An interview with AmberLeigh George, a manager of a hip-hop group that helped to raise water for Flint residents.
People all over America are worried about the Flint Water Crisis. And while politicians and ‘researchers’ swear that the water is ok to bathe in and even drink, people all around the country shake their heads and help Flint residents to get water which is really clean. Today we are talking with one of the caring people, AmberLeigh George. She and her hip-hop group have organized an event that helped to raise over 2000 bottles of water for Flint.
blackmattersus.comWhat is your opinion on the Flint Water Crisis? Are you worried that the same situation can happen in your city?
I feel like the crisis was set up really by the government because Flint is a poverty stricken town. Actually, some officials in Flint retired or resigned. I believe that they resigned because they knew what was going on prior to switching the water source. There have been documents going back to ten years, stating that the Detroit water was flooded with toxins and they knew this but continued to switch the water supply. So I felt the need to do something to help the people that couldn’t help themselves. Essentially, this could affect us down here in Ohio because our water source comes from the north as well. If it gets into Michigan, it can get to our water system as well and we would be affected.
blackmattersus.comWhat specifically did you do to support and help the affected people in Flint?
I manage a hip-hop group and I think that it’s very important that we as artists give back to the community as they are the ones who pay us buying our tickets and our songs. I believe if we are giving back to them, our name is going to spread more. You know, if we are doing something for charity, for a good course, people are going to talk about us more and we are going to be recognized more. So it’s a win-win situation.
On Saturday, May 21, we had a benefit concert and raised over 2000 bottles of water which would help us to provide an adequate amount of water for 78 families continuously for 5 days. They would use the water essentially for everything they need the water for: bathing, cooking, washing, etc. Besides, all of my artists have signed a petition that’s going on in Flint, MI to pretty much set up the government there and let the national government take over because the local government is not doing anything yet.
blackmattersus.comAwesome! On behalf of our readers, Black Matters would like to thank you and your team for such support! Why do you think the national government should take the lead for the situation in Flint?
Flint is probably one of the most poverty stricken cities in the United States. People in Flint can’t afford to live in their homes. They cannot afford to just pack up and leave. You have a Mom with eight (8) kids, she can’t pack and leave. Nobody is supporting her, she is doing it on her own and welfare is covering maybe 25% of all she’s needs. So where do they go? She’s stuck there! They can’t get up and move. Everything that’s being done in Flint, MI right now is coming from outside forces. It’s not coming from their local government at all. That’s why I think the national government needs to raise their budget so that they can give money to for the residents to move out or redo all the pipes and tap systems in each house.
blackmattersus.comIf you were given the chance to punish those guilty in the crisis what punishment would you choose?
I think that the governor should be prosecuted because what he did is actually poison thousands of people and he knew about it. He’s denying he didn’t know anything about it but if you get to see the documents, their water companies made documentation stating the level of lead in the water. So he had full knowledge that this water was poisoned and he continued to switch it. I would also recommend that the local government and all the companies that were responsible for dumping waste in the river illegally, spend their all paycheck to rebuild Flint, MI. I would like all the houses to be rebuilt, the pipes to be laid anew, and all the waste in the water cleared, not with the company’s money or the taxpayers money, but their own pocket money. They switched the water to save a $100 a day. Are they that cheap that they were worried about a $100? Their weekly paycheck is a $5,000+ and they were worried about saving a $100 a day and poisoning thousands of kids.
blackmattersus.comI can’t help but agree! Thank you for the strong opinion on the issue! Is there something else you would like our readers to know?
Well, right now that (2000 bottled water distribution) was our basic charity event and we are doing this every single month. For the month of June will be a suicide awareness concert where we would have eight of our artists performing. We will also have four other local DJ’s and the show is actually called “Artists for Light”. There will be media coverage, and the town that we are actually having this concert has about 8 suicide teenagers in the last 3 years and nobody is bringing an awareness to this issue. This is very personal for us since my colleague’s friend also committed suicide 2 years ago and one of my best friends committed suicide a year and a half ago. So we are very passionate about this and we want to bring awareness so that people will be warned at the signs of being depressed and we hope that people are going to seek counsel at the early stages before it gets too late.