The water crisis only adds to the already stacked deck that the people of Flint face. – Maximo Anguiano
The city of Flint, MI is home to 100,000 residents, of which 40% are living in poverty, with an average income of $25,000. In 2014, while the city was under the control of a state appointment emergency manager, the city switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The city saw a sharp increase in lead levels that were well above the EPA’s standards of safety, exposing the city’s 9,000 children to water that was classified as toxic waste.
This city deemed the water unfit for consumption and declared a citywide state of emergency. The children of Flint have been hit the hardest with some experiencing permanent and devastating health defects from lead poisoning. In addition to lead contamination, there is a larger problem looming in Flint with a recent outbreak of legionella bacteria which infects the lungs, causing pneumonia, otherwise known as Legionnaires Disease. To date there have been 10 deaths due to Legionnaires Disease.
Michael Gadola, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s legal counsel and a former Flint resident, said, “To anyone who grew up in Flint as I did, the notion that I would be getting my drinking water from the Flint River is downright scary,” and said the city “should try to get back on the Detroit system before this thing gets too far out of control.”
The people of Flint deserve more than an apology. – Bernie Sanders
Did anyone care about the residents of Flint? No.
A series of e-mails reveal a stubborn, often arrogant administration and state bureaucracy that failed to protect residents despite repeated warnings.
If things couldn’t get anymore lost in the moral compass, there are indications that the governor may have known about the problems in Flint long before any action was taken.
In fact, State officials brought bottled water to a state building in the city in January 2015 out of concern over the water quality, a year BEFORE bottled water was made widely available to residents.
But wait, the story gets even more corrosive.
The Flint water crisis began because state officials maintained it would save the city money by disconnecting from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and using a different source.
But as it turns out, DWSD offered the state-controlled city a deal that would have saved Flint more money by staying with Detroit. e-mails show the deal would have saved the city $800 million over 30 years, which was 20% more inexpensive than switching to the Karegnondi Water Authority.
Documents also show that DWSD made at least six proposals to Flint, saying “the KWA pipeline can only be attributed to a ‘political’ objective that has nothing to do with the delivery – or the price – of water.”
Was Gov. Rick Snyder lying when he insisted the water switch was motivated by saving money for Flint?
Despite pledges to become more transparent. Snyder released e-mails related to the Flint water crisis from 2014 and 2015. But Snyder has declined to release e-mails from 2013, which would reveal the lead-up to the water crisis.
Put simply, Gov. Snyder is now in deep toxic hot water.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has called on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, to resign over the Flint crisis. Sanders put the blame on Snyder, “who decided to cut costs by drawing the city’s drinking water from the polluted Flint River… The people of Flint deserve more than an apology.”
It is common knowledge that this incident would not have happened the way it did had Flint been an affluent city. Someone has to be held responsible and Snyder is the guy. His sort of conservative, business-mold mentality is unacceptable, as he is disconnected from the people in communities such as Flint. Had he had better connection with the people of Flint, this whole ordeal would not have happened.
Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, said in a statement. “Without question, Snyder and his entire administration have failed Flint and the residents of Michigan…to him Flint families weren’t as important as the bottom line on his spreadsheet.”
Two investigations to determine blame and legal consequences for the situation in Flint are under way, one led by the FBI and another by a special counsel appointed by the Michigan attorney general’s office. The special state counsel has said charges all the way up to manslaughter are “not far-fetched.”
The crimes committed by Gov. Snyder as well as other city officials will not go unpunished. – Anonymous
Putting thousands of lives at risk and offering shady excuses, including the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, (which has been accused of turning away lead victims) has caused outrage around the world.
Anonymous hactivists have waged a campaign against Gov. Rick Snyder and other officials who ignored the Flint water crisis; stating, “every wrongdoing will be rectified.” and “the crimes committed by Gov. Snyder as well as other city officials will not go unpunished.”
Today, many are coming together to the aid of the Flint citizens in their time of need. Grassroots organizations, local, national, and international hip-hop artists, journalists, activists, educators, supporters and volunteers have joined in the fight to get fresh water to the people of Flint.
One effort is HipHop 4 Flint Day – A national day of unity for the city of Flint, Michigan.
Queen YoNasDa Leads Global Hip-Hop Community in the Fundraising Campaign. To help address the situation, the Hip-Hop 4 Flint coalition will host a global fundraising event on March 19, 2016, to raise funds to purchase home water filtration systems for residents that will filter both lead and bacteria throughout the entire home, making the water safe for both consumption and washing. Each city will gather their leaders and youth in the hip-hop community to host an event to collect monetary donations to purchase water filters. All donations will go towards the purchase of filters which will be delivered personally, home by home, to the residents of Flint by the Hip-Hop 4 Flint delegation.
This event is modeled after HipHop 4 Haiti which took place on January 30, 2010 with a gathering of 32 major cities who hosted events on the same day. The youth and hip-hop community hosted events to raise money, relief, and awareness for the loss and suffering for the survivors of the devastating hurricane that hit Haiti in 2010.
We have so many artists that will be coming together with collective messages of people power, giving back, and consciously uplifting each other. – Maximo Anguiano
HipHop 4 Flint San Antonio is lead by organizer Gylon Jackson with the help of Andrea Vocab Sanderson and Charles EasyLee Peters, leaders in the San Antonio music scene, are in charge of booking talent. The event will be held at the CoLab, a collaborative working space located downtown San Antonio on 231 E. Houston St. across from the Majestic Theater run by innovative entrepreneur, Corey Clark.
Gylon Jackson adds Dallas Williams and Maximo Anguiano as co-host. Anguiano, one of the leading intellectual voices on the intersection of culture, socio-politics, and education.
“I grew up in Michigan and it’s a place I call home” said Maximo Anguiano. All of this is part of the reason that I love our community coming together to help Flint. Nonetheless, communities of color often catch a bad rap re: issues like Black on Black crime, inter-community violence, domestic violence, etc. Contrarily, this is something positive that we can all be proud of.
This is about unity… no matter skin color, creed, or class. This is a unifying event; I’m excited that we have so many artists that will be coming together with collective messages of people power, giving back, and consciously uplifting each other. We have enough negativity in our communities already, this is about positivity and helping our brothers and sisters in need. I want to build on this unity because if we can come together for this, we can come together for other things… and we have so many issues we can work on in our community to better conditions for all. We need to be in this habit. Lastly, I think this Hip Hop 4 Flint movement is adding to the building pressure for Governor Snyder to resign and be arrested.
“It’s common knowledge that this dude knew about it and allowed it all to go down the way it did.” said Maximo.
As a co-host/MC of the event, an activist, and progressive, I’m very excited about HipHop 4 Flint. I agree with Gylon that there’s a buzz in the air, stemming from a larger movement around Hip Hop music coupled with activism, that create a bigger sense of enthusiasm about this event. I love it and I’ll be keeping it hype on the mic all night. This will be an event that no one in the greater San Antonio area will want to miss!
HipHop 4 Flint will bring together notable hip-hop artists such as Du “Doitall” Kelly of the Legendary Lords of the Underground, Hakim Green from Channel Live, Jon Connor of Aftermath, and local artists from each city to join hearts and hands in support of the people of Flint. Events will take place simultaneously in Flint, Detroit, and Grand Rapids, MI, New York City and Long Island, NY, Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark and New Brunswick, NJ, Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, FL, Dakar, Senegal, Toronto and Montreal, Canada, Boston and New Bedford, MA, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Durham, NC, Providence, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, TX, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, St. Louis and Kansas City, MO, Minneapolis, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Columbus, OH, Hampton and Richmond, VA, Greenville, SC, Ashkelon, Israel, Memphis and Nashville, TN, Denver, and Bridgeport, CT and will be streamed online via UStream and broadcast through media partner allhiphop.com.
HipHop4Flint – San Antonio
GREG G & DJ KING MIKE
w/ special guests:
King Kyle Lee, Question, Chris P, Nilo Star, Kii Kii Star, MDuke, Ray C, Milli Mars, Worldwide,
Third Root, Ernesto Gonzalez & Diego Bernal
The Foreign Arm, Soulzzafying, DevSoul , Kree 23, Mr. Composition & ACE, I.Q., &Mista Will,
DJ PakMan , Anthony Martinez of BlackNote Jazz
231 E. Houston St
Give your support to HipHop4Flint – San Antonio: GoFundMe
Main image: Brenda Pina
Flint Video: National Nurses United
Music Video: Greg G “Blessed” Director: Andrew Goodwin /Editor: Logan Gee