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:
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.