The Racism at the Heart of Flint’s Crisis – The New York Times

“An important new report makes clear the principal cause of the water crisis in Flint, Mich.: the state government’s blatant disregard for the lives and health of poor and black residents of a distressed city.

The report released Wednesday by a task force appointed last year by Gov. Rick Snyder to study how Flint’s drinking water became poisoned by lead makes for chilling reading. While it avoids using the word “racism,” it clearly identifies the central role that race and poverty play in this story. “Flint residents, who are majority black or African-American and among the most impoverished of any metropolitan area in the United States, did not enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as that provided to other communities,” the report said.”

Source: The Racism at the Heart of Flint’s Crisis – The New York Times

Michigan’s Failure to Protect Flint – The New York Times

“This was a catastrophe caused by failures at every level. A task force appointed in October by the governor put the primary blame on the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, whose director resigned in late December. According to the task force, the state health department apparently had early knowledge about elevated lead levels in the blood of children, but kept silent and did not warn the public. And one or more of the successive emergency managers appointed by Mr. Snyder to control spending in Flint signed off on bad decisions.Continue reading the main storySign Up for the Opinion Today NewsletterEvery weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.Flint’s problems can be traced to a disastrous decision in 2014 to use water from the Flint River as the city’s primary source of water for a year or two. Flint’s water had for a long time been supplied by the Detroit system with water from Lake Huron. But in an effort to save money, the City Council, in 2013, approved joining a cheaper regional water system that was then still under construction. In the meantime, the city decided to draw its water from the Flint River. The critical decision not to add chemicals to prevent corrosion of the pipes that deliver water to homes and businesses was made at the direction of the state’s Department of Environmental Quality.”

Source: Michigan’s Failure to Protect Flint – The New York Times

The Republican Refusal to Aid Flint – The New York Times

“A House oversight committee held a hearing on Wednesday whose purpose was purportedly to identify those responsible for the Flint crisis and determine what could be done to alleviate it. But the committee failed to summon Rick Snyder, the Republican governor of Michigan, whose environmental officials and emergency managers were the ones who made monumental blunders that led the city to draw water from the polluted Flint River without treating it properly. Instead, Republicans heaped blame on the Environmental Protection Agency, which made mistakes but was a bit player in this drama.”

Source: The Republican Refusal to Aid Flint – The New York Times

Flint Weighs Scope of Harm to Children Caused by Lead in Water – The New York Times

“Dr. Hanna-Attisha would waste no time adding King and his sister, Taeyana, to a new database of children under 6 who may have been exposed to lead in Flint’s water, a group she said she believed could number 8,000.Of all the concerns raised by the contamination of Flint’s water supply, and the failure of the state and federal governments to promptly address the crisis after it began nearly two years ago, none are more chilling than the possibility that children in this tattered city may have suffered irreversible damage to their developing brains and nervous systemsfrom exposure to lead.”

Source: Flint Weighs Scope of Harm to Children Caused by Lead in Water – The New York Times

When the Water Turned Brown As every major decision was made over more than a year, officials at all levels of government acted in ways that contributed to the public health emergency in Flint, Mich. nytimes.com|By ABBY GOODNOUGH

This is a long and devastating piece about Watergate in Flint. It starts,
“FLINT, Mich. — Standing at a microphone in September holding up a baby bottle, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a local pediatrician, said she was deeply worried about the water. The number of Flint children with elevated levels of lead in their blood had risen alarmingly since the city changed its water supply the previous year, her analysis showed.

Within hours of Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s news conference, Michigan state officials pushed back — hard. A Department of Health and Human Services official said that the state had not seen similar results and that it was working with a much larger set of data. A Department of Environmental Quality official was quoted as saying the pediatrician’s remarks were “unfortunate,” described the mood over Flint’s water as “near-hysteria” and said, as the authorities had insisted for months, that the water met state and federal standards.”

As every major decision was made over more than a year, officials at all levels of government acted in ways that contributed to the public health emergency in Flint, Mich.
nytimes.com|By ABBY GOODNOUGH

Michigan’s Great Stink – Paul Krugman, The New York Times

“In the 1850s, London, the world’s largest city, still didn’t have a sewer system. Waste simply flowed into the Thames, which was as disgusting as you might imagine. But conservatives, including the magazine The Economist and the prime minister, opposed any effort to remedy the situation. After all, such an effort would involve increased government spending and, they insisted, infringe on personal liberty and local control.It took the Great Stink of 1858, when the stench made the Houses of Parliament unusable, to produce action.But that’s all ancient history. Modern politicians, no matter how conservative, understand that public health is an essential government role. Right? No, wrong — as illustrated by the disaster in Flint, Mich.”

Source: Michigan’s Great Stink – The New York Times

The Poisoning of Flint’s Water It is hard to imagine such a thing happening in a city that didn’t have this particular demographic profile — mostly black and disproportionately poor. nytimes.com|By Charles M. Blow

This is an excellent summary of Watergate in Flint by Charles Blow. The comment I will reprint from the excellent comments is even more revealing. I want to ask Mr. Blow why he didn’t write about this earlier, or did he?
from NYT comments: Mark Thomason is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 5 hours ago

“Michigan’s split between parties is strongly reinforced by racist resentments. Gov. Snyder in particular has used this in an organized Republican attack on black Democratic controlled localities.

Key to this is his emergency manager law, which was revoked by referendum, then immediately re-imposed anyway in a party line vote. It allows the State to cut off revenue sharing, and then take over cities and school districts which “fail” because their money has been cut off.

This was done to Detroit, famously, but less known it has been done to many other cities and school districts, every single one of them black and Democratic.

What is happening is an overtly racist outrage. What surprises me is that it has gone under the radar until now, despite being done so publicly to Detroit. I’ve watched sneering “Young Republicans” doing an “inspection” of the Michigan Works offices that help the unemployed, openly insulting staff and people getting help. It was infuriating to watch. The attitudes are nauseating, and not at all hidden.

This isn’t the Michigan I remember growing up. It has turned nasty, as the hard core Republican crusade led by Snyder has turned into racial attacks too.

This would reward some good reporting. It screams and begs for good reporting.”

Reply 166 Recommended

It is hard to imagine such a thing happening in a city that didn’t have this particular demographic profile — mostly black and disproportionately poor.
nytimes.com|By Charles M. Blow

As Water Problems Grew, Officials Belittled Complaints From Flint – The New York Times

Why isn’t the Department of justice getting involved in this scandal?
Below, is the image of the unhappy mayor of Flint. I’m tagging this story,
watergate in Flint. This tragedy will not help the Republicans in the presidential election. What an awkward time to be arguing that we need less government regulation and oversight of public safety.


“LANSING, Mich. — A top aide to Michigan’s governor referred to people raising questions about the quality of Flint’s water as an “anti-everything group.” Other critics were accused of turning complaints about water into a “political football.” And worrisome findings about lead by a concerned pediatrician were dismissed as “data,” in quotes.That view of how the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder initially dealt with the water crisis in the poverty-stricken, black-majority city of Flint emerged from 274 pages of emails, made public by the governor on Wednesday.”

Source: As Water Problems Grew, Officials Belittled Complaints From Flint – The New York Times

The Reach of Lead in Flint’s Water Supply – The New York Times

The Reach of Lead in Flint’s Water SupplyBy JEREMY C.F. LIN JAN. 15, 2016

“In a cost-cutting move in 2014, the struggling city switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River. Residents began to complain, and elevated levels of lead were found in some children.The city is now in a state of emergency, and National Guard troops arrived this week to help distribute bottled water. The Michigan attorney general has begun an investigation into the contamination.”

Source: The Reach of Lead in Flint’s Water Supply – The New York Times

This is a damning story. Penny wise and pound foolish doesn’t capture the evil of these right wing management charlatans.

 

Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan Apologizes in Flint Water Crisis – The New York Times

 

 

Percentage of tap water samples with lead above five parts per billion, by ward.

 

“LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan issued a sweeping apology on Tuesday to the residents of Flint for a contaminated water supply. He pledged to promptly release his emails about the issue, and laid out more specifics than had previously been known about the state’s handling of the matter.”

Source: Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan Apologizes in Flint Water Crisis – The New York Times

from NYT comments: Peter Colorado Springs, CO 2 hours ago

“Governor Snyder thinks that the combination of an apology and shifting blame to the Obama Administration is going to save him from responsibility for the disaster that he and his appointed dictators caused in Flint. To save a few bucks his people ordered a shift in the water supply from Detroit’s system to water from the river. To save a few bucks he and his people chose not to treat the river water with $100 of chemicals per day. To save a few bucks he and his people covered up the danger for over a year.

Snyder is what happens when austerity politics fueled by big money are allowed to run a government. Money is saved on the backs of the poor and middle class to fund tax cuts for the very rich and giveaways to cronies.

And now, to add insult to injury, Snyder blames Obama because this man-made crisis does not qualify for disaster funds. Really Governor? You’re going to shift this to Obama? Really?

And the final insult is that the city of Flint under director of Snyder’s appointed dictator is going after the people who refuse to pay for the piped in poison.

The Governor should be removed from office. His appointed dictators should be arrested. His head of the state EPA should be imprisoned. They all knew that they, thru their actions, were poisoning the people of Flint. They need to be held accountable.”Reply 144 Recommended

The Governor should also be arrested, and prosecuted for crimes against his people.