You Aren’t Paying Flint’s Water Bills, So Stop Crying About It [OPINION]
The Flint water crisis has been a long, complex web of failure and miscommunication that has been extremely frustrating for the community to say the least... and that's before you factor in all these uninformed jackasses who constantly say things like "I'm not paying Flint's bills."
I've had a front row seat for the Flint water crisis, and was even paying close attention to the earliest parts of the story, back before anyone knew the s***storm that Snyder's penny-pinchers were inviting into our homes. Maybe, because of that, I have an unfair informational advantage over some of these outsiders who joined the story when it went national.
In their defense, this crisis is extremely complicated and there's no quick way to bring them up to speed. I get that it's very difficult situation to keep up with, but if you don't understand it, why would you constantly say awful things in a public forum about a community that is already downtrodden? If I had a quarter for every comment I've read about Flint like "just nuke the whole town and start over," I'd have enough money to pay for the new pipes myself.
Unfortunately, lack of knowledge on the subject isn't keeping these garbage humans at bay. The most recent comment thread falling into the "we don't know what the f*** we're talking about" bin was from a Detroit radio station, whose Facebook caption implied that Flint was both victimizing the rest of Michigan and taking money out of people's pockets. Really classy move, guys. What are you going to do for an encore -- go to a hospital's cancer ward and punch a terminally ill child?
While their strategically worded tease will get them clicks and comments, it fails in one crucial area -- accuracy. It did, however, give some who saw it just enough misguided anger to really give it to us freeloading Flintstones in the comment section. So instead of just letting these things go by, like a normal human would, I decided to bring you some of the best of the worst... and respond to them. We'll start with the radio station's post:
After they had incorrectly told everyone that they were paying Flint's bills for the month, the trolls started rolling in.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret -- you are not paying for anything. Back in January, President Obama gave the State of Michigan $80 million to assist with fixing Flint's infrastructure. I'm not a math doctor, but I'm pretty sure $1.7 million is quite a bit less than $80 million, and since they're flushing the pipes instead of trying to replace them -- that leaves some money federal money on the table for stuff like this. Even if they end up spending all of that on Snyder's legal team, the state has a $575 million budget surplus.
Delinquent water bills are not what caused this crisis. Flint's water rates have been among the highest in the nation for far too long. That alone is unacceptable, but when you factor in paying those high rates for 18 while poison is what they got in return -- it's downright infuriating.
Oh, we do? **turns to friends, yells** Guys! We did it! The crisis is over! By the way, $800 covers about four average Flint water bills. The people of Flint have been paying full price for unsafe water since April of 2014. You wouldn't pay your cell phone bill for two years if your phone didn't work, would you? Now imagine that your phone is also poisoning your kids. Do you see why an $800 credit might not be enough now?
I think he's in Washington D.C. That's where he lives, you know? That's also where he sent that $80 million from. By the way, this uneducated and borderline unprofessional Facebook post is not a Gofundme page. You don't literally have to pay for it and no one asked you to. We good?
Yeah, the State government and their appointed (not elected) overlords have taken real good care of us so far. Like that time when our elected officials had no authority for several years and our water got all screwed up. Yeah, the government should "take care of us" some more.
You should hit up Michigan.gov and see if "Govenor" Snyder is hiring. He's in desperate need of good public relations people. Also, before chiming in on the water crisis, maybe try reading any article that has ever been written on the subject.
I actually agree with some of this one, but the Flint Mayor and City Council had no authority at the time of the water switch. Yes, everyone knows that Mayor Walling physically hit the button. Whenever someone does a ribbon cutting ceremony, that doesn't mean the guy with the scissors built the new Arby's he's standing in front, does it?
"Tough s***. We weren't given a choice either. Welcome to having important decisions that will have a massive impact on your day to day life made for you by other people who don't care what your think about it. We know it sucks, but don't worry -- it's going to go on for the rest of your life. You'll get used to it.
This article contains strong opinions of the author (me), that do not necessarily reflect those of Banana 101.5, Townsquare Media Flint, or their advertisers... and yes, the people's names and pictures being covered by giant pink meat missiles was quite intentional.