The dark, murky, poisoned water invaded Flint like an occupying army, with the cries for help going unheeded, and with no protection offered from their government. Upon hearing about the tragic water situation in Flint, Michigan, one wonders just how this could happen in the United States of America. Delving deeper – it becomes quite clear, it happened because Flint was no longer under the true auspices and protection of the United States of America and its promised Constitutional guarantees. It happened because there was no democracy in Flint. It had been legislatively removed from the residents. How? It was taken via a law passed which allowed the state to strip the citizens of their rights to elected representatives. The officials for whom the residents of Flint voted – including the mayor – were stripped of their authority and replaced by an “emergency manager” who literally took over the running of the city – leaving those officials without any authority – and the residents without a voice. That is how this happened in the United States. The result was the poisoned water – the source was changed, approved by the governor and the ‘emergency manager‘.
The ruse was based upon the premise that the ‘emergency manager‘ was to prevent a city from going bankrupt – but it appears that all of those Michigan cities went bankrupt while the ’emergency manager’ was in place – and the water of Flint was allowed to become toxic thereby poisoning its residents. The change of the water source and the pipes produced the lead. The governor still will not order that the pipes be changed.
The mayor and other elected officials were powerless to do anything in response to their constituents – because the ’emergency manager’ had been given all of their authority. And the residents were poisoned. Had it not been for Doctor Mona Hanna-Attisha who exposed the problem and Rachel Maddow taking the issue on and providing needed media coverage – the poisoning would have continued without the public outside of Flint knowing anything about it. The governor of Michigan knew about it over a year ago – but ignored the problem as children’s brains were destroyed with lead, and babies of women who drank the water while pregnant, were born with lead damage in their bodies . There is nothing that can be done to undo that damage. No cure. Governor Snyder continued to do nothing – and – as he testified today, March 17, 2016, in the Congressional hearings, ( http://www.c-span.org/video/?406540-1/hearing-flint-michigan-water-contamination&live= ), his only actions have been to “talk” with the residents, a response which was dubious and met with not incredulous responses from the congress members, but jeers from the residents of Flint who were present during the hearing.
As the community still struggles, the elected officials still have no legal authority, but the Mayor of Flint has been taking unilateral steps to cure the problem – but the governor will not release any funds to cure the problem. Volunteers have come to Flint to provide services, plumbers, etc., have all converged on Flint to work on pipes, free of charge. The state of Michigan has a ‘rainy day fund’ but will not release those funds. During a debate – Hillary Clinton (who made several trips there) and Bernie Sanders condemned the situation in Flint – and, when referencing that ‘rainy day fund’ Secretary Clinton said: “It’s raining lead in Flint!” The governors lack of action is despicable – yet he refuses to resign.
Many have called for his arrest for what can only be considered as a crime of neglect with predictable results. He may not have actually killed anyone with his own hands, but his refusal to act and save those children from irreparable brain damage is a form of murder. His knowledge for a lengthy amount of time, ( per his own emails) , and ignoring it – still today refuses to have water delivered – people have to go to the fire department to get bottled water. But if a person is elderly, disabled, or does not have transportation, then that is yet another obstacle. Yes it was and is a crime .
His response that he will have to ‘live with it for the rest of his life‘ – is no comparison to the lives of those children which will become the ‘lives not lived‘ due to the brain damage they have suffered. He should not only resign but he should live with it for the rest of his life – behind bars.
Today – Snyder admitted that the emergency manager law failed the residents of Flint: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/flint-water-crisis/2016/03/17/gov-rick-snyder-admits-emergency-management-failed-flint-water-crisis/81910418/
It is indeed an outrage – and to add insult to injury is that the right of American citizens to elected representation was taking away in light of day via a Republican legislature. The ‘emergency manager‘ law should have been, and should be struck down and never allowed to emerge again anywhere in America. There is an ‘app’ for that – it is called the Constitution of the United States of America.