people can be, and not face prosecution. Hundreds of thousands of people have knowingly been poisoned, and this guy still has his job.

Bump this. I’m going back into my hibernation.