What Really Poisoned Flint, Michigan's Water

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

What Really Poisoned Flint, Michigan's Water

One big difference between the rich and the poor in our country is that the rich don't tend to have their drinking water poisoned by their own governor.

Not that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder personally dumped poison into Flint, Michigan's water, but by dumping his small-minded, ideological, budget-whacking policies on the people of this largely-poor community, he did, in fact, poison them. Worse, when Flint's families complained that their tap water was oddly colored, nasty tasting, stinky, and causing rashes on their children, Snyder and his top officials denied there was a problem, even when residents showed jugs of the brownish liquid to them. It's a myth, claimed the authorities, accusing locals of "trying to turn [the issue] into a political football" and asserting that the complainers were just being finicky about the aesthetics of their water.

Aesthetics? A General Motors factory in Flint had to quit using the water because it was corroding metal engine parts, and a hospital quit because the water was damaging its medical instruments!

Finally, after out-of-state toxicity experts confirmed that Flint's water constitutes a major public health emergency, Snyder and crew were forced to switch from denial to damage control. He has since apologized to Flint residents and is trying to save face (and his job) by promising to "fix" the mess he made. Yet, when queried about whether he would pay to replace the city's lead-leaching water pipes, he demurred, using the old dodge that "more studies are needed."

The mess is not just in the water, however. Flint reveals that there is a much deeper contamination poisoning our country's political morals: Namely, an insidious right-wing belief that poor people (particularly people of color who're poor) are underserving moochers whose misfortunes can be ignored – even when their misfortunes stem directly from the discriminatory practices of slippery elites like Snyder, who're showing that they're not fit to hold public office.

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This has been reposted from Jim Hightower's website.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

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