Since 2014, when it suddenly became clear to residents of Flint, Michigan, that their water was contaminated, they have demanded that someone pay the price. Now, more than six years later, Michigan state prosecutors have charged former Governor Rick Snyder, administration officials and two “emergency managers” with 41 crimes, including failure to protect the health and safety of Flint residents, involuntary manslaughter, and willful neglect of duty. Sounds good, but some of these same officials were charged before, only for the charges to be dropped in 2019. Only with the upcoming trial will we find out whether even some level of justice is attained.
But even if they are found guilty, the situation reveals the complete lack of concern that the politicians have for human life, and the inability of this “justice” system to quickly address real crimes.
Think about this: rich businessman runs for governor, and rich businessman gets elected spending more money than his opponent. Rich businessman governor then appoints “emergency manager” (aka financial dictator) over poor city with 54 percent black population, with specific instructions to slash budgets. “Emergency manager” (aka financial dictator) switches water supply from Lake Huron to Flint River to save money (even though Flint River is heavily polluted from a century of local industry), and within weeks tapwater turns smelly and brown. Lead levels skyrocket in children’s blood samples, and twelve people actually die of Legionnaires disease! Rich businessman governor knows about the problem for ten months before publicly admitting problem!
Most of us can agree that almost every one of the points above are crimes.
So what type of “justice” system takes more than five years to punish such obvious crimes? This system. What type of system allows unelected officials to kill people to save money? This system. What type of system allows rich white men to preside over the deaths of poor and Black people? This system.
This system is the problem. Let’s change it so we never have another Flint water disaster.