Michael Moore states that, while the lead poisoning of thousands of children was probably not premeditated, the “less expensive” course of action was taken by officials because it was known the poverty-stricken citizens of the mostly black city of Flint, Michigan would probably not fight back politically or legally.
From CNN contributor, Michael Martinez, and activist/filmmaker, Michael Moore:
The contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan, has so outraged community advocates that they now pose a powerful question: Was the city neglected because it is mostly black and about 40% poor?
Several advocates say yes. They charge that Flint residents are victims of “environmental racism” — that is, race and poverty factored into how Flint wasn’t adequately protected and how its water became contaminated with lead, making the tap water undrinkable.
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“Would more have been done, and at a much faster pace, if nearly 40 percent of Flint residents were not living below the poverty line? The answer is unequivocally yes,” the NAACP said in a statement.
Others go further.
“While it might not be intentional, there’s this implicit bias against older cities — particularly older cities with poverty (and) majority-minority communities,” said Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, who represents the Flint area.
“It’s hard for me to imagine the indifference that we’ve seen exhibited if this had happened in a much more affluent community,” he said.
For the record, Flint is 57% black, 37% white, 4% Latino and 4% mixed race; more than 41% of its residents live below the poverty level, according to the U.S. Census.