Who Poisoned Flint, Michigan? | Rolling Stone.pdf - Who Poisoned Flint Michigan Mom moved my two sisters and me to the appropriately named town of

Who Poisoned Flint, Michigan? | Rolling Stone.pdf - Who...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 19 pages.

Sidebar What's Killing the Babies of Vernal, Utah? » Who Poisoned Flint, Michigan? Mom moved my two sisters and me to the appropriately named town of Flushing on the outskirts of Flint, Michigan, in 1980. My dad had just been killed in a plane crash, and she reasoned my Flint uncle would serve as a surrogate father. That didn't happen; he was a good man, but he had two boys of his own. We arrived just in time to watch a city die, as the auto industry disintegrated like a Chevette hitting a wall. This was only good for Michael Moore. It did give me unfettered access to the Flint River. My uncle was a dentist, and his mansion was built on the proceeds of General Motors' generous medical plan. His house was adjacent to the Flushing Valley Golf Club, which bordered the river. The three months we stayed with him provided hours of creepy pleasure for a maladjusted teen. In pre-EPA days, factories had been dumping sludge and crud into the river for decades. Every day, my anti-nature walks brought new treasures: a dog carcass; the front grille of a K-car; and long, green bubbles of water that appeared to be living, malevolent, aquatic creatures with free will. Whenever I stuck my hand into the water to retrieve an abandoned tire or a shard of chain-link fence, my skin would come out a mottled crimson. I moved away after graduating from Flint's Catholic high school, where I was mugged at a neighboring 7-Eleven when my teacher sent me to buy him some cigarettes. The jobs kept moving away too. To me, Flint became a self-deprecating anecdote. It was the city that tried to rescue itself with an auto-themed amusement park (hilarious!), had one of the highest per-capita violent-crime rates in the country (scary!), frequently finished near the top of worst-cities-in-America lists (true!), and so on. Some 30 years later, I can't say I was surprised when my high school best friend, Gordon Young, a chronicler of Flint's slide in his book Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City , texted me that Flint, now in receivership and run by an apparatchik appointed by the austerity-mad GOP governor, was switching over from the Great Lakes to the Flint River for its drinking water. All to save some bucks. I thought this was preposterous. Only in Flint – a city that makes Youngstown, Ohio, look like Miami – could this be a viable solution.
Image of page 1
I texted back: "Man, that seems like a bad idea." I had no clue. By the fall of 2015, news began coming out of Flint about undrinkable water, kids getting sick and a stonewalling state government. I headed back to Flint for a week. I saw orange water running from a hydrant. I read FOIA'd e-mails that prove the city and state decided not to chemically treat Flint's water, something required in every town, village and city in America. There was the woman whose water tested for lead at a toxic-waste level. This was after officials told her she was nuts, even though her daughter lost chunks of her hair in the shower, while her four-year-old son remained dangerously underweight and his skin became covered in red splotches any time it was exposed to the water. And I met a
Image of page 2
Image of page 3

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 19 pages?

  • Fall '09

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors