Flint Residents Were Not Protected From Water Contamination Because They Are Black

Flint’s Black residents didn’t receive the “same degree of protection from environmental hazards” in water crisis as their white counterparts.

As we already reported task force set up to investigate the Flint, Mich., water crisis has concluded that the city’s Black residents did not receive the “same degree of protection from the environmental hazards” in lead water contamination as their white counterparts. Read the full story here.

The Flint water crisis has been met with outrage from politicians, activists and ordinary citizens, who believe that the city’s predominantly black and poor residents became victims of environmental racism.

At the recent Michigan State Civil Rights Commission’s public hearing Flint’s residents expressed concerns that they were target for poisoning based on their race and financial status.

Many including Flint council member, Eric Mays, believe that due to the water crisis, which according to them was caused by racism, the state ignored the low-income communities with mostly African-American populations by disenfranchising the locals and giving influence to the mostly white, Republican leadership who are more concerned with fiscal discipline than public health.

The NAACP said in a statement to CNN that more could have been done to swiftly fix the city’s water contamination problems “if nearly 40 percent of Flint residents were not living below the poverty line.”

After Gov. Rick Snyder’s dismissal of claims that race and poverty played a role in the crisis, his task force concluded last month that “Flint residents, who are majority Black or African American and among the most impoverished of any metropolitan area in the United States, did not enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as that provided to other communities.”

These findings reveal what we have written on many occasions that the Flint water crisis was nothing but environmental racism.

Now we only hope that those responsible are held accountable, and reforms are made to ensure that no other African-American communities, including Flint experience such a barbaric form of discrimination again.

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