Black Lives Matter (in Flint)

 

white flint

The meme that set off a bit of a dust-up on FB. Flint is 56% African American–why take a pic of a blonde child to represent the crime?

So, there’s this. I posted about the above on my Facebook wall. I think it’s a powerful metaphor, and it reinforces the disaster that the city of Flint Michigan represents. It also addresses the fact that the right to life movement doesn’t see clean water and poison to be in its pro-life agenda. After all, a West Virginia company recently poisoned the Elk River and did anybody show up to protest? Nope. Three hundred thousand people don’t know where their drinking water will come from. That ain’t life, though…

Then, some friends pointed out to me that Flint is a minority-majority city (which I knew). Why focus on somebody white and blonde in this meme? 

So I changed the meme a bit.

flint kids

The above meme repurposed.

And then people got cranky about THAT. Some folks reminded me that there are all-white communities like Burton, Michigan, who’ve also had their water poisoned. And per Erin Brockovich, there are communities all over the US with lead problems similar to Flint. 

My take (in two parts)

  1. Flint’s problem is unique in that it was visited upon Flint by an unelected official working for the governor’s office. The voters in Flint (most of whom are not Caucasian) did not have a referendum about changing their water. They can’t vote out the emergency managers who did this. I’m not sure this is true in these other cases.
  2. While this meme is a knock on Flint, it’s more about the Pro Life movement. The first picture calls out the constituency that Right To Lifers seem to be pulling for. But this meme calls out those who say ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ as well. Because apparently, at least in Flint, All lives do NOT Matter. 

Which brings me to the video below. The Church Ladies for Choice were one of the better protest performance groups in the 90’s. It was a group of… um… performers in drag who called out the RTL and Op Rescue protesters for what appeared (to many) to be a focus on abortions of WHITE babies. Below is a link to a ’93 protest in DC. Sing along!

In closing: The Flint mess has a great deal to do with race and the power of a white governor to impose his will on a minority-population city. But Flint is not the only city in the US with undrinkable water. And as for the pro-life movement, all they’re doing right now is fighting about abortion. But what’s happening in America is an anti-life corporatocracy that has decided our land and water and air are commodities. We are an infinite growth society on a finite planet. Can’t somebody here show a little love? or even a pinch of solidarity with others?

Which brings me to the video below. The Church Ladies for Choice were one of the better protest performance groups in the 90’s. It was a group of… um… performers in drag who called out the RTL and Op Rescue protesters for what appeared (to many) to be a focus on abortions of WHITE babies. Below is a link to a ’93 protest in DC. Sing along!

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