By now you all have heard about the Flint, Michigan water crisis. The outrage most of us feel can’t even be quantified. If this was a proposed TV movie of the week, Hollywood probably would have ignored it because the premise would have been so unbelievable. Zombies, aliens, the rapture,…all believable! But a government purposely poisoning their residents in order to save $100 a day, not so much. At least that’s how I think Hollywood would have responded.
The outrage is spreading. Major new outlets have picked up the story and feel our statewide outrage. There are now daily articles nationally about the water crisis. But Rachel Maddow was first on the scene nationally and should get most of the credit for making this a national story. Without her, none of us would probably know the details about what was going on. I highly recommend her show. It is my favorite political news show. MSNBC 9pm Monday thru Friday!!
I typically don’t write about things that are all over the news for the simple reason there is no need to rehash things that others can say better than I. Nonetheless, there was one news report that has stuck with me. It might change the way you view things too and make you even more outraged….maybe a little bit outraged at yourself.
The Washington Post ran a story on January 20, 2016 entitled, “The awkward question about Flint that no one wants to answer”. There is a quote in this article that really hits home.
“We have been crying about this for what will be two years in April, and that’s what we want to know: What took so long?” (Mayor )Weaver asked . “Because it didn’t take a scientist to tell us that brown water is not good.”
While everyone is outraged over the lead in the water, hardly anyone bothered to pay attention when the water was smelly, brown, and tasted funny within days of the switch over to river water. Complaints about the color, smell, and taste were mocked by government employees as shown in the released emails from Governor Snyder. That was considered acceptable for some reason? Why?
That is what bothers me the most. Not necessarily the lead issue which is truly horrific on it’s own merits, but the fact that such awful water purity was considered acceptable at all. It was considered acceptable in the name of austerity (attempts to significantly curtail government spending in an effort to control public-sector debt).
How could the Michigan state government, my state government, show such depraved indifference to the public pleas for help? How could the Michigan state government, specifically Governor Rick Snyder along with his appointees, show such a callous disregard for regulations and processes that exist to protect the public health?
I am at a loss for words over the why.
Images of Marie Antoinette and her famous quote ” If the people have no bread, let them eat cake” keep popping up in my head. As most of you know, this quote is often used to show the indifference and disregard for the plight of the poor. It’s as if Governor Snyder and his administration were channeling her.
So, with no words to say, I leave you with this image.