Environmental Racism


How does a whole city's water system become contaminated with lead? Maybe you should ask Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan where this is currently happening. If you are not up to speed on the current situation happening in Flint, Michigan let me give you a quick rundown. The city of Flint is currently experiencing one of the worst causes of government negligence that I have ever seen. Flint, Michigan's water is/has become severely contaminated with lead.

No amount of lead is ever good for the body, for anyone, but lead is extremely dangerous for children and fetuses, making any female who is pregnant living in Flint, Michigan at extreme risk.

One of the main things I have been asking myself is how did this happen?

Flint's water problem was discovered in April 2014 when residents of Flint complained of the smell and color of the water. The city at the time was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, that's just the first problem.

As a "cost cutting" move that emergency manager decided to stop getting it's water from Detroit, which was treated by the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, but instead get water from the Flint River which would be treated at the city water plant in Flint. That is only the second problem.

The Department of Environmental Quality not only failed to treat the Flint River with any chemicals before the use of the Flint River, but the emergency manager also failed to replace the pipes and lead was pulled into the drinking water. The final problem.

It is now being reported that it seems as though not only did those within Flint's city government not care about the residents health or welfare, but have also went so far as to try to cover it up from being exposed.


How did the Governor of Michigan allow the people of Flint to have water so contaminated that it is now showing up in their blood stream?

How did the Governor of Michigan allow the people of Flint to have water so contaminated with lead levels so high that now the children living in Flint, Michigan will have future health problems?

It is a matter of negligence. It is a matter of accountability.

We, as voters, do not hold politicians to a higher standard. We do not hold our government to a higher standard. We do not hold politicians accountable for their actions. There are many politicians who have made tremendous mistakes at the state and federal level, but instead of us asking for them to be held accountable for their actions we gloss over the subject as if not expecting anything less. Yet, not holding the government or politicians accountable has caused situations such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

It was severe negligence on the end of the politicians and the government that they did not care enough about the residents of Flint, Michigan to make sure they had adequate and are drinking water. They do not care about the 8, 657 children younger than six who are now exposed to lead due to their negligence. They do not care about the unborn children of mothers who live in Flint. The individuals who visited Flint unaware of the situation at hand now exposed to lead.

The argument that the Flint, Michigan water crisis is a racial issue has now arisen shown in the image above.

Complaints of the smell, taste, and appearance of the water began in April 2014, which was now 2 years ago. They also raised health concerns and started to report hair loss and other problems.

The question that is presented is that if Flint, Michigan had been predominately white would the pleas and complaints of Flint's water have been taken more seriously?

The question is valid when residents complained and reported the appearance of the water to Flint, Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality they did not seem concerned with what they were saying. There was no sense of urgency on the government's end and there have also been reports that the government was lying by telling residents that the water is fine, more so trying to tell residents to be quiet, it's all in their heads.

It is evident that Flint is a predominantly black city where many of its residents are also working class or poor. Making the Flint, Michigan water crisis an issue of not only race but also class inequality.

To make the Flint, Michigan water crisis solely about race would be an injustice. It is about more than that. As I stated earlier it is a matter of accountability, it is a matter of negligence, and it is a matter of an underlining financial crisis happening in Michigan that no one knew how to handle.

It should cause Americans to ask who is the person orchestrating my government and who is behind the policy that will ultimately affect me? Who do I go to when things are going amuck in my city? Who will be held accountable?