How You Can Help With The Flint Water Crisis

January 20, 2016  |  

flint water crisis

Source: AP Images

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Every week, the news cycle seems to detail another way in which Black people, either domestically or abroad, are under attack. This weekend, news was abuzz with the latest developments about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

You may be wondering what the water crisis has to do with Black people. Quite a bit.

52 percent of Flint’s 100,000 residents are Black. And 40 percent of people live below the poverty line.

The change came about in April 2014 in an attempt to save money. The state decided to switch Flint’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River until the new supply line in Lake Huron was ready. The only problem is the Flint River was and still is known for being unclean. Since the switch in 2014, residents have been complaining about the quality of the water, from the way it looked, smelled and tasted.

According to CNN, researchers from Virginia Tech said the water was highly corrosive and a class action lawsuit alleges that the water hadn’t been treated for corrosion in accordance with federal law.

Even though the city switched back to the Lake Huron supply in October, it was too late. The damage to the lead pipes and to the city’s citizens had already been done.

Many of you know the damage lead can cause. Children are suffering from skin rashes having bathed in the water for more than a year, some people are reporting hair loss. And heaven only knows what’s going on internally when the lead is literally eaten away at the pipes. Lead has been known to cause brain damage, behavioral problems, anemia and kidney complications.

Governor, Rick Snyder, who has been in position since 2011 and is the one responsible for all of this, has declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard. President Obama has also declared it a state of emergency on the federal level.

People have likened the poisoned water, knowingly being given to the citizens as a type of genocide.

Recently, in his address to the state, Governor Snyder said, “To begin, I’d like to address the people of Flint. Your families face a crisis, a crisis you did not create and could not have prevented. I’m sorry and I will fix it.”

Well, it’s just too little too late.

Who knows how long it’ll take before the water supply has been completely rid of the contaminated water. While Gov. Snyder attempts to clean up his mess, there’s something we can all do to help.

Basically, send water…or money to buy water or filter systems.

But you want to make sure you’re sending it to people who will make sure it is distributed properly. Here are some suggestions:

According to MSNBC, The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is serving as a central distribution point.

You can donate money to the United Way.

And there are some people in the city, with an organization called “Water You Fighting For” that helped to outline worthwhile organizations.

They list organizations like Bottles for Babies, which has opened a Go Fund Me page. 

According to CNN, there are several churches who are accepting water and donations.

The American Red Cross is doing the same.

And there’s also an organization called Flint Child Health & Development Fund that helps children who were exposed to this poisoned water.

There are plenty of ways to help.

You can watch Melissa Mays detail the situation in the video below.

Trending on MadameNoire

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  • I find it strange how this seems to be happening only to black people.
    Are there no white people who are affected as well?
    No white people live in Flint, Michigan?

    • LogicalLeopard

      The article sez: “52 percent of Flintโ€™s 100,000 residents are Black. And 40 percent of people live below the poverty line.”

      • But from what I have been reading and watching black people think this is a plan to exterminate them.
        So, are no white people being affected by this?

        • LogicalLeopard

          Well, you really need to take a look at what you’re reading and watching, if you’ve been left with the impression that only black people are affected by this. Because that’s obviously not true. Everyone getting city water is affected. It may be true that the population that is MOST adversely affected by the crisis is disproportionately black, but that tends to be the case in a lot of situations like this.

  • PeoplePlease7

    Asbestoes, toxins in building materials, lead, fracking, etc…Another sad example of criminal conspiracy with politicians allowing citizens to be used as guinea pigs. White folks are victims of these psycopaths as well. Be sure to support efforts to criminally prosecute these officials, not just a slap on the wrist.

  • Annamuffin

    I suggest black folk stop voting democratic and get involved in town hall meetings and let their voices be heard. As long as they sit around going with the flow sneaky things like this will continue to happen. Btw I wouldn’t donate a dime this is the government falut because that should of approved their new water source just like they approve medication foods and so on before they hit the public market….

    • IntrovertedSE

      The governor isn’t a democrat. And the people are suffering as a result of the governor. The water and stuff is going to them not the government.

      • Annamuffin

        But the mayor and everyone else is, you mean to tell me the governor just pushed this through and didn’t discuss this with any ot flints public democratic officials….

        • Akemata

          The mayor has not been in control of Flint since 2011. The emergency manager alone was permitted to make administrative decisions and the EM reports only to the governor.

          • Annamuffin

            You mean to tell me they did something in the city and it was discussed or voted on by those city officials… I call bs….

        • IntrovertedSE

          An emergency manager signed for it to happen and it was approved by a city council.

          • Annamuffin

            But there always checks and balances the people there didn’t follow proper protocol….

            • IntrovertedSE

              I think the issue is that a lot of the people were unaware of what would happen because the Department of Environmental Quality was supposed to treat the water for corrosion. That didn’t happen though. Most people had lead pipes and that’s how this all happened. The problem with the governor probably comes from the fact that people have been complaining about the water since April 2014 and he denied anything was wrong with the water until researchers showed him that it was full of lead. I don’t see how the citizens could be blamed for any of this.

    • MsNisha929

      Annamuffin, as a Michigan resident our governor (Rick Snyder) is a Republican businessman – much like Donald Trump. His concern was saving a dollar or 2 and now these people are suffering. So why wouldn’t I donate to the people – because the governor is saying this could take 3 years to fix possibly if funding comes from the Federal level. The PEOPLE are suffering – the children who we have no idea as to what the lead has done to them mentally and physically, senior citizens and the 10 people who have died from Legionnaires disease. It’s really sad that the Republican lead Michigan House and Governor made these choices to take the citizens rights away and appoint an EM who is now messing up the Detroit Public School System as their appointed head. NOW, that’s something to make you go HMMMM?

      • Annamuffin

        If that’s the case when the democratic mayor and council people heard about this why did they agree to the plan….

        • MsNisha929

          With an EM you don’t have a say. The EM creates a consulting team and they make the decisions – the elected officials have no authority over what occurs. So whether Democratic or Republican (I’m not sure about what or who was running things in Flint) council and mayor would have had no authority

    • Terietta M. Ingram

      This is a result of the City of Flint being under an emergency financial manger. The EM reports directly to the governor. So ultimately this falls on Synder’s head.

      • LogicalLeopard

        Sure, the EM screwed it up, buuuuut……doesn’t this all ultimately kind of fall on the heads of the people who necessitated Flint having a EM in the first place? Because, how bad does your city’s politicians have to screw up in order for the state government to step in?

        • Terietta M. Ingram

          Not sure if i agree.If the EM was given power over city decisions, he has responsibility to make decisions that positively impact the citizens of that city. I think the City of Flint was looking at changing of Detroit water prior to the EM but the EM made the decision that $100/day was too much to treat the water. That was the issue with the choice, saving money was more important than people of Flint having good water.

          • LogicalLeopard

            Oh yeah, the EM takes the hit on this all day long. This Flint issue is HIS fault. But if we want to talk about the situation “ultimately falling” on someone’s head, if it has to go beyond his head, I’d blame the government that fell before I blame Snyder. Unless it can be proven that Snyder knowingly put an incompetent person there, then I’d blame Snyder more.

            • Terietta M. Ingram

              The EM said $100/day is too much money to spend. How is that the powerless government’s fault? He made the decisions.

              • LogicalLeopard

                Like I said, the EM takes the hit all the day long. He’s the person responsible for this crisis. But if you’re going to go beyond him, don’t go to the Governor, go to the government that came before him that screwed the city up enough to have a EM in the first place.

                • Terietta M. Ingram

                  Nope. The EM is appointed by the governor. The city’s responsibility ended once the EM gave them power.

                  • LogicalLeopard

                    But the whole reason why they HAVE an EM is because they dropped the ball!

                  • LogicalLeopard

                    Saying that their responsibility ended is like saying that if your kids go into foster care, if they are abused, it’s no longer your fault. Not directly, sure, but your actions is what led to them being put into that position.

                    • Terietta M. Ingram

                      If your child is abused while in foster care, guess who is responsible? The foster care system. They took control of that child. Not the parent.

                    • LogicalLeopard

                      Which is what I said, but it still remains that your actions brought them to that position.

                    • Terietta M. Ingram

                      yeah nope done w/ you. You are wrong plain and simple.

                    • LogicalLeopard

                      *L* Okay!

    • LogicalLeopard

      Mannnnnnn…..I’m not trying to tell anyone how to vote, but….at least in Michigan, I’d think long and hard before I pulled a Democratic lever, for Detroit’s sake alone. I’m not so familiar with who was in control of Flint, but the bottom line is this: Whoever dropped the ball with the city itself, so that the city had to fall under emergency management, well, THOSE people shouldn’t be voted in.

      • Terietta M. Ingram

        You are discussing how the city has run itself into financial ruin? I think you have to look at what has happened in this city from the beginning. Similar to Detroit there was a lost of manufacturing jobs, a loss of tax dollars and a loss of people. All these things lead to financial issues. So if we want to place blame on the citizens go back to the beginning of the problem.

        • LogicalLeopard

          No, I’m actually not blaming the citizens at all. I’m blaming the leadership. Granted, I live close to Detroit in another state, but I’m not intimately familiar with it. But it was my understanding that Detroit and the Detroit area has a good amount of manufacturing jobs. Everytime I go to or through Detroit, seems like I see a lot of manufacturing. And since its the seat of the major American auto companies, you’d think they’d incentivize those companies to keep some around.
          But anyway, what I’m talking about is that even when you have any loss of anything, your leadership has to effectively manage that so that the city continues to prosper, or at least doesn’t decline. But how many cities go bankrupt? Not go into debt – many do, but bankrupt? With all of what they have? I know and understand that they probably experienced some flight with tax dollars, because people who work those manufacturing jobs, especially the executives, probably no longer live in Detroit. But are they still taxing all the people that work there? They need to make sure those tax dollars are allocated properly. Plus, they have FOUR major sports franchises there. FOUR. Three, if you want to exclude the Pistons, who play in Auburn Hills. The rest are right downtown. I went to a Tigers game a couple years ago, and a few blocks away from the stadium, the area looked abandoned. Like someone had worked on building some nice housing and just quit. How does that happen? Seriously? You’d think that the area around the ball park would be straight.
          So seriously, how do you POSSIBLY let a city with four major sports franchises and several major car companies go bankrupt? Well, if total NONSENSE was going on, like the major being corrupt (mannnnn, that hurt my heart to see Kwame Kilpatrick go down like that), and city council members (John Conyers’ wife, no less) calling the city council president “Shrek” in a council meeting and having arguments with juveniles (those both actually happened), it’s no wonder.

          • Terietta M. Ingram

            You cant blend what is happening to Detroit w what is happening to Flint. I dont know about Flint as far as how they ended up in the EM situation but I do know a wee bit about what is happening in Detroit. I am not 100% sure how Flint came to be under EM but i am pretty sure is related to having large city bills and a smaller city income

            Sport Franchises do not make a city. Especially bc the pistons are in a separate county. That is is not what it takes. Sports teams are nice perks but they dont get people jobs. They dont keep the buses working. People who come for those things migrate and leave.

            Also the City of Detroit is not responsible for the BK of car companies. Especially since only 1 is headquartered Detroit. What happened to the 2 of the 3 is their responsibility due to the fact that they are independent internationally companies.

            • LogicalLeopard

              Agreed, I cannot blend what is happening in Detroit to what is happening in Flint. But, if you had large city bills and a smaller city income, ultimately, whose fault is that? Sure, there are things that happen to deal harsh blows to cities, but your city has to deal with it. That’s the responsibility of your local government.
              Sports franchises don’t make a city, true. But they do get people jobs. Besides at the stadium, how many people are being paid through the tourism alone? The taxes you get from those multimillion dollar contracts should be something to help keep the busses running. Same with the car companies. All those people are probably taxed, or should be. Even if the other car companies don’t have their main headquarters in Detroit, do they still have some sort of headquarters? Distribution centers? Something? I’m sure they do, and that’s extra taxes.
              But here’s the thing. BEYOND that, the goal of city leadership is to be visionary. We know all across America that you cannot trust manufacturing any longer. You can’t even trust a company keeping its executive headquarters there. So your city government has to say, “Okay, whats the 20 year plan? What do we need to transition into? What do we need to build up? Where do we need to allocate these funds so we can make Detroit a destination spot? They did some things, of course, especially with the Casinos. My wife and I don’t gamble, but we do like the little few blocks behind Greektown and go there every now and then (Shout out to the Pegasus and Astoria Bakery!) But stay the night? Nah. Detroit isn’t even going to get gas money from me, because I make SURE I have a full tank before I go, go directly to the place I’m going, and go STRAIGHT home with the doors locked. And the sad thing is, it shouldn’t have to be that way.
              And yes, I do realize I’m talking an awful lot about Detroit and not Flint, but I’m really just trying to highlight that local governments have to take initiative to take care of their cities. Actually, I might have to give Flint a little more of a break, because from what I understand, they’ve been bad for a whiilllle.

              • Terietta M. Ingram

                Nope you fail to understand the intricacies of city government and what happened in Detroit. You really dont know enough of what happened in Detroit to make all your assumptions on it. If you are referencing tourism, the casinos and how you gas up to drive and immediately leave then you are part of the solution and your advice is unsolicited and useless. I dont debate with people who have no idea what you are talking about. The mess in Detroit and Flint have been a long time coming and their fates were directly linked to the state of American manufacturing.

                This conversation is done. I rather not waste my time with an inexperienced back seat driver. Good day.

                • LogicalLeopard

                  Why do I gas up to drive and immediately leave? Because of the condition of the city. Why is the city in that condition? Because of it’s leaders. I can back off of Flint slightly, because Flint had a much greater economic problem happen to them, but Detroit? Nah.
                  But anyway, peace from the backseat! Enjoyed the converstation! Good day!

          • MsNisha929

            I think your view on what the problems are/were for Detroit and Flint are very limited – with all due respect. I’ve lived in Detroit my entire life – 33 years – and there were several problems that really began during the riots back in the day (67 riots to be exact) where the city experienced what is commonly referred to as “White Flight”. Once the city became primarily African American and just about 90% of leadership was African American you saw the unwillingness of the suburbs to work with Detroit and to be fair vice-versa. Suburban communities grew while the city did fine economically for a while but the culture changed drastically. Obviously, I could talk/type about this subject all day but with limited tax base, underfunded economic systems, and a willingness of state level government to take over the resources of a major city that they deem valuable (optimally the Water Department and other Detroit monuments) you find a major metropolitan city under EM – even though the citizens have voted to say we don’t want EMs the state (Republican controlled) went around the vote and created legislation to solidify what was in their best interest and we the citizens still aren’t any BETTER for the appointment of the EM. Just this citizens opinion/observation.

            • LogicalLeopard

              I admit they are limited, and thank you for your response, being a native Detroiter. Yes, I know that white flight can be damaging, and white economic flight even more. We like a restaurant in Southfield (Nicolas) and wanted to go to a nice movie theater somewhere. I looked online and saw good reviews for Birmingham, so we went. Wow. Seems to me a lot of Detroit’s money ended up there. I found out later that Miguel Cabrera lives up there.
              However, what I come back to is this…when you have these problems, how do you deal with them? How do you make your city viable for the long term? As a native Detroiter, do you honestly think that your city government did the best they could to avoid this happening?

              • MsNisha929

                I think some administrations assumed things would continue as they had for ages – we are self functioning and we don’t need the other portions of the state (suburbs). I think there was an administration that attempted to merge the suburbs and city for viability and they received resistance from residents and decided it wasn’t worth the headache. I think that other administrations decided that padding their pockets were more important than providing viable services but the bankruptcy of Detroit wasn’t completely about mismanaging money. This wasn’t bankruptcy like there are zero dollars in the bank but bankruptcy meaning we have raked up bills that we can’ t pay and we owe people via promises that we don’t want to pay. People are definitely taxed in Detroit and homeowners pay, employees pay but when you have neighborhoods that were once full that are now empty, vacant homes, poor school systems, high insurance rates, high crime, etc it is hard to convince residents to stay and encourage people to move to your city. Up until maybe 2000, City of Detroit employees were required to live in the city but when the restrictions were lifted most employees took off for the suburbs (for good reason) but city services and economics suffered TREMENDOUSLY. It’s a more than complicated problem that everyone had to take a blame for – those who were close minded to change, those who wanted to gentrify the city at the expense of the residents who were already there, and those who didn’t care and treated the city like a personal piggy bank.

                • MsNisha929

                  Sorry it was so long… I didn’t realize it until I hit post. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

                • LogicalLeopard

                  Very good points. And plus, of course you have the issue of the national economy tanking. But see, that’s kind of what I’m getting at….things happen, and they are often very complicated, but it should be the goal of leadership to anticipate change and plan for the future. You cant just assume things are always going to be the same way, and you have to work not only to adjust to future trends, but get the public on board for it.
                  Now granted, MANY cities do not do this. Some cities just were lucky enough to not suffer a major impact. But when it happens, and you see people with their hands in the cookie jar at the same time, that’s a real bad look.

                  • MsNisha929

                    You are right. Optimally, governments should make preparations for potential changes. It was a terrible look. It was a pleasure typing/talking about this issue with you though. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

                    • LogicalLeopard

                      Thank you, same here! Thank you for your informed opinion on the matter!

      • Annamuffin

        Black people are doing what happens in South Africa. Which is Blacks continually voting for one party…… Just look at these places, they in ruins but all the liberal white aeras are poping. This is what happens when you follow the rules of white supremacy and don’t think for yourself or require the same things from your public officials as whites. That’s why In all these black cities they have these hoods and the white aeras get all the new stuff… If black people changed the way the vote and were more unpredictable I bet these cities would have better results….

        • LogicalLeopard

          I agree with that completely. I always believe that your vote has to be conditional in order to get the most benefit.

    • Hokiegirl87

      There have been many foods and medications that have been “approved” by the FDA to be safe and later on they realize they are nothing but…I learned in one of my college political science classes that companies with a lot of money can even EXPIDITE the process, so there you go! It is all about profit and no concern over safety… ๐Ÿ™

      The saddest part, and the part that makes me sooooo angry, is they KNEW the water was unsafe from the beginning and just didn’t care to do anything about it!

      • Annamuffin

        And what happens when things that are consume are found unsafe? Let me help you those companies get sued, there no reason for regular people to open up their pocket book this is the governments problem, they need to fix it….

    • neceyluv

      I’m not going to let the people (and the babies) suffer with this nasty water just because “its the government’s fault”. It’s not the citizens of Flint’s fault either; why do they have to live with the consequences? Those children who have been poisoned by that muck, by no fault of their own, will be damaged for the rest of their lives! I’ll be donating funds to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, along with my prayers.

  • Raze

    The only way to fully get rid of the lead is to replace all the pipes. The corrosion has already caused damage to the pipes; if the pipes aren’t fully replaced, the people of Flint will always consume lead ions with their water, even in smaller quantities. I’ll check out the websites. It’s too bad I can’t donate directly to Gofundme, since they’re not PayPal friendly.