Michael Moore Blasts Obama in an Open Letter About the Flint Water Crisis
Political documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has been extremely active in advocating for his hometown of Flint, Mich., since the news of the water crisis there broke months ago.
He has repeatedly posted about Flint on his website, even going so far as demanding Gov. Rick Snyder’s arrest. And, like other activists in Flint, he’s been urging President Obama to pay a visit to the desperate town.
Now, at last, the president has responded. The White House announced Obama’s upcoming visit to Flint on Medium:
On Wednesday, May 4th, the President will travel to Flint, Michigan where he will hear first-hand from Flint residents … about the public health crisis, receive an in-person briefing on the federal efforts in place to help respond to the needs of the people of Flint, and speak directly with members of the Flint community.
Obama responded personally to a letter penned by 8-year-old Flint resident Mari Copeny. “I want to make sure people like you and your family are receiving the help you need and deserve,” Obama wrote, adding that he hopes to meet her during his visit.
But Moore was less than pleased by the news, as he explained in an open letter published on Facebook:
You say you’re coming to “listen to the people of Flint.” Sir, they’ve been poisoned for two damn years. You’ve known about it since October. There’s nothing to listen to. Unless you’re bringing the entire U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dig up and replace the 75,000 lead pipes, plus the Attorney General to arrest Governor Rick Snyder, then this is just another photo-op and half-baked list of new promises we don’t need. If you’re coming to make one of those “we need to rebuild America’s infrastructure” speeches, don’t bother. This is NOT an infrastructure problem – it’s a hate crime and mass poisoning of Black and poor people that NEVER would happen if this were Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe or any other white town. It was done in order to give a billion-dollar tax cut to the rich. Every child here now has some form of permanent brain damage. There is NOTHING you can do to reverse that for them. There is no cure. Again, they are Black, they are poor. Do you have a cure for that? Because THAT’s the only reason why this has happened. Flint’s infrastructure was just fine (or what passes for fine these days in the USA). This poisoning happened because the governor said “Cut services!” — and so one of the first services he cut was to seal off the clean drinking water pipeline from the Great Lakes and make the poor and the Black of Flint drink dirty water from the drainage ditch you and others call “the Flint River.” We haven’t called it that for years.
He goes on to stress that what Flint needs is not more visits from politicians or “token digging up of pipes.” Flint residents, Moore asserts, need more serious intervention from the commander in chief:
[U]nless you’re bringing the U.S. Army with you to save 100,000 of your fellow Americans, and unless you’re going to arrest the governor of Michigan who has now killed more Americans than ISIS, you might as well stay home.
Moore ends his letter by noting that riots will certainly begin “sometime soon.” The Obama administration has yet to respond to Moore’s letter, and it’s unknown whether the president will meet with Gov. Snyder during his visit.
–Posted by Emma Niles