Flint Residents Tell Civil Rights Panel Of Fear, Distrust

By JEFF KAROUB, Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Half a century after a civil rights panel investigated Flint’s segregated housing, the commission held its first hearing Thursday into whether city residents again faced discrimination or racial bias — this time related to the city’s crisis over lead-tainted drinking water.

Dozens of Flint residents spoke before the Michigan Civil Rights Commission about their anger, fear and distrust, two years after the financially strapped city switched its water source while under state control to save money. Some residents in the largely minority city said the contamination wouldn’t have occurred in a wealthy, predominantly white community.

A mention of the previous investigation by the commission’s co-chairman resonated with Jonnie Faye Townsend, 52, who said she suffers from ulcers, diabetes and other problems. She suspects the water contributes to her health problems and has “psychologically tampered with me.”

“We have been and continue to be discriminated against — classism, ageism and systemic racism,” she said. “Fifty years of complaints … and no one cared enough to put a stop to this systemic racism. I know it can’t be done in one day but we have to do our best by (holding) conversations to resolve this.”

Flint is under a state of emergency …read more

Source:: Black America Web

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