If anything, the catastrophic lead poisoning that has and continues to devastate the lives of more than 100,000 Flint, MI, residents has taught the American public to open their eyes to the severe injustices being enacted by government officials across the country.
It’s not just the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Emergency Financial Manager, the regional officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who are at fault, according to David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz writing for UTNE.com. There are cities and towns across the country experiencing similar, if not worse, devastation due to negligent American infrastructure decisions over the last few decades.
And what’s worse is how avoidable these lethal situations could have been.
Take Flint, for example. How did this happen? By only paying $100 a day to properly treat the raw water flowing through Flint’s pipes, perhaps this crisis would have never taken foot.
But what’s done is done. And while pointing fingers at individuals might seem like the easiest route, by looking at how countless cities in rust belt areas like Chicago are being affected by the very same contamination issues, perhaps the American public will be able to discern a larger, more systemic issue at hand.
For starters, America is experiencing an investment crisis. It’s needless to say that vital public services need maintenance in enhancement in order to protect the safety and integrity of regions. For example, sewers typically need to be replaced after 40 years. But instead, officials shirk vital public services in the name of “fiscal responsibility.”
There is also a marked crisis in equity. Namely, individuals on the lower end of the annual income spectrum typically have substandard access to basic resources such as good air quality, water quality, and safe neighborhoods.
Finally, America’s system is experiencing a crisis of democracy. While it is most advanced in Michigan, it is currently metastasizing all across the country, as officials are scrambling to cover up the crises that are unfolding, rather than taking accountability.