“For over 18 months, the people of Flint, Michigan, complained that their water was contaminated, but their voices fell on deaf ears. Redacted emails released under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act have since revealed that Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration was aware of Flint’s water problems almost a year ago but neglected to act or even inform the public until it was too late.”
~ Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast
I remember when I was proud to live in Michigan.
I used to attend workshops and conferences in other states and I was always eager to identify with this Great Lake State, to talk about how we have 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, how the Great Lakes represent 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater, how we’re comprised of two distinct peninsulas and are the home of Motown and the Motor City.
I was proud to grow up in the state that was home to two of the best governors ever, G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams, a Democrat, and William G. Milliken, a Republican. Tom Selleck came from here, I’d point out, and Bob Seger and Diana Ross and Lily Tomlin. (I never mentioned Ted Nugent.) We have four seasons and friendly people, Mackinac Island and the “Mighty Mac” bridge, the Tigers and the Red Wings (I never mentioned the Lions), and a tunnel that actually goes under the Detroit River to Canada.
I used to happily identify as a Michigander. Not anymore. My state is now an embarrassment, a laughingstock, the latest and clearest example of what can happen when disingenuous politicians insist on running state governments like unethical businesses.
GOP Governor Rick Snyder, who likes to call himself a “nerd” but is being called other things that aren’t so nice, is presiding over (and lying about) one of the worst public health crises in the history of this nation. Flint, Michigan – the seventh largest city in Michigan, home of General Motors, the subject of Michael Moore’s Roger and Me, a place that’s now known for having seen better days – is now infamous around the world as the place where 100,000 largely low-income people of color have been drinking lead-poisoned water for almost two years. And Snyder's minions made it happen.
Hurley Medical Center’s Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha repeatedly sounded the alarm, stating that the proportion of infants and children with above-average levels of lead in their blood had nearly doubled since the city switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. But state officials ignored her, and then attacked the messenger when she wouldn’t be silenced.
This is the same Flint River that’s suffered decades of industrial pollution – General Motors stopped using Flint River water because chloride levels were so high that the water was causing engine parts to rust – and which corrodes lead pipes at 19 times the rate of Lake Huron water.
Snyder’s busy blaming everybody else – from “career civil servants” to local officials – but this document proves that it was HIS appointed emergency manager who signed off on the switch:
The city switched back to water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department last October but the damage continues. Celebrities like Cher, Matt Damon and Michael Moore are calling for Snyder’s resignation. Pearl Jam, Anheuser-Busch, Ticketmaster, Eminem, Meek Mill, Big Sean, Mark Wahlberg, P. Diddy, Jimmy Fallon and Wiz Khalifa are among those sending money or water to Flint. Churches and businesses all over the state are collecting water and President Obama has allocated $80 million in federal aid to help repair Flint’s infrastructure and address the crisis; click here for information on how you can help.
This won’t be as long as my last post on the topic because at this point, most people have heard or read about the crisis. (This includes the U.S. Congress, which has summoned Snyder to testify about what actions led up to this calamity, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who’s covered the story extensively and is coming to Flint this week to host a town hall.) My intention is mainly to share the above document proving that Rick Snyder is a lying prick who should heed the call to resign immediately.
His lieutenant governor and probable successor, Brian Calley, doesn’t impress me much but to my knowledge, he didn’t let 100,000 people drink poison and then blame career civil servants for his own appointee’s shameful error.
Click here to read, “The Political Coup Behind the Flint Water Crisis.”
Click here to read, “Jeb Bush Praises Michigan Governor for Post-Flint Leadership.”
Click here to read, “Gov. Snyder Lied: Flint Water Switch Was Not About Saving Money, Records Show.”
Click here to read, “8 Things You Don’t Know About Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law.”
Sources: NBC25news.com, MLive.com, Detroit News, Occupy Democrats, Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, Thehill.com, Motor City Muckraker, The Daily Beast, Virginia Tech Professor Mark Edwards, GregBranchWords.com.