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Monday, February 1, 2016
"The tragedy in Flint was a choice" --Leo Gerard
“In Flint, children were poisoned to save money” —Art Reyes
“…On [January 26], Flint residents met with leaders of the national NAACP to draw up a ‘15-point priority plan’ for addressing the lead-tainted water crisis. Chief among their demands is the repeal of Michigan's contentious emergency manager law, which was enacted in 2011 under Gov. Rick Snyder.
“A memo (pdf) by the national civil rights group notes that throughout talks with Flint community members, ‘Most stridently, we heard the need for a return to democracy by repealing the Emergency Financial Manager Law, under which the string of decisions were made that brought Flint to this crisis.’
“As Flint native Art Reyes III explained, ‘the emergency manager law gave unchecked power to the governor in the name of helping these communities emerge from financial distress. But in reality, it unleashed a series of devastating austerity and privatization measures adopted in the name of progress, and took away democratic rights from poor communities of color…’” (People of Flint Call for Pro-Democracy Revolt to Save Their Poisoned City by Laura McCauley).
“…The people affected by these decisions had no recourse to hold decision makers accountable. In Michigan, the idea of a government of, by, and for the people did not apply to poor black cities, and when residents were robbed of the ability to govern themselves, they suffered. In Flint, it meant they got poisoned.
“This is not the America that brought my family to Flint in pursuit of opportunity. In fact, my relatives were among the hundreds of protesters at the State Capitol fighting for our hometown during the State of the State address. We’ve had enough. It’s time for Governor Snyder to resign” (I Grew Up in Flint. Here’s Why Governor Snyder Must Resign by Art Reyes III).
“…Ten things that you probably don’t know about [the Flint] crisis because the media, having come to the story so late, can only process so much. But if you live in Flint or the State of Michigan as I do, you know all too well that what the greater public has been told only scratches the surface.
1. “While the children in Flint were given poisoned water to drink, General Motors was given a special hookup to clean water….
2. “For just $100 a day, this crisis could have been prevented…
3. “There’s more than lead in Flint’s water…
4. “People’s homes in Flint are now worth nothing because they can’t be sold…
5. “While [the people of Flint] were being poisoned, they were also being bombed…
6. “The wife of the Governor’s Chief of Staff is a spokeswoman for Nestle, Michigan’s largest owner of private water reserves…
7. “In Michigan, from Flint water, to crime and murder, to GM ignition switches, it’s a culture of death…
8. “Don’t call it 'Detroit water' — It is the largest source of fresh drinking water in the world…
9. “ALL the children have been exposed, as have all the adults, including me...
10. “This was done, like so many things these days, so the rich could get a big tax break...”
(10 Things They Won’t Tell You about the Flint Water Tragedy by Michael Moore).