[T]he linkages between human rights and access to water and sanitation are deeply interwoven. And because water, as a fundamental resource, cuts across all aspects of sustainable development, recognizing this connection is not only critical to achieving [Sustainable Development Goal 6 regarding water and sanitation] but the broader 2030 Agenda.
— Michel Jarraud, United Nations UN Water agency, October 27, 2015
I keep asking myself the same question whenever I think about Flint Michigan’s current water crisis: in any career on earth — besides being the son of Satan — how do you get appointed as an EMERGENCY MANAGER in charge of a situation deemed as an EMERGENCY, MANAGE to create a larger damn EMERGENCY than the supposed EMERGENCY you were brought in to MANAGE, and then get appointed to be an EMERGENCY MANAGER somewhere else? Presumably to create more EMERGENCIES …
The fact that Flint, Michigan Emergency Manager Darnell Earley’s reward for switching the city’s Detroit-based water source to the industrially-contaminated and carcinogen-laden Flint River — an austerity-driven measure to save up to $2 million in water costs that resulted in a growing health crisis with potential social costs many multiples higher — is an appointment to become Emergency Manager of Detroit’s public school system, shows you how Earley and his boss, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, act as if the public’s welfare is a game to them.
Adding insult to the emerging medical reports of people with headaches, rashes, aches, and even Legionnaires disease resulting from Flint River water consumption is that the city’s residents pay one of the highest water rates in Michigan.
Well, I propose a new game for Gov. Snyder and Mr. Earley: let’s bring these two “playas” to the United Nations and watch them explain why they shouldn’t be charged with:
- Environmental terrorism.
- Deliberately endangering the lives of Flint citizens.
- Denying American citizens of clean water for more than a year when more viable options existed.
- Discrediting the existence a public health crisis in the face of scientifically-supported facts.
- Denying Flint citizens of their right to democratically-elected representation by installing an Emergency Manager, thus transitioning a city within a developed nation into a banana-less banana republic.
I also want to see Snyder and Earley drink three glasses of Flint River water as they explain to an assembled UN panel the initial thinking around feeding this poison to people and hyping its benefits. You know, a tasting like the Patrick Moore-Roundup drink test.
Are we witnessing genocide in play, or full-gloried head-all-up-in-azzism? I can’t say the former for certain, since I haven’t seen the phrase “Let’s get those N***as” in the redacted emails Gov. Snyder released to the public.
What’s certain is that Flint and State of Michigan officials tried very hard to hide that something horrible has occurred. But … Flint has a poor and majority African descendant population …
I think additional “playas” have earned tickets to the same UN hearing.
Officials from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality deserve a seat with Snyder and Early for downplaying the high presence of lead, bacteria and other contaminants in Flint’s water even after citizens began to report health issues. The pattern of denial continued to occur after an automobile plant stopped using the water because of corrosion risk; after a local hospital began to use water bottles; even after researchers from Virginia Tech University, led by Marc Edwards, tested Flint water and found it to be “highly corrosive.”
MDEQ’s actions also smack of guilty admissions. For instance, why would they tell Flint families to flush out faucets and other water pipes prior to submitting test samples for contaminants?
Officials from the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency also deserve an invitation.
Miguel Del Toral, a heroic member of the EPA’s Region 5 team saw the public health dangers posed by Flint’s water and the criminal behavior of the Michigan Department of Water Quality seven months ago. His attempts to fully disclose Flint’s tragedy resulted in him being discredited by local and federal officials as well as silenced by his boss Susan Hedman.
If you’re not seething by now, try this: after Del Toral’s “house arrest,” MDEQ officials met with concerned families and bragged about Del Toral being “handled” and that no one else is going to help.
I want to see people in jail for this.
Pragmatically speaking, the United States holds too much weight in the UN for a hearing of any substance to happen. A UN statement is a more realistic deliverable.
But Snyder, Earley, et al need the most proximate version of a Nuremberg trial that can be created under US law …
song currently stuck in my head: “imagine (live at montreux)” – randy crawford & the yellow jackets