Commentary With Winston Barnes: Flint Michigan Water

SOUTH FLORIDA – Flint, Michigan and particularly Detroit has a special spot in my memory if nothing else. I actually guested on a radio station there for a week in 1978 as part of the promotion for reggae sunsplash in its inaugural year. Three summers ago, i was there again when my nephew was married to a young lady from Michigan.

In other words, I can claim that family might very well have been affected by the leaded water people in Flint have had to deal with over the last couple or so years. To be angry about this is probably very human but not constructive. What needs to be done, by all, not just black folk, is to come to an understanding as to why this is even possible. The simple answer is that black lives do not matter, at least not when it comes to saving money at any cost.

Flint River

It is the product of the same kind of philosophy that says governments can redline neighborhoods to prevent non-white people from moving in and when they do those bodies create a ghetto of the area. In the case of inner-city neighborhoods you create insanitary conditions by telling garbage collectors pick-ups in those areas are not a priority.

I submit that what happened in Flint has to do with rampant racism combined with rapacious capitalism. The combination of the need to see money as always more important than non-white people, or all poor people, and the overriding desire to turn a profit even in public sector dealings. It is a travesty that is as old as running venereal disease tests on black men, without their permission, decades ago.

Voice your opinion on the “Open Line” with Winston Barnes daily on WAVS 1170AM or listen on-line 

Winston Barnes Host – “Open Line” WAVS 1170AM
Photo Credit: Leroy “Dreamy” Riley


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