Sometimes it's who we think is helping us most that harms us most, our government is an example. They do not care about us, our health, let alone the children's health, to them it's all about the money. I've always known that actually, but it wasn't until I attended the "What The Eyes Don't See" event on October 3rd, 2019 in the Student Center of EMU that it all made more sense to me. At this event, Dr. Mona spoke about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan that took place in April of 2014 and all the consequences that took place including the harm of many children's health.
Did you realize how horrible our government system really is? In this article, topics that will be discussed include what inspired Dr. Mona to take a stand about this issue and what inspired her to write her book, it will also be discussed how her speech related to anything learned in univ 179L3 class and lastly, how this event changed the way I think or compel to action.
For starters, Dr. Mona is a pediatrician known for uncovering the water crisis, she wrote the book "What The Eyes Don't See", when I heard that we have to read a book about the Flint water crisis I was not very motivated. Then I began to read the book and I was able to hear the passion in Dr. Mona's voice and that's what encouraged me to keep reading. I was very excited to hear Dr. Mona speak about her book as she described as the crisis and a story of hope and resistance. She spoke about how she was encouraged to give justice to the children of Flint through her voice. The way Dr. Mona spoke about what inspired her to make a difference and what she had to go through to make Flint a safe environment for not only the children but for everyone living there really moved me. Dr. Mona always loved children it seems, considering she went to college for the kids, that was her passion. She described the story she told as, not a story of isolation, but a story of justice.
One of Dr. Mona's biggest inspirations that lead her to make such a courageous stand was one of her patients. Nikola is a baby who was going in for a check-up one day with Dr.Mona. Nikola's mother had a question for Dr. Mona that changed Dr. Mona's perspective on the world and started focusing more on basically what the eyes don't see. Nikola's mother had told Dr. Mona that she wanted to stop breastfeeding Nikkala because she had to go back to work and that she wanted to switch to formula. And for a moment Nikola's mother looked worried. Mona couldn't help but ask her what was wrong, that's when Nikola's mother asked if the water in Flint was okay...considering that she would have to use water to mix in with the formula of course. Dr. Mona said "yes, the water is okay," what she didn't know at the time was that the water was quite toxic and harmful.
Dr. Mona wanted to open our eyes to what the government's intentions were at the time. She stated it was just to make money. Flint shouldn't have had this issue considering Flint wasn't a bad place to live, Flint was the birthplace of a middle class in the 1970s, it was the birthplace of UAW, even the birthplace of cars. According to what Dr. Mona said, Flint made the most money in the country, it's residence were pretty healthy people.
What our government didn't think of when they were blinded by the thought of saving and making more money was how not fixing this issue with the water in flint would kill many people...especially children. That water could have risked lives considering it could have caused cancer, it was missing important ingredients, it contained e-Coli and lead which impacts cognition and causes all kinds of learning and physical disabilities. When Dr. Mona heard about how the water contained lead, her first thought went to Nikola and the kids and how she reassured Nikola's mother about the water being okay in Flint. Her job is to make sure these kids have a bright future, and all that could run through her mind at the moment was how lead in water meant..there's lead in the kids!Dr. Mona wanted to make a change because she couldn't help but think about how all these families could be impacted in such a negative way because of water. She began to do a lot of research and before we knew it, she went to a press conference to demand change. Of course, they denied her at first, and that made her feel sick and scared. She was nauseated and she second-guessed herself considering the state tried covering up their mess by telling her she was wrong even though they didn't have the facts whereas she did. The state didn't stop her though, she knew something was wrong and she fought back. She fought back for the kids and she had people on her side defending her in many ways.
Flint lacked democracy - the government didn't care what other people thought, they just did what they thought was good enough to make money. The government denied science because it was based on facts that could prevent them from gaining more wealth. The government closed its eyes to the problems in Flint and so did the people at one point until Dr. Mona made a stand. Even fourth-graders did an experiment in which they put a nail in Flint's water and compared it to the great lakes water by also putting a nail in there to make a point about the dirty water in Flint that turned out to be very successful but even they were denied. Dr. Mona didn't stop hitting them with the facts and before Flint knew it, the state conceding and said that she was right and they now drink water from the Great Lakes.
Secondly, Dr. Mona's speech reflected a lot of things that I have been learning in my university class, one thing she had me do was critically think and self-reflect which we do in every class period. Another thing she mentioned was how the water in Flint affected the children with their learning, and I realized that in class we also learn about different learning techniques and that helped me understand where Dr. Mona was coming from. In class we are being taught to adapt to college life and to become successful people, Dr. Monas' goal is basically to do the same with her patients, she wants to see them succeed and be healthy and happy and knowledgeable the same way my professor wants to see positive changes in me.
To be completely honest I didn't even know what the Flint water crisis was until I read Dr. Mona's book as a class requirement and I'm glad I did because now I've learned many things. I learned that being courageous is not something to be scared of, even when you initially fail at your goals. Keep going because at the end of the day, you're the one that's going to feel accomplished knowing you made some kind of change. I also learned to never trust a government system, and I should start reading labels and doing research on everything before putting it in my mouth.
Lastly, the way this event changed how I think and compel to action was not as drastic considering I was already in the mindset of standing up for what's right and never giving up no matter what. I was always for bettering our government system and for the goal to be about bettering the health of our people and not just the money. I am now a big fan of Dr. Mona because I feel her passion. I know what her intentions were, I'm also going into a field in which I work with children and I understand the passion of wanting your kids to be successful, happy, and most importantly healthy. Other than that, the event made me feel like I should be more aware of what I put in my body. Read ingredients to make sure what you need is there, and research every ingredient that you're not sure of. Don't trust anything because, at the end of the day, the government only wants money.
In conclusion, our government doesn't care about us, our health, let alone the health of our children. It's all about the money for them. Today I discussed why Dr. Mona was inspired to take a stand and speak up about it, and I discussed how the information Dr. Mona presented us with related to what I learn in class. And lastly, I talked about how it changed my perspective and my thinking after the event. I recommend this event to other EMU students and students all around the United States. I recommend this event because it opens your mind to so many different situations and issues we can all avoid. It gives us an awareness of knowledge and warning about what the eyes don't see.