Residents of Flint are victims of “Environmental Racism”, says attorney Thomas Stephen of the NLG

 

The Flint water crisis is another example of the macro cosm of the micro cosm of the abusive “family”.

One resident in Flint said she is still being billed for water even though the residence of Flint have been poisoned by contaminated water by the city. And not only are the residents still being billed, they’re bills are higher than they were, for tainted water! Protests continue in Flint over the contamination of the water supply. Congress held the first hearing last week on the crisis of lead poisoning in the water supply but no one responsible for the catastrophe will be testifying. Not the Governor Rick Snyder nor Flint’s former unelected emergency manage Darnell Earley. Earley announced last week his resignation from his current job as emergency manager of Detroit public schools. Darnell Early also refused to testify when he was subpoenaed to by the U.S. House Oversight Government Reform Committee.

One person who did testify was hand picked to run the State Department of environmental “quality”, Keith Creagh. Cheagh is expected to blame the faulty Governmental Protection agency for their contribution to the crisis for not displaying a sense of urgency the crisis demanded. Though many residents of Flint are demanding the Governor Rick Snyder to resign, he was not one of those who testified.

Just discovered emails showed Michigan officials began trucking in clean water to a State Building in the city of Flint last January, a long time before admitting to the residents the water was contaminated. Progress Michigan obtained the emails and told Mother Jones they poke holes in the Governors timeline as to when they  knew, or “started to have concerns” the water was poisoned.

Thomas Stephens from the National Lawyers Guild and Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management said last week, “How could they do this? Once the water started flowing in April of 2014 and it was brown and yellow and tasted bad and smelled bad and gave people chemical burns how could they possible allow it to continue for 18 months? And take no action and since then their action has been the clumsiest cover up I’ve ever seen in my Life”. Who was responsible for this and who was responsible for that, the Governor’s supporters trying to divert focus off who’s truly responsible.

“There’s a broader historical significance”, said Tom Stephens. “In the 1990’s for a brief period of time when it seemed like there might be some relief in the offing of the environmental authorities for ‘environmental racism’. There was a Presidential order in the Clinton administration on environmental justice. There was draft guidance by the EPA in the late 80’s that began the process of responding to this disproportionate adverse environmental risk that people of low-income, especially people of color are exposed to. It was in Flint that the previous Governor, John Engler, and his EDQ director, Russell Harding, leading the charge that the EPA, the EDQ and the state of Michigan decided, ‘NO, were not going to provide the kind of protection these communities need to have the kind of environment and public health that are enjoyed in white communities”.

Stephens went on, “The infamous ‘Select Steal’ decision, the EPA under enormous political pressure, from both Dems and Reps in Congress threatening to cut their funding they weren’t going to apply a civil rights analysis. The reason why the good explanation for what the Snyder Administration did is ‘Unbelievable Incompetence’ is because this is the policy they put in place 25 years ago”.

The Privatization of Water

” Stephen continued, “A state where this Governor instituted the Emergency Management Policy, which is like Privatization on steroids, total privatization of Government. South eastern Michigan has 2 water authorities. Karegnondi water authority which is digging a pipe to Lake Huron and the Great Lakes water authority is taking over the older infrastructure of the Detroit sewage department. While the “authorities are being created you have poisoning of the water of poor people of color and mass water shut offs in violation of the human right to water and sanitation in Detroit.”

“What’s happening is the resource, very essence of life itself, water, is being privatized and subjected to a very bottom line approach that is in violation of the most vulnerable people in the state”, said Stephen.

That is was done to save $$ or is it something else? “Flint and Detroit were under state appointed emergency managers accountable only to the Governor and EMPOWERED TO OVERRIDE CONTRACTS & LAWS. During the same time period, they approved, a story in the Detroit News today, of behind the scenes meetings of the Governor himself, the emergency managers and the water authorities in Detroit & Flint. The decision to start a new water authority in Flint and invest all the $ and resources involved in that kind of operation, the decision to cut it off the Detroit sewage and water system which is now the Great Lakes Water Authority at a cost of around 12 million to that system makes no economic sense. From the perspective of emergency management which is supposed to be about fiscal integrity of municipalities. It makes no sense to start a new authority and deprive the existing system of revenue. So the question is, WHY DID THEY DO IT? It most certainly comes down to the political and economic power that local officials get. If you can build a system like this then you control development and if somebody owns a lot of property and wants to do development and make a lot of $ by creating residential suburb or selling the property they need water and drainage. So, if you have control over that in your area you have an immense source of power and $ and I think that’s what’s behind it. IF GOVERNOR SNYDER IS TIED TO THAT, THAT WILL BE THE END OF HIS CAREER”.

The focus then went to an elected member of the Detroit Board of Education, Tawanna Simpson. The Detroit BoE was under the same Emergency Manager, Darnell Earley, as who’s responsible for the water crisis in Flint.

“Emergency Management is about taking over our schools, suspending democracy and not educating our children. They then, show a clip of a Detroit student, Wisdom Morales, talking about the poor condition of the school he’s forced to attend. “I’ve gotten used to seeing rats everywhere and dead bugs. I try to ignore the graffiti on the walls when I use the bathroom. It makes me feel sick inside”.

“It’s heartbreaking”, said Tawanna Simpson. Miss Simpson was locked out of a section of a Detroit school to keep the board members from seeing the deplorable conditions of that section of the Public School.

“it’s a racist policy”, Thomas Stephens said, “under the E.M. statute the elected school board in Detroit has no power at all. The E.M. has all the power. They only have the power the EM chooses to give them and he gives them none. The idea that a white Republican Governor in Lansing appointing a single individual, of whatever race, to run a city without accountability to anyone accept the Governor and with the power to override laws & contracts, was bound to be harmful to these communities. It’s turned out to be more harmful than we feared”.

I have no choice but to write about the Macro cosm of the micro cosm that I’ve been trying to speak out against since the early 70’s. More and more I hear people speaking out about the same issues I tried to speak out about since I was at least 6 about the abuse and neglect in the “family” system. It’s hard enough dealing with all the corruption of this world as an adult when people speak out and try to hold those in power positions to account. When you’re a child trying to do it by yourself towards a “parent” or person who you should be able to rely on and who’s betraying that trust is next to impossible.

Health is health and having your health harmed no matter what the situation or circumstances should be a cause for massive concern.

Thomas Stephen talked about water as “the very essence of life itself is being privatized and subjected to a very bottom line approach that is in violation of the most vulnerable people in the state”.

When a “parent” or another person who is supposed to protect and stand up for a child ends up being the very person who betrays that trust, what does a child do? Where does a child go for help? What recourse does a child have? How can a child protect themselves? Who is ensuring that “parents” are doing their job?

If water is the essence of life, what is love, caring, emotional support, protection and the security that a child should feel in their own home with their own families? I never hear anyone talk about the abuse and neglect that goes on in “families” where a child is the most vulnerable and has no where to turn in many cases.

I was one of these children that now has no choice but to speak out and stand up for myself because those who were supposed to be doing it, and other “adults” and neighbors around didn’t step up either and, instead, do what the city and EM of Flint did and cover up and allow the most vulnerable people to take the fall.

I’m calling out ALL abusive “parents” who don’t step up to the plate and do right by their children and who, instead, leave their child to inherit the pollution and the debt.

I’m pointing out many “families” run just like the city of Flint. There is no greater potential to abuse the vulnerable than in the “family” by the child’s own parents. People do not like to hear it and no one wants to do anything about the harm that is done. People in power do not want to be held accountable and those under them don’t even want to hold them accountable. We live in a Collective Co Dependent, Dysfunctional society.

Lead poisoning in the water in Flint MI and emotional poisoning from “parents” in the “family” system are the same thing. Only, in the second case the vulnerable are even more victimized. The fact that the vulnerable are unable to stand up for themselves they actually REQUIRE a Real adult, a decent, honest, trust worthy person to stand up for them. If there is no one good enough to be there for them, what happens? There’s a break down. That young person is literally becoming an accomplice in their own abuse. The child or even an adult, with no power, has no choice but to blame themselves and “bail out” the abuser. If, by chance, the vulnerable is able to stand up they risk being punished and retaliated against. Their health is robbed and they have no choice but to do that to someone else who is more vulnerable then them. It’s what the banks do. Steal real wealth and resources using fake $$ wealth.

This is Very dangerous because there is NO one to alert others of a problem. The vulnerable willingly take on what they should NOT be taking on out of fear. The very innocent position a child or subservient person is in makes them ripe to be taken advantage of by an emotionally immature person n power.

This, to me, is the greatest betrayal. It’s “Child Pollution”. A child learns to accept the debt and mistreatment being put on them. The direction the flow should be going in ends up going the other way. A signal we all should be relying on to alert us to an issue or a break down is no longer functioning. Those who are supposed to be in charge are the very ones tampering with the signal the child should be giving off alerting an Adult to a problem and now it’s the other way around. This sets ALL of us up for a worse kind of crisis than what is happening in Flint. It creates HUMAN DEBT, where it retards the development of the vulnerable person which, then in turn, makes them do that to another vulnerable person when they get older and, perhaps, in power. It’s stealing from the future instead of passing value forward. It’s an environmental catastrophe.

The environmental break down of the “family” and teaching children to take on emotional debt and pollution that they do not deserve and is not theirs leaves those who should be held responsible completely off the hook. It’s a kind of family/social “soil erosion”. And nature will not keep silent. Training nature to function the way people want instead of the way it is meant to fitness wise will create such devastating effects eventually. The flow that is supposed to be going in one direction ends up flowing backwards. It’s the family version of the Flint Water crisis, and WHO is talking about it?

This is the Core of all our problems. The environmental crisis, the erosion of the mental, emotional and spiritual health of human beings. That Debt gets passed down to who is ever below that person. Just like a “parent” in the abusive “family” , the EM gets to override contracts and laws and do what ever they want. A person in a power position should be the one who is Most in alignment with and adhering to natural law,, NOT the one who gets to abuse their power the most by overriding it! That would be the OPPOSITE of true authority.

The crisis of the Flint water is a metaphor and a reflection of the health of those in power. They created the situation that matches their level of mental health.

I should not have had to stand completely alone as a child standing up for myself when those who should be reinforcing me and standing WITH me were, instead, standing in opposition. The fact that people do not see the signs and symptoms of a break down in the “family” and then take steps to turn the flow in the direction it’s supposed to go in is not good. People in power robbing from those they’re supposed to be protecting should be a glaring signal of a much larger problem. And when, instead, it’s met with complacency and unresponsiveness, like those dealing with the Flint water crisis who took a year to alert the public and address the truth, the poison has long infected the people.

What should have not even happened to me as a child could have at least been addressed and dealt with, turning the situation around. But, instead, neighbors and other “adults” around did nothing.

All the signs were there that my health was being harmed in my “home” as a child; I was telling people I was being neglected, I had no eyelashes due to pulling them out from stress from the 2nd through the 5th grade, I self mutilated, I was depressed, I had excessive shame, I felt a dark “cloud” enter my body at around 8 years old from feeling oppressed and neglected.

If this was happening to people today getting ill from Flint water they would at least be able to sue the city and get reparations. What do I get? I’ve been dealing with trauma and feelings of emotional illness and terror all my life from living in that house. If that isn’t having one’s health harmed than I don’t know what is. How is someone abused at a young age supposed to hold those responsible into account? We can’t even get Gov. Snyder held to account. He gets “asked” to resign instead of just being arrested like any of us would. People in “power” should be arrested even MORE and faster, not slower.

Darnell Early gets to not show up for his subpoena to testify! MORE abuse of power! On top of the already monumental harm he’s has already caused. What is is about holding people in power accountable that is so difficult? There’s a health crisis to look at.

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