White people and “systematic racism” are to blame for the water pollution crisis in Flint, Michigan, according to a state “Civil Rights Commission” report—even though it is clear that the real cause was a collapse in the majority black city’s finances and a resultant failure to maintain its own infrastructure.
The water crisis in Flint dates to 2014, when water supplies to residential areas were recorded as having high lead levels—the direct result of the bankrupt black city’s inability to repair the infrastructure.
As usual, rather than address the real issue—namely that yet another majority black city has collapsed into Third World chaos because of the inhabitants’ inability to maintain white western standards of economics and social development, it is white people who have once again been blamed.
Ironically, the new “Civil Rights Commission” report admits that it had failed to “unearth any civil rights law violations” and that nobody “intended to poison Flint.”
Nonetheless, the 130-page report says, decisions would have been different had they concerned a majority white community—a claim which completely ignores the origin of the crisis, namely the collapse of the city’s tax base.
“We are not suggesting that those making decisions related to this crisis were racists … (but the) disparate response is the result of systemic racism that was built into the foundation and growth of Flint, its industry and suburban area,” the report says.
“Would the Flint water crisis have been allowed to happen in Birmingham, Ann Arbor or East Grand Rapids? We believe the answer is no, and that the vestiges of segregation and discrimination found in Flint made it a unique target.”
Flint, like Detroit, has been majority nonwhite for decades. In 2011, the state of Michigan took over the city’s finances after an audit projected a $25 million deficit.
The city has been in receivership ever since then, and the Receivership Transition Advisory Board only returning some powers—including appointment authority—to the mayor.
In order to reduce the water fund shortfall, the city switched water sources in 2014. While a new pipeline connecting Flint with Lake Huron was under construction, the city turned to the Flint River as a water source during the two-year transition.
However, the water quality from the Flint River has always been poor, and a failure to treat it with an anti-corrosive agent caused the water to leech lead from the ancient—and unmaintained—water pipes leading to residences in the city.
Just how poorly the infrastructure had been maintained became clear in 2014, when fecal coliform bacteria were found in the water—a result of leaking sewage pipes. Later the same year, the water tested positive for total coliform bacteria, a warning that E. coli or other disease-causing organisms were contaminating the water.
In January 2015, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD)—ironically also under Michigan state control after the racially-caused collapse of Detroit’s finances—offered to reconnect the city with Lake Huron water, waiving a $4 million fee to restore service.
Flint city officials declined the offer, claiming that water rates would go up more than $12 million each year, even with the reconnection fee waiver. They pointed out that a majority of the city’s residents live below the official poverty line, and would not be able to afford any increases in utility bills.
Finally, in October 2015, Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder signed a spending bill appropriating $9.35 million to help Flint reconnect with Detroit for water and provide health services for residents. The same month, with the state taxpayer-funded subsidy, the city switched back to Detroit water.
In January 2016, Snyder wrote to President Barack Obama to request the declaration of an expedited major disaster in Flint, estimating it would cost $55 million to install lead-free pipes throughout the city.
Obama responded the same month by authorizing $5 million in aid, and declaring a state of emergency in the city, a move which allowed the Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to step in.
Finally, in January 2017, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality reported that lead levels in the city’s water tested well below the federal limit in a recent six-month study.
Michigan has already allocated roughly $327 million toward resolving the problem, and 13 current or former government officials have been criminally charged in the crisis, including two of the city’s emergency managers.
Not satisfied with any of this, and determined to somehow blame whites, the “Civil Rights Commission” Co-chairman Agustin Arbulu—president and founder of the racially-based “Hispanic Bar of Michigan” and the “Hispanic Business Alliance”—said last week that he would seek “stronger civil rights laws” that deal with “disparate impacts” on communities like Flint.
Thus, even though it was clear that the root of the problem was the collapse of Flint’s financial resources and its inability to maintain or modernize its infrastructure, whites and “racism” have once again been blamed for a self-inflicted disaster.