We’ve got plenty of updates for you this morning on the unfolding disaster in Flint Michigan, but there are none quite so remarkable as a declaration coming from Flint’s favorite son last night. Michael Moore took to social media to announce that he had finally sussed out what went wrong, resulting in the lead poisoning of most of Flint’s residents. It was, you see… racist genocide. (Yahoo News)
Back in December, before the crisis became big national news, Moore tweeted:
This is a racial killing. Flint MI is 60% black. When u knowingly poison a black city, u r committing a version of genocide #ArrestGovSnyder
This month, with investigations brewing and more outraged calls for accountability, Moore reiterated his point:
If this were elsewhere, & the white leader blocked a black city’s clean water supply &made them drink poison, we’d call it ethnic cleansing.
There’s really not much more to say about that. It’s just a case of Moore’s gonna Moore. An accusation of genocide carries an implicit component of intent, so Moore is claiming that this was all a secret plot by somebody to kill off the black residents of Flint, Michigan. The fact that it would also kill off the white, Hispanic and Asian populations was probably just an afterthought I suppose. Of course, that’s sort of a Longshanks approach to the situation, isn’t it?
As I said above, there’s some other Flint related news to get to this morning as well. The new Mayor of Flint, who took office after the water problems began but is taking no responsibility for the slow response, isn’t spending all of her time figuring out who to blame. She’s also dedicating some energy to identifying who the real hero of the situation is. And of course, that’s Hillary Clinton. (Wired)
On Tuesday, the city’s mayor Karen Weaver made it clear that after Clinton’s efforts on behalf of her city, she would return the favor.
“I want Hillary,” Weaver said on a conference call with reporters.
“We want a friend like Hillary in the White House,” she added. “We need a fighter we need someone there fighting for the city of Flint.”
So what has been “done” for Flint, Michigan by a woman who has held no elected office of any sort since the crisis began and wasn’t in a position to actually do anything? She mentioned it at the last debate, long after the rest of the country was up in arms over it. Good job, Madam Secretary. Everything should be fine now.
There’s one more data point to toss in here and it might serve to drive up Michael Moore’s fever level by a few more degrees. It turns out that not everyone in the greater Flint area is drinking lead infested water and risking lifelong health issues. One place in particular has had perfectly fine drinking water through the entire debacle, and wouldn’t you know it’s those elitists out at Kettering University. They sent out a memo assuring everyone that the water on campus has been and continues to be just fine.
Kettering campus water is safe, and our faculty, staff, students, and campus residents are not being exposed to contaminated water on campus. We are, and have been even before the current crisis emerged, committed to ongoing testing of our water to ensure the safety of the campus water supply. Moreover, the entire water supply of Flint has not been contaminated with lead; although some sections of the city have experienced problems, some severe, other sections have not.
All of us deplore that any single person has been exposed to unsafe levels of lead in the water; however, many, many people living in Flint have not been exposed to water containing elevated levels of lead in their residences or places of business.
This is a remarkable report with a lot of the science behind the lead contamination included, so it’s worth a read if you’re following this story closely. The part about the elitists at the university is a joke, of course. They weren’t getting any special treatment, but instead are just in an area away from the older, crumbling water pipes where there wasn’t rust and lead leaching into the water. Their water testing regimen is much more stringent than that of the city and they’ve only had three instances where any lead was detected, all below the normal allowed maximums.
And finally, as to Moore’s demands that the governor be arrested or resign, it’s not going to happen. (At least for now.) Rick Snyder gave his State of the State address last night and he apologized to the people of Flint, promising to do better. (Yahoo News)
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, facing protests, lawsuits and calls for his resignation over drinking water contamination in Flint, on Tuesday apologized to the city’s residents and called for the state to spend $28 million on fixes.
“To you, the people of Flint, I say tonight as I have before, I am sorry and I will fix it,” Snyder said in his annual speech to lawmakers, adding that federal, state and local leaders had failed residents.
Snyder, a Republican, asked lawmakers to authorize $28 million in spending on diagnostic tests, health treatment for children and adolescents, replacement of faucets and fixtures in Flint schools and day care centers and a study of the city’s water pipes. He also said additional funding would be needed.
I can’t predict what Snyder’s future holds. Politicians have been brought down by less in the past, even if they had no direct involvement in a crisis. But for now he’s announced that he’ll be releasing all of his emails covering the entire period of the water problems, presumably intending to clear up the eternal question of what he knew and when he knew it. That may or may not calm the waters for him going forward, but reporters will also no doubt be sorting through everything else they find to see if there’s any dirt to latch onto. But the one thing which is coming clear is that this entire story began with administrators trying to save a few million dollars by switching water sources. It’s now going to cost them billions to clean up the ensuing mess.
Ah… politics. It’s a complicated beast at the best of times.