People have just recently become aware of the fact that the town of Flint, Michigan has a water crisis and, as is true in many situations these days, the majority of people affected are Black. Of course, there are a lot of trusting white Americans who don’t see anything but a happenstance occurrence in this situation and who accuse Black people of jumping to conclusions about being targeted. They might have a point, if it weren’t for the fact that we can look back on Hurricane Katrina and the shenanigans that surrounded that debacle. There are those who believe that the levees were deliberately blown up, and there are also reports that authorities blocked a bridge that prevented people from escaping the wrath of the flood. And let’s not forget the spate of killings of Blacks currently attributed to policemen wherein few have been brought to justice. In Chicago, IL, it was revealed that the Mayor, Cook County State’s Attorney, and others actually knew that people had been shot down in cold blood but hid the evidence for over a year. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Flint water contamination issue has its origins in 2014 when the city changed the source of its water supply. At one time, Flint, Michigan got its water from Lake Huron (via Detroit). Fiscal concerns, however, led to a decision by the Flint authorities to switch from that source to the Flint River, which is contaminated due to corrosive pipes leaching lead into the water. It is now known that those who made the decision to do the switcheroo have known for quite some time that the water is contaminated, yet swept the information under the rug until it was forced out into the open by pending lawsuits. In October 2015, the water supply was switched back to Detroit. Flint started adding additional orthophosphate, a corrosion inhibitor, to the Detroit water in December 2015 to counteract the corrosion in the pipes caused by the Flint River water. This was too little, too late for some Flint residents, however. Between 6,000 and 12,000 people have presented with high levels of lead in the blood and have, as a result, experienced serious health problems. There was also an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease that has been possibly linked to the problem and that has resulted in 10 deaths and at least another 77 cases. People all across the country are talking about shipping water to Flint in order to help abate the problem, and large water companies that have not yet stepped up to the plate to donate bottled water are being roundly criticized.
Because of the water problem, people are calling for criminal charges to be filed against Governor Rick Snyder and at least 13 other city officials for allowing things to develop as they have. They knew what was happening, yet decided to let things ride until they were found out. This is a travesty of great proportions. There was a decision made that vulnerable Flint citizens were expendable!
Though it is true that this is a terrible situation and that Black people and other rational people of goodwill in America are decrying this debacle, it’s also true that those who have been leveling the “C” word (conspiracy) against powers-that-be in high places are looking less and less like they should be wearing tin foil hats. They are beginning to gain a great deal of credibility as more and more situations are being unveiled where there is a deliberate attempt to maliciously target Black people for destruction. As the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid does not mean that they’re not out to get you! It’s time that the Black community take its own destiny in hand in a proactive way in order to protect itself. We can no longer afford to pretend that there are not forces out there that are inimical to the community, and we need to be vigilant and pay attention to those who toss around so-called “conspiracy theories,” because too many of them are turning out to be true. A luta continua.