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Flint Water Crisis

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Flint Water Crisis

The Flint water crisis is a classic example of racial and class bias. The drinking water contamination issue in Flint, Michigan, United States started in April 2014 after the town’s water source was changed from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water (which was sourced from Lake Huron as well as the Detroit River) to the Flint River. The corrosive Flint River water caused lead from aging pipes to leak into the water supply, causing extremely elevated levels of the heavy metal. Flint’s drinking water had a series of problems that culminated with lead contamination, creating a serious public health danger. Due to the change in water source, the percentage of Flint children with elevated blood-lead levels may have risen from about 2.5% in 2013 to as much as 5% in 2015

Why and how did the city get away with it for as long as they did? Because the town of Flint, located 70 miles north of Detroit, is a city of 99,002, where 41.6% of residents live below the poverty line, the city is 56.6% African-American, and the median household income is $24,679, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median household income for the rest of Michigan is $49,087.

In a nutshell, because Flint was a low income, predominantly black community, the officials got away with not providing potable water to the residents. That was easy to do because typically in low income communities like Flint, the residents do not have the resources to fight back.

This was racial and class bias towards the residents of the town of Flint. It was evident in the fact that while the children in Flint were given poisoned water to drink, General Motors was given a special hookup to clean water, because they could pay an undisclosed amount to connect to the township system.



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