Over at Millennial Journal, I have written a 2 part blog addressing the water crisis in Flint Michigan.

In Part 1: The Poisoning of Flint: How It Happened, I outlined some key points:

  1. The poisoning of the population of Flint, Michigan did not just happen – it was caused.

  2. Democratic processes were overridden in the name of “fiscal responsibility.”

  3. Those in positions of power (General Motors and State officials) were provided with safe, clean water quickly once the problem was noticed. While the residents of Flint, the majority of whom are African-American and 40% live below the federal poverty line were repeatedly lied to and blown off.

  4. Lead poisoning leads to significant brain damage and other irreversible health damage to children. Every child in Flint Michigan under the age of 6 has been exposed to toxic levels of lead. This is known and indisputable. The effects of lead poisoning often take years to show up and properly evaluate. From child development to impulse control, the long term effects for the community in Flint will not be known for some time.

  5. Lead is not the only poison being found in the water.

  6. Flint is not the only city in America where corrosion and disintegration of lead pipes is a concern; it is only the beginning.


Part 2: Catholic Social Teaching & Poisoning of Flint examines briefly the challenges of subsidiarity in this case.

When I turn to Flint, I see a clear and undeniable violation of subsidiarity in two ways:

  1. The Governor of Michigan overrode the elected democratic government in Flint in giving power to an appointed emergency manager in the name of fiscal responsibility. Claiming Flint was unable to manage its finances, the state sent in an emergency manager. However, this emergency manager system continually overrode or ignored the voice of the people.

  2. There currently remains a persistent inability or unwillingness to address honestly and fully the ongoing water crisis in Flint. It is not merely a matter of past failure; there is ongoing evidence of an inability or unwillingness to place the health and well-being of residents of Flint as a priority. Those charged with guarding the public good, including public health, have provided incontrovertible evidence since 2014 that they are unable or unwilling to put the people of Flint Michigan first.

Please head over to Millennial for the full posts.

Photo from: http://thegedsection.com/blogs/flint-michigan-is-being-slowly-poisoned-with-bad-water-why-we-should-all-be-concerned