For months, government officials in Michigan have been scrambling to address the fallout of the man-made water catastrophe in Flint that poisoned thousands of mostly low-income people of color. While many Americans believe that racism can be boiled down to a sin marked by slurs and men burning crosses under the cover of night, Flint serves as a stark reminder that racism is in the air we breathe, flowing freely into our homes.
— a request from Hillary Clinton
For two years, the people of Flint, Michigan, complained that their water was murky, that it smelled bad, that bathing in it gave them rashes — and for two years, they were told they were wrong, and that their water was safe. But it wasn’t. It was poisoned, and the children of Flint were drinking it.
I traveled to Flint last weekend at the invitation of Mayor Karen Weaver to talk with residents and community leaders. The people I met were passionate, thoughtful, and tireless — one 6-year-old came to our meeting, and his mom spoke about how she’d tried so hard to shield her son from the ills of the world, only to learn she’d been giving him baths in poisoned water.
What happened in Flint is the cruelest kind of indifference, and an affront to what we stand for as a nation. Clean water is not optional, and it’s not a luxury — it’s a basic human right. The children of Flint are just as deserving of bright futures as the children of any other community. And today, those children need our help.
If you can, please chip in to support the Flint Child Health & Development Fund, which is working to provide health care and educational support to families in Flint affected by this crisis. We know that lead poisoning can affect kids for their whole lives, so 100 percent of your donation will help provide ongoing services for the next 20 years to the most vulnerable families in Flint:
We need to keep talking about Flint, and we need to make sure that every child in this country can grow up to reach his or her God-given potential — no matter where they come from, the color of their skin, or how much money their parents make. Thank you for standing with me in this fight and so many others. Thank you for doing your part to help the children of Flint.