Flint, MI Needs Pipes and Justice, not Plastic Bottles

Flint, Michigan, is finally getting the attention it deserves. President Obama just declared a State of Emergency and dispatched FEMA to, "save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Genesee County."

But given Flint's demographics (60 percent of residents are African American and more than 40 percent live in poverty), this situation represents a profound case of environmental racism and injustice. This is especially true since  it was the state's Governor, Rick Snyder, who appointed 'emergency managers' to override local elected officials, and his agencies that gave bad and at times misleading reports in a botched attempt to cover up the disaster. Yesterday during the a Democratic Presidential Debate, Secretary Clinton even remarked, "I'll tell you what: If the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water and being bathed in it, there would have been action."

The combination of FEMA's involvement and the generosity of charity groups and celebrities is getting Flint clean but bottled water. But that's not the answer since the water pipes are now tainted with lead. It's time to replace the entire water system of the city so that people can drink and bathe in their homes without threatening their health. President Obama and Congress can prepare and pass a bill that does just that.

Tell the President and Congress that Flint needs pipes and justice, not plastic bottles.

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