Michael Moore’s essay on Flint and the poisoning of the water there starts like this:
Many of you have contacted me wanting to know how you can help the people of Flint with the two-year long tragedy of drinking water contaminated by the radical decisions made by the Governor of Michigan. The offer is much appreciated by those who are suffering through this and who have not drank a glass of unpoisoned water since April of 2014.
Unfortunately, the honest answer to your offer of help is, sadly, you can’t.
You can’t help.
The reason you can’t help is that you cannot reverse the irreversible brain damage that has been inflicted upon every single child in Flint. The damage is permanent. There is no medicine you can send, no doctor or scientist who has any way to undo the harm done to thousands of babies, toddlers and children (not to mention their parents). They are ruined for life, and someone needs to tell you the truth about that. They will, forever, suffer from various neurological impediments, their IQs will be lowered by at least 20 points, they will not do as well in school and, by the time they reach adolescence, they will exhibit various behavioral problems that will land a number of them in trouble, and some of them in jail…
And it goes on. Moore calls out some of the people donating to the cause. It’s nice that the Detroit Lions and Cher and others are sending bottled water. But there are 100,000 people in Flint, and the Lions’ bottled water will let them wash their face and gargle and maybe make a cup of tea for ONE DAY.
So the issue (for me at least) is that Moore is calling for ‘revolt’. His point (and I agree) is that the deliberate poisoning of 100,000 people (including 29,000 children) calls for something a bit bigger than feel-good charity and bygones-be-bygones politics.
What does that even mean anymore in America, where cops routinely beat and pepper-spray demonstrators (as long as they aren’t white and sometimes even when they are)? What does that mean in a country where cops don’t go to prison when they kill people ? And where should the Revolt start? I’m 679 miles from Flint according to Google Maps, so driving out isn’t an option. Besides, what am I supposed to do for water once I get there? DUH.
And thus I’m playing keyboard commando again. I’ve been trying to think of what to revolt AGAINST. The following occurs to me: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder did not self-finance his two campaigns. Thanks to the website followthemoney dot org, we know that Somebody (several somebodies) anted up $25 M in campaign donations for him, without which he’d be another former computer jock with too much spare time and money. Who are those somebodies and how do we let them know their bad judgment enabled Snyder to poison 100,000 people?
Weigh in with thoughts. But everybody needs to do some homework. This is an unprecedented act of aggression against the people of Flint. The response should be commensurate with Moore’s call for ‘Revolt’.