Seeds: Over the past six months, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit has gotten a lot of media attention. Why? Water. The issue, called the Flint Water Crisis, began when the city of Flint switched their water source from the Detroit River to the Flint River in an effort to save money. The water was not only infected with e. Coli, but also was so corrosive that it damaged car parts and wore down the inside of the pipes, resulting in lead and iron polluting the water. Besides the fact that the water looked unsightly and smelled horrible, it was ultimately classified as toxic.
Core: Michigan’s attorney general, Bill Schuette, filed charges against three officials involved in the water crisis. One state employee has been charged with changing water test results, and another two are being charged for misleading the government about the severity of the problem.
Skin: Flint residents have reported hair loss, rashes, and abdominal pain as a result of the toxic water. While the city is angry about the state of their water, there is another underlying issue they wish to be addressed. The residents are angry that the government took so long to react to the problem and did not take responsibility for the issue. The conversation has progressed to one about the role that race and socioeconomic status play in situations like this, given that Flint is a majority-black city that is also quite poor.
Leaves: The attorney general of Michigan has stated that “there will be more to come” in regards to the charges filed against the three officials. For many, it feels like justice is finally being served in a long-overdo situation.
Food For Thought: Do you think that the government acted quickly enough in Flint? Do you think race or socioeconomic status played a part in the situation?