To me, the scariest thing about Flint’s water crisis is how long it went on before it was a) reported and b) addressed. The extent of the damage has only been seriously brought to national attention in the last couple of weeks, 1 year and 8 months after local residents first began to complain about the water’s quality. A year ago, Flint’s state-appointed emergency manager declined the opportunity to return to their former water system, despite growing concerns and evidence of danger. The mechanisms of detection were there. The knowledge was there. The chances to admit wrongdoing and correct mistakes were there. And yet here we are, a state of emergency declared by the President and thousands of people at risk, both in the short-term and from the long-term effects of lead poisoning. Why did it sit unnoticed for so long? Local government corruption? Racism? The false comfort of denial? The following articles have helped me greatly in starting to get my head around the current crisis, and I also want to gently draw your attention to a couple of ways you might be able to help – in particular an initiative established by two YDS students in partnership with a church in Flint, whose pastor, Rev. Green, is a YDS alum.
A note from Rev. Faith Green of Bethel United Methodist Church: “Our facility is now a water emergency crises center. I want to alert my fellow Yale alum that I work at the heart of the water crises and only minimal needs have been met. If there are contacts you have in the area who can assist, or you personally wish to help, please be in touch.”
Events That Led to Flint’s Water Crisis | NY Times
A useful timeline of events leading up to now, including the dates and individuals involved at various stages.
Here’s How Hard It Will Be to Unpoison Flint’s Water | WIRED
An explanation of some of the technical difficulties involved in addressing the crisis.
Flint Weighs Scope of Harm to Children Caused by Lead in Water | NY Times
Detailing the efforts of Dr Hanna-Attisha, whose research documenting a spike in children’s blood lead levels forced dismissive government officials to acknowledge the water crisis last fall.
Amid denials, state workers in Flint got clean water | Detroit Free Press
Disturbing evidence of local government feigning ignorance while protecting their own.
Michael Moore: Stop sending bottles of water to Flint | NY Daily News
Flint native & journalist calls for revolution, not short-term solution.
It’s not just a Flint problem: other U.S. cities are suffering from toxic water | Salon
Have you seen the water in St Joseph, Louisiana?
#BethelFlintRelief A partnership between Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes (MDiv ’18), Johnie Jones (MDiv ’18) & YDS Alumnus Rev. Faith Green of Bethel United Methodist Church, Flint. Raising funds to mass-purchase water filters for their church and local community. You can also purchase a #Flint t-shirt to show your support at Greater Life Apparel.Able to respond financially?
Flintkids.org Raising funds to aid children with interventions that support positive health outcomes for Flint children, both now and in the future.
Hannah Malcolm (Rev. John Magee Fellow, Dwight Hall at Yale & M.A.R. World Christianities, Yale Divinity School)