There is never just one thing wrong.
This is the great truth of everything. The connectedness of all the things that are wrong strangles even the most sincere and competent problem-solver. You can get one knot out of a silver necklace but twenty will drive you over the edge.
That’s the situation in Flint right now. There are so many layers of wrongness, going back decades and decades that untangling the current water crisis from everything else is impossible. It isn’t a stand alone event, it’s just an extraordinarily big knot in a necklace with thousands of intractable knots.
Likewise, going forward, remediating the impact of lead poisoning on Flint’s children who are already disadvantaged because of racism and poverty is a challenge of such complexity and gargantuan proportions that no one can even conceive of a plan.
So the people of Flint get a lot of bottled water. And the Governor of Michigan says he’s sorry and he’ll fix it and then hires a PR firm.
What would I tell the Governor of Michigan to do?
No one has asked, but if they did, this is what I’d tell the Governor of Michigan to do. Don’t look for excuses in all the things that are wrong. Fix the thing you know you broke. Right now.
One way to help the people of Flint is to donate to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund at FlintKids.org. This community effort was established to begin efforts right away to address the serious health consequences of lead poisoning for children. Please help if you can.