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Michigan Governor in Hot Water

On Saturday, January 16, President Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan. It was determined from comprehensive testing that the water in Flint was contaminated with dangerously high levels of lead, which is dangerous and has been known to cause learning disabilities in children and potentially fatal lead poisoning. Residents of Flint had complained that their water was discolored, had a bad smell, and gave them headaches and rashes.

These complaints were largely ignored by Governor Rick Snyder and state officials. Although Snyder has since apologized, he is still under fire for how he handled the situation. The population of Flint is 57% black, leading many to allege that there was underlying racism behind Snyder’s inaction. Despite many complaints that Snyder’s lack of response was due to environmental racism, he has insistently denied this claim.

Whether race was a factor in this situation or not, the lack of action from the Michigan government as a whole could have severe consequences. President Obama weighed in on the breakdown in government, calling it, “inexplicable and inexcusable.” Snyder will attend a court hearing on the Michigan government’s response to the water crisis on February 3rd.

The state of emergency declaration freed $5 million of federal funding to help aid Flint’s residents. And besides the President, other famous figures are helping bring attention to the situation. Singer Cher provided a short term fix by donating 180,000 bottles of water to the city.

After having to use dangerous, lead-infused water for so long, it seems like Flint is finally getting the assistance and support it deserves.


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