A church in Flint, Mich., received Donald Trump awkwardly on Sept. 14, 2016. The pastor of the church interrupted Trump to remind him to talk about Flint instead of railing Hillary Clinton.
Turmoil has engulfed Flint in the past few years. It was about 12 months ago that the Flint water crisis became national knowledge. To iterate to those that have never heard of the crisis, the incident was one where the Flint water supply was tainted with lead.
The Use of Lead in Areas Like Flint Michigan
Before 1986, lead was typically used in homes. Most Americans had lead solder (alloys), fixtures, and pipes in their houses.
Alloys are metals formed by fusing at least two different metals. The aim of this marriage is to increase resistance to corrosion. Solder are simply alloys used to join other materials which cannot be easily stuck together on their own.
Fixtures are objects in a home which cannot be moved. For example, if a man were to leave his house for another, he would not be able to take the lights attached to the building.
Pipes, as most know, are lengthy, cylindrical, metalloid objects that carry water throughout a building. The ones which run through a house are much straighter. Even when these items do bend, there are separate parts to carry out that duty.
Lead (Pb) is a carbon element that is also a pliant transition metal. This means one can bend or shape lead into any form they wish. That is one major reason why the U.S. contractors use to ply it so profusely.
Everyone can find this natural component in humus, breathing air, and drinking water. Humans also abut this carbon unit when interacting with fossil fuels, such as gasoline and in some industrial areas. Additionally, lead resides in many other products used by the U.S. and the world like batteries, paint, ceramics, ammunition, and more.
When Areas Such as Flint Contain Too Much Lead
Although this carbon has beneficial uses, it can be harmful to humans as well.
When this substance is in large amounts, children can absorb it. That is because children are more prone to lead poisoning because most will eat and drink almost anything. Moreover, this damages their brains and nervous systems.
Pregnant women are the next on the list of people who should not be near this substance. Exposure of lead may them the unborn child.
Last, but not unimportant, are adults. That malleable unit may indelibly affect those above 18, too. The consequences of lead:
- Reduce IQ,
- Stunt growth,
- Cause anemia,
- Diminish kidney function,
- Bring about hearing issues,
- Raise difficulties in reproductive organs,
- Premature births and slow maturation of the fetus,
- And so much more.
How Flint Reacted
In Flint, most of the aforementioned problems occurred. Government officials there had searched for cheaper water and they found it, reported NPR. They connected the Flint pipeline to the city’s river on April 25, 2014. From then on officials employed a wait-and-see method in lieu of treating the water.
The officials began explaining how healthy the water was after Flint residents began complaining that the supposedly drinkable liquid had a rank smell and taste.
Even General Motors ceased using Flint River water. GM spokesman Tom Wickham related to MLive that the high chlorine water caused corrosion that GM could not afford. This began on Oct. 13.
- Brad Wurfel, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), told people to relax on July 13.
- A Virginia Tech team had discovered harmful amounts of lead in Flint homes in September.
- On September 24, Hurley Medical Center had discovered that four percent of children under five had elevated lead levels in blood,
- Flint Mayor Karen Weaver had declared a state of emergency (SOE) on December 14.
- MLive reported on December 29, that Dan Wyant, the MDEQ Director, and Wurfel had resigned.
- Michigan Governor Rick Snyder had issued a January SOE.
- Barack Obama released a similar statement less than two weeks following Governor Snyder.
- The EPA, on Jan. 21, put out an emergency order for action on the Flint situation.
Many officials and a couple of corporations were charged and sued respectively.
Flint Finally Receives Trump
On Sept. 14, 2016, Trump visited Flint and a church in the city received him awkwardly.
He traveled to the Bethel Methodist Church and spoke there. The former host of “The Apprentice,” began to bash Clinton with words that clearly expressed his feelings for her. Before he could continue, Reverend Faith Green Timmons stopped his words with her own.
She said, “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not to make a political speech.” The tycoon quickly effused “okays” and started to talk about Flint.
Mayor Weaver revealed that the Republican Presidential Candidate had not even let her know of his plans. Moreover, Flint’s mayor said that her city was interested in cleaning their water, not photo ops. According to The Washington Post, The Democrats do not fully believe the Trump’s minority outreach.
Visiting Flint was the beginning of his effort to interact with minorities.Trump’s aides said that they had expected there to be mixed feelings and reactions toward the candidate. For various reasons the Bethel Methodist Church in Flint awkwardly received Trump.
By Osveen Funwi
Edited by Cathy Milne
NBC NEWS: Trump Bankruptcy Math Doesn’t Add Up
NPR: Lead-Laced Water In Flint: A Step-By-Step Look At The Makings Of A Crisis
EPA: Learn about Lead
EPA: Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water
Detroit Free Press: No end in sight for Flint; filter use expected to last rest of year
Detroit Free Press: Trump’s remarks in Flint cut short by pastor, protesters
The Washington Post: Donald Trump receives a chilly reception in visit to site of Michigan water crisis
Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License