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Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Each time a racial situation reaches a boiling point, a city somewhere in the United States suffers. When innocent children are shot in their own school, the state and federal governments act swiftly to enact new laws that are supposed to help prevent further acts, even though they never do. When a politician says something offensive, people take to the streets in outrage to protest. Some even take the protest to the politician by crashing their speeches and shouting out the politician’s shame.

But when our own people are poisoned and forced to drink dirty water, crickets. Not a damn one of us has done anything to help those people in Flint. I have been railing on the mayor and governor of Flint since this started. Both of those people need to be in jail for what they have done and what they allowed to happen. Big shot politicians seem to agree when they are in front of the cameras, but those investigations they have been promising never seem to happen.

What have we done to help the people of Flint? Have we sent angry letters to our congressmen? Have we gone online to show our support and do our best to shine a spotlight on this situation? I bet if someone at the Super Bowl had offended us, that we would be all over social media causing a ruckus. But our own people are dying and being poisoned and we remain silent.

When a rogue police officer makes a terrible decision, cities burn and the anger simmers. But when an entire city of Americans is forced to drink poisoned water, nothing. Where are the protests demanding that something be done? Where is the inspired looting that is some twisted people’s attempt at getting justice? Where are the memes that demand the arrest of the governor of Michigan and the mayor of Flint? Where? I have seen exactly zero memes on Facebook about this and the hashtag on Twitter died away after only a day or two.

Shame on us, America. Complete and unfiltered shame.

You will burn your own cities and harm innocent people when you are angry about someone’s civil rights being violated, but you will do absolutely nothing when an entire city is being poisoned. The politicians have given this situation plenty of lip service, but they have also done nothing.

Kudos to anyone who has sent bottled water to Flint. Whether people are drinking the water or selling it for money to buy food or whatever, it doesn’t matter. Contrary to what Michael Moore may say; those water donations can help. They can get clean water to people who need it; adults and children.

SHAME on the media and politicians (ESPECIALLY Hillary Clinton) for exploiting the children of Flint for their own needs. Everyone in Flint, from children to adults, has been drinking poisoned water. Yes, the children are our future and they are defenseless in the wake of injustice, but the adults are suffering just like the children. But exploiting the suffering of children gets web hits and brings in votes, right? I literally threw up after the Democratic debate when Hillary Clinton repeatedly mentioned the poisoning of children and said nothing about the rest of the people of Flint. If she had not lost my vote before, she lost it then.

The situation in Flint is not a convenient tool for the media and politicians to gain exposure. It is a national tragedy that, for some reason, is going unnoticed. This is my first column about this situation, but it is not the first time I have raised my voice in trying to get people to pay attention to this situation. As a writer, my voice is all I have when it comes to helping large masses of people. If you have a voice, then use it to shine a spotlight on this situation and get it fixed.

America should be ashamed of itself. Every single one of us. We are spending billions to bring fresh water to people around the world, but we will turn our backs on our own people when they are forced to drink poison. Shame on every single one of us. This sort of thing is just another reason why the rest of the world simply cannot figure the United States out. When we let our own people suffer with no consequence to the people who created that suffering and offer no action to relieve that suffering, then it just shows exactly what kind of country we are. And the image is sad indeed.

How would you like it Lockport if we were being poisoned and no one cared? Think about how your suffering would mean nothing to the rest of the country. It could happen here if this situation is not taken care of. We should all be ashamed at turning our backs on Flint, and we should all be terrified if these politicians are allowed to get away with this gross act of injustice.

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident who knows that the Flint situation could easily happen here. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him a message at georgenroot3@gmail.com.



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