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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
Annamarie Parker
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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

Pure Michigan: Or, don’t drink the water in Flint

When I first started seeing Facebook posts calling for Gov. Rick Snyder’s arrest, I rolled my eyes. Don’t get me wrong—I hate the guy’s politics.

Michigan was ranked last for transparency by the Center for Public Integrity last year.re-Synder

And appointing emergency managers to run cities reeked of corruption from the start. I mean, the United States installs emergency managers in other countries all the time—they’re called
dictators.

But now the Nerd hit 11 on the psychopath dial. That is, he apparently slept at night knowing 100,000 of his constituents, sometimes referred to as people, were poisoned.

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This officially transcends partisanship and moves into the category of whether or not he should face prison time.

Here’s the synopsis: about two years ago, Flint’s emergency manager changed their water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money.

Citizens began complaining that the water tasted putrid and—all of a sudden—was brown. Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) tests resulted in no contamination and citizens were told to not worry about it. Private tests, however, showed extensive contamination with lead, chlorine and dangerous bacteria. The pollutants in the Flint River (Let me hear ya say Pure Michigan!) eroded the pipes and the results were, essentially, a mass poisoning.

Emails obtained by a Virginia Tech professor show a line from the MDEQ to the governor. One particular email shows Snyder’s chief of staff expressing frustration about the “water issue in Flint.” That was six months ago.

So before you stop reading because another bleeding heart liberal decided his opinion mattered, consider what consequences you, dear reader, would like for me to face now that I’ve laced your drink with harmful levels of lead, chlorine or bacteria. Sure, this is hypothetical (that you know), but it serves its purpose.

I, an average citizen, not a millionaire governor, spiked your water with lead.

What do you do?

Or rather, I didn’t physically do it, but I knew about it. What do you do? Hopefully seek charges against me, who just turned to 11 on the proverbial
psychopath dial.

If you’re still unconvinced, let’s consider what I just did to your body: Permanent brain damage. Your body is likely to stop growing.

Your faculties for anger and impulse control are eroded like the pipes in Flint. New research published in the National Library of Medicine shows that 0.2 micrograms of lead equal one point lost in IQ in teenagers.

Yours has 1200 times that. You’ve started breaking out in rashes. Your hair is falling out. Ever hear of jaundice?

Well, now you have.

How do you feel? Multiply that by thousands, forgetting that the lead I just gave you might stunt your faculties to think in the abstract, and now you have a very small glimpse of what it feels like to live in Flint right now. I should probably serve time,
right?

Now, do you think
Snyder will?

The counter-argument here, of course, is that Snyder didn’t know about the problem until recently, then took steps to address it. Which is patently false, according to the emails. But who really thinks he’ll
face prosecution? The reality is that there are two different justice systems: one for the powerful and one for the rest of us. Because if I knew about the poisoning of one human being and did nothing, I would face decades in prison. Or if I, like the Michigan government did, sent ambivalent warnings to the house of that individual, which essentially said “You’re fine so long as you were already healthy,” and used that as an alibi, I would be mocked
in court.

So it’s not actually hyperbolic to say Snyder should be indicted on corruption, malfeasance, assault, whatever it takes to make sure he spends years in prison for what he did.

But that’s just not how I see this rodeo going down.

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