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Flint, Michigan and Democracy


#1

Flint, Michigan and Democracy

Margaret Kimberley

Americans are browbeaten and propagandized into believing they live in a democracy. The word democracy is bandied about with such consistent ferocity that the expression “protesting too much” comes to mind. The story of the tainted Flint, Michigan water supply is Exhibit A in the prosecution of the American system. The sad story reveals the lie of government by and for the people.


#2

"Jeb Bush garnered negative headlines when he praised the awful governor Mitch Snyder..."

Too bad the late great activist Mitch Snyder couldn't be Michigan's governor, instead of the awful Rick Snyder.

But i'm happy that the author uses the correct terminology for residents of my home state: Michiganders!


#3

I certainly agree with Ms. Kimberley about the illusion of Democratic Representation and also about the obscene monies hemorrhaged on war-making with so little reserved for domestic infrastructure.

And while there is no doubt that the Black Community is on the front lines of new assaults against The People here inside "the homeland," the fiscal facts of life show that more and more funds are being pushed to the top of the fake fiduciary pyramid leaving less and less for everyday working persons of all hues.

What's happening in Flint impacts Black citizens most... but it is not going to stop there.

A cursory review of what little we know about TIPP and TPP reveals that NO human rights--when it comes to arguing for civil liberties, labor rights, public health, or the viability of necessary ecosystems--will matter.

These corporately-designed trade tribunals are going to turn more and more places into "Sacrifice Zones."

First they came for... The Black community; but the carnage and ecocide will hardly stop there!

All over the world, starting with Indigenous communities who are on the front lines of corporate exploitation of Nature's Assets, people are fighting these anti-life, inhuman practices.


#4

Ms.Kimberley reminds us that this was NOT an act of God like a tsunami or earthquake. The people of Flint were poisoned by a decision made by a human being. People are held responsible for what they do to other people in a civilized society.

There should be prosecution for negligence and perhaps worse on the part of those who caused this terrible event to happen. It did not have to happen at all and that should be remembered. Exactly what kind of decision by a public official is it that results in lower quality water to a community? Where is that legal? The public mandate is to bring in the best quality water not reduce the quality of potable water and substitute an inferior quality source such a river. It isn't like that it isn't well known that America's rivers are contaminated and ALL would need careful processing and treatment to be used as a municipal water source.

To use that river water WITHOUT ensuring that it was properly treated and filtered etc is a criminally negligent act. That decision made the people of Flint into "those people" - people that would get lower quality water in effect. Now why is that?

Since when did subjecting a group of people to a substantial health hazard become legal? Will someone say that it wasn't intentional? But then it was intentional wasn't it? They had good water and then they were intentionally given lesser quality water. The responsibility for ensuring that the new source of water was perfectly fine and healthy was the emergency financial manager's. He decided and the way he decided (whether he acted properly which seems impossible considering they went from good quality to lesser quality water) is what needs to be investigated.

He decided and there should be responsibility for what happened because of that decision.

He should be held responsible for what he chose to do. He should be held culpable for harming people intentionally which is exactly what happened.

Snyder should resign but that EFM should be held responsible for subjecting so many people and children to harm. He made them separate from everyone else - he made them different from other people by saying they would have to make do with lesser quality water - he made them >>> those people ... he poisoned them simply to save a few bucks. That was criminal and he should be held responsible for doing such a thing. He knew it was lesser quality water and chose to believe that it was safe when as we see, the state knew it wasn't.

A criminal act that is not excusable especially since it was one man's decision... and he neither had the training nor skills to make such a decision.

The fact is that one person should never have been given such power to begin with but then that is a hard and very sad way to find this out... if you live in Flint.


#5

Did I miss something? Who stated the quoted line? Truly, this is a simple question. I'm not feigning denseness.

Also, for the sake of thrift, I'll comment on the SR's collection of comments by citing this one:

"What's happening in Flint impacts Black citizens most... but it is not going to stop there"

In this particular, suburb article by the always astute Margaret Kimberley from the Black Agenda Report, it does and should "stop there".


#6

How long did it take the federal government to mobilize and move in to help the Residents of New Jersey when the hurricane flooded the eastern seaboard?


#7

The typo in the original article has been fixed, and no longer reads Mitch Snyder, but now correctly reads Rick Snyder. (Mitch Snyder was an activist on behalf of homeless people. He died about 20 years ago.)


#8

I agree with the author on several of the points she makes. The powers that be can and do insist we have a democratic government - OF, BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE. The facts and reality do not bear this out. Our country is governed by and for special, monied interests. The will of the people means nothing. Studies bear this out. Perhaps people should look up the definition of an oligarchy.
It is bizarre that there is always money to toss around the world when military interests, power and political influence come into play. Not to mention keeping up appearances with the world while we continue our decline as measured by indicators of quality of life (i.e., children living in poverty, workers having to work later in life than other developed countries, education, shocking numbers of decline in the middle class, the cost of health care since we are one of a rare breed that lacks health care as a right for all without having to pay thousands out of our shrinking pockets every year - higher premiums, higher deductibles. etc. all of which continue to increase. What country allows drug companies to charge whatever they want??? Only the US of A! We are very privileged to have that sole honor. That is capitalism gone perverted ("amuck" would be putting it too gently). Affordable housing is nonexistent for those making less than a decent paycheck. The vast majority of developed countries have benefits such as paid leave, mandated vacation and sick time. The powers that be try to brainwash us that we are independent of such rules because we are so much better than that while taxpayers subsidize multibillion dollar corporations that have moved jobs overseas and give tax cuts to the wealthy. Well, Guess what? Many Americans are not buying that bull. (Be afraid, be very afraid of socialism.).
Do we really need to have a military presence in 147 countries while it is perfectly acceptable for children and elderly to go hungry as the end of the month approaches? A crumbling I frastructure is also considered acceptable. Yet, what do you here from almost every Republican candidate?
"WE NEED TO BUILD OUR MILITARY" in order to prove to the world that we can fight anyone (not necessarily win). Instill fear as a prime motivator of policy and the people will buy what you choose to feed them. Endless war. How's that working for us?
The way I see it, (and I am not sure what the comment about aid to the East Coast following Sandy was about) the federal government provides aid around the country following natural disasters - as it should. The difference with Flint was that this was not a natural disaster - IT IS A MAN MADE DISASTER. IT was a deliberate, (and easily avoidable) thought out decision made by Governor Snyderand and his cronies. All to save a few bucks. What does it matter if it would likely harm people as they were advised. They are poor African Americans who didn't vote for us anyway. They don't matter. ( We won't think about our hypocrisy when we holler about the right to life - and the right to be free of lead poisoning).
The Republicans are always screaming about the evil of regulations and "big government". Ironically, they are first in line to demand federal (taxpayer) assistance. Socialism for the monied interests and to serve their own purposes is fine. Just not for the commoners. I believe that since Governor Snyder and his cronies created this evil and the majority of Miichiganders put this man who puts money above people in office not once, but twice when they knew what kind of person he was, the state of Micihigan should spend any surplus as well as its rainy day fund for this torrential downpour first. Let him reinstate the tax cuts he gave to the wealthy to help pay for this debacle.