Flint Michigan: The Facts, My Opinion and How We Can Help
By now we all know Flint, Michigan is in a state of emergency because the water that flows from their pipes is contaminated, polluted, containing lead that is poisoning the residents of the predominately African American City. There is so much to say about this tragic issue so I’m going to break it down one time…so it can forever and consistently be broke (if you get that reference, give yourself a cool point!).
· Spring of 2014, the city of Flint decided to stop using Detroit’s water system and began pumping it’s water from the Flint River. This was a plan to save money until the City could connect to a regional water system, under construction at the time.
· Fall of 2015, doctors found high levels of lead in the blood of children.
· The water from Flint River damaged the city’s water pipes and released pollutants into the water supply.
· In homes, filters must be used and changed frequently in order to use tap water.
· President Barack Obama has signed a declaration stating that Flint is under State of Emergency. Before you get excited and think the US can just start making it rain on Flint, this is a human made disaster not a natural disaster. The funding is capped at $5,000,000.00. According to Detroit News, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver estimated that it would cost $1.5 billion to replace the water pipes.
· African Americans make up 57% of Flint, Michigan (As per US Census Bureau)
· Lead is known to have health effects on kidneys and the brain.
Now, do I think this would happen in a city that was predominately Caucasian? HELL NO! And that is not just opinion. The switch to Flint River happened under an Emergency Financial Manager’s(EFM) watch. EFM’s are Governor appointed non-elected officials who control a City determined to be in financial crisis. EFM’s have mostly been appointed in predominately African American Cities in Michigan. That’s right, it is mostly in Black Cities that Michigan sees appropriate to put a non-elected official in charge. I wish I could turn a blind eye, I wish I didn’t have to think about things in this way. But a City made up of mostly my people has been poisoned via water that no one bothered to make sure was safe before allowing residents to drink and bathe in, it almost seems unreal. How can an entire state government allow it's citizens to drink water from a filthy river. No one cared about the people, only the money that was being saved. So sad, Michigan just let us know that money is worth more to them than the black lives residing in their state.
How can we help?
1. The United Way of Genesee County has set up a fund for the purchase of filters, bottled water, emergency support services and prevention efforts. 100% of the fund is used for these projects and no Administrative Fee is assessed.
2. In addition to donating to The United Way of Genesee County, if you would like to have a sweatshirt or t-shirt to wear that will show your support and spread awareness, check out Hyp Kreationz . 100% of the proceeds from their Flint apparel will be donated.
3. Donate to Flint Child Health and Development Fund. Contributions are used to aid children with interventions that support positive health outcomes for Flint Children.
4. Stay aware, spread the word. Make sure everyone you know, knows the details about Flint, Michigan's water crisis.
Have you discovered any new ways to help? Share with us in the comments.