The Governor of Michigan Belongs Behind Bars, Not Behind a Desk Making 'Plans' for Flint's Water

Flint Water Supply

For the past couple of months, the #FlintWaterCrisis has been at the forefront of the national conversation. Well, this week we got the news that Michigan governor Rick Snyder has devised a plan to -- hopefully -- ensure that we never experience a crisis like this again, while he also addressed the current state of Flint's water.

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Did I bother reading? No. Why? Well, because I'm not interested in letting Rick Snyder be made into the hero who "suddenly" swoops in and saves the day for Flint locals suffering from lead poisoning. In fact, had it not been for parents who came forward with children covered in rashes, there may not be a conversation about the crisis at all.

More from The StirFlint Mom Shares the Heartbreak of Giving Her Kids Poisoned Water

Let's paint a picture of just how f*cked up this situation is. Virginia Tech environmental engineering professor Marc Edwards tested the water and found that it had almost 900 times the recommended EPA limit for lead particles. Nonetheless, these findings didn't spur immediate action -- instead, officials insisted that the residents were no longer in danger. The residents suspect that the city was aware of circumstances as early as May 2014, and personally I wouldn't put these accusations past those in charge. 

Maybe you, somehow, felt that Snyder and other officials did all that they could -- but I'm just not finding this situation to be arbitrary at all. No, it's not coincidental that our government was just "unaware" that a predominately black city (made up of 57% black people), and one that suffers from widespread poverty, was given water with poisonous effects. Instead, I believe that this is just a form of systematic racism and class warfare. 

Lead poisoning has been linked to delinquency and violence, among other issues. Perhaps it seems that I'm pulling the "race card," but just take a moment to do the math: A city full of children, infected by lead poisoning, is sure to result in prison or death for many, maybe even before they become adults. 

More from The Stir: 5 Easy Tricks for Getting Your Kid to Drink More Water

These are the facts, so forgive me if I don't want to make a villain anything other than what he is -- because he is far from a hero. Sorry, because I'm sitting at my desk wondering why this man is making any kind of plans -- summer plans, retirement plans, or plans to improve the state of a city he attempted to "take out" -- when a criminal like him (and anyone else involved) should only be planning to be behind bars. 

Although the circumstances are unique to Flint, it puts a lot in perspective. There is a water crisis for not just Flint, but also for 783 million people worldwide who don't have access to clean water. Days like #WorldWaterDay serve to inform and change the lives of many. But, of course, like we see in Flint, we need not just talk, but also action.


Image via iStock.com/ehrlif

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