Here’s What Happened to Bruno Mars’ $1 Million Flint Donation
UPDATE (9.18.18) -- Video Update Included at Bottom of Original Article
It seems that some Flint residents are so cynical that they'd rather assume the worst than do a couple seconds worth of research.
I'm the editor for a few websites that are always in need of locally-focused original content, so I follow quite a few local Facebook groups. The info shared in them is usually shaky at best, but if you know how to verify facts (a dying art) it can be a great resource for finding out which questions people are asking. Take this question, for example, that was posed to members of one of the larger Flint Facebook groups I follow:
It's a fair question, and I can understand why a Flint resident is concerned. They totally should be concerned about where that money went. The problem I have with this is where this person went for the answer -- Facebook. As someone who's increasingly frustrated with the willful ignorance of others, I replied with what has become my new stock answer for these misplaced questions:
Yeah, that's kind of a dick way to answer, but it's hard for me to watch people live their lives with such little regard for where their information comes from. In my defense, I did Google those words and found an answer for this "concerned citizen" pretty quickly, which I also posted:
You'd think that would be enough to shut the thread down, right? Nope. People completely disregarded the answer I gave them, and continued to pump up each other's wild conspiracy theories about where the money went. I am flabbergasted at just how many people think this is some nefarious cover-up by our mayor or governor. Some even went as far as tagging Bruno Mars in the thread and encouraging everyone to message him about this ridiculous non-troversy.
The wild conspiracy theories in that thread were embarrassing to me as a citizen, and downright terrifying to me as a resident. These are people that vote, but can't even be bothered to do a simple Google search on a topic. They'd rather engage in a s***posting spree than read the answers that are readily available to them with a little effort... Scratch that. Googling something takes no effort. It actually takes more time and effort to post to Facebook and wait for answers. These "donation truthers" are going out of their way to get bad information, and that's a problem.
Now I'm not saying that you should blindly trust our local government, mayor, or governor. Lord knows they've all given us plenty of reasons not to, but I am asking that you all do one thing -- stop asking Facebook for answers. That's what Google is for, people.
If you really want to know what has been done with the money, maybe call the Community Foundation of Greater Flint if you're that concerned. They were more than cooperative when I called and asked them about the donation. They informed me that they are awaiting further instruction from the donor as to how and where that money should be spent, and plan to share that information via press release as soon as the funds have been dispersed.
UPDATED INFO AS OF 9.18.18
The Community Foundation of Greater Flint has posted a video update outlining how some of the funds have been used thus far, as well as some future plans for Mr. Mars' generous donation.