Michigan’s Republican Governor, Rick Snyder has perpetrated the biggest mass poisoning in recent history through his willful and knowing negligence. By trying to save a couple dollars and patch the holes in the state budget that he dug when he recklessly gave away billions in tax credits to multinational corporations, his administration purposefully switched the water supply in the city of Flint from the Detroit water system to the heavily polluted Flint River but refused to pay the $100 a day that it would take to purify the water and make it safe to drink.
Instead, he forced the people to pay for water that has resulted in an epidemic of lead poisoning in the city of 100,000, a monstrous crime that was only discovered when a pediatrician noticed that lead levels in her patients had tripled in a matter of months. A class-action lawsuit is underway against the governor as he panics and begged for the National Guard to be deployed to help distribute clean water supplies to the furious population.
Democratic presidential candidate and middle-class champion Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has joined the growing chorus of voices demanding the governor’s resignation:
“There are no excuses. The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint’s water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned. Thousands may have been exposed to potential brain damage from lead. Gov. Snyder should resign. Because of the conduct by Gov. Snyder’s administration and his refusal to take responsibility, families will suffer from lead poisoning for the rest of their lives. Children in Flint will be plagued with brain damage and other health problems. The people of Flint deserve more than an apology.”
Indeed. Justice must be served against this reprehensible man, who should be served with criminal charges for his horrific decisions. The damage that lead poisoning does to a person is awful and irreversible: “Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems. It interferes with the development of the nervous system and is therefore particularly toxic to children, causing potentially permanent learning and behavior disorders. Symptoms include abdominal pain, confusion, headache, anemia, irritability, and in severe cases seizures, coma, and death.”
Snyder has ruined the lives of thousands of people and stolen bright futures away from the children of Flint. He must be held accountable for his crimes.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.