What The Flint, Michigan Water Crisis Says About Our Nation As A Whole
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Politics and Activism

What The Flint, Michigan Water Crisis Says About Our Nation As A Whole

The US might not be as picture-perfect as we think it is.

What The Flint, Michigan Water Crisis Says About Our Nation As A Whole

As you may all now know, there is a crisis in Flint, Michigan. The problem began when cost-cutting actions resulted in the city of Flint using the Flint River as its primary water source. The water, which was untreated for corrosion in lead pipes, is now so undrinkable that President Obama has declared a state of emergency in the area this week. However, even though the media and national attention has been for the most part focused on Flint, itself, new reports are stating that every major US city east of the Mississippi is under-reporting heavy metals in its water. And let's not forget the West Virginia Water Crisis. Like many Americans, my first reaction was shock and bewilderment. What kind of monumental screw-up does it take to contaminate water and poison children for up to two years? Who is to blame for all of this? And what kind of nation are we to let this happen? No one has been assigned 100 percent blame for the issue, and no one knows who specifically made the switch to Flint river water in 2014. Multiple fingers have been pointed, some to city officials, other to Michigan governor Rick Snyder. However, the deepest concern comes down to money. If Flint had had the monetary funds and resources in the first place, there would never have been a need to ship water from Detroit, and the city would have been self sufficient. Thus, the wide-scoping issue of poverty in this country seems to be the biggest contributing factor to crises such as the one in Flint, Michigan.

The United States has always billed itself as being the greatest country in the world. A nation of exceptionalism, unrivaled opportunity and success. But a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. There are Flints all over the country and all over the world, no matter the preconceptions of the countries they reside in. And if we can stop looking at the United States with rose-tinted glasses, then maybe we can stop being blind to the poverty and decay that prevents a great deal of our citizens from living in the so-called "greatest country on Earth." Take for example, the pictures below. Which pictures are of the U.S., and which are pictures of war-torn or third-world nations? The following pictures take place in downtown Los Angeles, CA, Bosnia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Flint, Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, the Appalachian Mountains in the Eastern U.S., and war-torn Syria. What all of these areas have in common is the deterioration of infrastructure, a lack of funding, and thousands of people seeking to survive each and every day, and maybe it takes an incident like the Flint water crisis for everyday Americans to open our eyes and approach our ideas of Americana with a little more skepticism and realism, so that maybe we can prevent another Flint from happening in the future.

A. Detroit Michigan

B. Camden, New Jersey

C. Flint, Michigan

D. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

E. Appalachian Mountains, U.S.

F. BosniaG. Syria

H. Skid Row, Downtown Los Angeles

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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