Letter: Snyder must answer for Flint disaster

Snyder must answer for Flint disaster

To the editor:

While it is unfathomable there is a city in the United States of America where the water supply is dangerously unsafe for consumption or even bathing, the most appalling aspect of the crisis that has been going on in Flint, MI, for nearly the past two years is that it is entirely man-made in origin. This is not something like Hurricane Katrina, a tragedy that was precipitated by a major natural disaster and exacerbated by numerous failures of government at all three levels. That was horrific enough, but what happened in Flint is even more sinister.

Problems with the water were apparent immediately after the city began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 as part of cost-saving measures, yet Gov. Rick Snyder knowingly continued to put at risk the entire population of Flint, including nearly 9,000 children, long after it was confirmed there was a serious problem. If an outside organization poisoned the water supply of a city, it would be called terrorism, but what do we call it when it is the government that perpetrates such a travesty? Failed policy? No, this is gross, inexcusable negligence at best, and criminal at worst.

There is no "fixing" this, as Governor Snyder promised as part of his pathetic pseudo-apology in his State of the State address last week — the effects of lead poisoning are both lifelong and irreversible — and he should have the decency to resign from his position immediately. And, if there is any justice in this country, he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and put in jail.

Perhaps if Gov. Snyder had not given such generous tax breaks to the wealthiest of his constituents, the $100 per day price tag to properly treat the water supply for the residents of Flint, who are predominately African-American and largely poor, would not have seemed so daunting. It is clear where his priorities lie, and he needs to be held accountable and punished for what his reprehensible actions have done to the people of Flint and the city itself.

Megan Mackey, Pittsfield


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