FLINT, Mich. — In an impoverished former automotive town about an hour north of Detroit, a cataclysmic water crisis of unprecedented proportions continue to rage without a clear end in sight and mostly minority children continuing to die from the irreversible damage caused by lead in the water.
Celebrities and dignitaries from around the nation have visited and donated clean water to combat the noxious lead that was allowed to flow free into the drinking water.
Phaedra Parks of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” paid a visit to the beleaguered town to offer support, and music mogul Russell Simmons offered free water and held a town meeting about how to solve the crisis
Simmons practically went door-to-door delivering bottled water and joined Baltimore pastor Jamal Bryant, National Bar Association president Benjamin Crump, Parks, and hundreds of Flint residents at a packed church.
During the meeting, Bryant condemned state officials for the potentially irreversible damage the leaded water might have caused the city’s “9,000 predominantly black children” because, he said, “the state of Michigan doesn’t wanna see black babies go to college — they want to see them go to jail.”
Even just as nefarious and pernicious, Flint has long had some of the highest water utility rates in the county, and residents still have to pay high water bills for water they can’t use. Bryant demands that citizens of Flint get a refund “for every dime you’ve spent on water over the last two years.”
Crump, who attained national renown for representing the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown for free, vowed to petition U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate which elected officials should be held responsible for the water crisis, pointing to the Watergate scandal as precedent.
His wishes were met as Lynch called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to initiate a comprehensive probe into this horrific scandal that has attracted international attention.
“This is way worse than Watergate,” Crump said. “People didn’t die from Watergate. This is our children’s lives at stake.”
During the meeting were Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and the hero, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who helped first expose the crisis with her report on elevated lead levels among Flint children.
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