Yesterday was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. I would say that I am a day late with this blog post but I won’t. I attended Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in Flint, Michigan. Therefore, EVERYDAY is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to Me.
I entered every essay contest I found about in grades K-12. I won a couple of them. I was even asked to read one of my essays during the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration at my school in 6th grade. I have never been camera-shy. So speaking in front of the standing room only audience in the school’s gymnasium didn’t bother me one bit.
The best moment over the years was meeting Dr. King’s daughter, Yolanda. She delivered the keynote address at a luncheon at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan in January 1991. Yolanda King’s voice was loud, powerful, and soulful.
Lunch took place immediately after. My mother and I were very excited to have sat at the same table as Yolanda during lunch. Yolanda had such a beautiful smile and talked to everyone seated at the table while we were eating.
When I told Yolanda my name (La Cracha pronounced Lacrisha), she smiled and said my name was beautiful. She also told me how pretty I was. After I thanked her, I turned and looked at my mother who was standing right behind me. Her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. I am sure mine did the same!
To be honest, I wasn’t going to post anything about M.L. King Day. I was looking through some old pictures a few hours ago and came across the one above. Besides my mother and siblings, no one else has seen this picture. Until now.
Yolanda King transitioned into Heaven, but she will always be one of the greatest women I have ever met.
WHAT? REALLY? That was all I could say as I drove past the above sign, located at an apartment complex in Flint Township, Michigan, a suburban area located just outside the city of Flint. I am a resident of Flint Township and I found the sign to be of poor taste, as if the city is under quarantine.
The apartment complex is located near the high school and across the street from a prominent subdivision. The sign is huge, an eyesore. Flint Township is an area of demand, so there is no need for this type of gimmick.
But I blame the media for the Flint water crisis hype. People are not understanding what is really going on. Yes the city of Flint, Michigan stopped using Detroit’s water and switched to the Flint River. But lead is not in the water. It is in the infrastructure, and the city failed to properly filter the water from the river.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, every residence in the city does not have brown and foul-smelling water. It depends on the age of the pipes. I know of a home in the city whose water was tested for lead. The levels fell within the normal threshold, 0.01 and 0.03. The couple lives in a section of the city that has newer buildings.
Please stop giving into all the gimmicks and misrepresentation.
I had intended on keeping my blogs free of any mention of the current scandal in my hometown, Flint, Michigan. But after spending countless hours reading and watching the news, and skimming over hundreds of comments and political cartoons, I decided to pull out my soapbox and give my two cents worth of input on the Flint Water Crisis.
Although I currently reside outside the city, I still knew that problems would arise with Flint’s water supply before the switch from Detroit to the Flint River took place. That’s because I am a Flintstone.
I was born and raised in the city of Flint, Michigan. I grew up on Green St., Edgewood Ave., and Birchcrest Dr. I attended M.L. King Elementary, Longfellow Middle, and Northern High schools. Therefore I know what contaminants are in the Flint River. I know what has been pulled out of it, and what’s probably still in there. Improperly treated, contaminated water flowing through aging pipes will of course produce elevated levels of more than just lead.
Donations are pouring into the city by the masses. I don’t care whether you are a celebrity or lesser known group or individual, I am beyond grateful for your monetary and water donations, and for your prayers and support.
A few days ago I read an article about how Bill Ballenger, a Flint native and Michigan political analyst, has come under fire for his opinions. It’s a shame that you are criticized for having your own say, instead of following the popular crowd or opinion. Well you might as well put me in the same boat as Ballenger because I have my own opinions formed and some of them are in agreement with his.
I find it disturbing that Flint is being misrepresented. I have read so many articles and comments, both containing stereotypes and satire, that it’s sickening. I saw the following cartoon online a few days ago.
That image pissed me the fuck off. I rarely use profanity, so you know I’m furious.
Take it from me, an African-American female born and raised in Flint, Michigan. This water scandal is NOT a RACIAL attack. The media are brainwashing you into thinking the city is nothing more than a poor, black community and that is bullshit.
The news only show the lower-income sections of the city, depicting it as a mini third world country. And I noticed they’ve been focusing heavily on the African-Americans. Well, there’s more than just black people living in the city with low incomes. The east side of Flint is heavily populated with low-income white people.
Not all residents of Flint are poverty-stricken. There are still middle-income residents and neighborhoods in the city, but the news won’t show you those parts of the city. I have yet to see footage of the College Cultural neighborhood, or the Miller Road mansions.
Not everyone in the city has dangerous levels of lead in their water. There are homes with levels that are within the normal threshold, especially if their pipes are updated.
Not everyone’s tap water is coming out brown and foul-smelling either. My mother lives in the city and her water has never been brown or odorous. She moved to the other side of the city at the end of 2014 and the water in her current home is okay as well. It all depends on the age of the pipes.
The city of Flint, Michigan is home to several prominent structures such as:
Mott Community College
Baker College – Flint Campus
University of Michigan – Flint Campus
Flint Cultural Centerincluding the Longway Planetarium. It was renovated last year, and it is the largest planetarium in Michigan. It’s new projection system is the first of its kind in the United States and it is breathtaking.
McLaren Regional Medical Center
Hurley Medical Center (I work in the ER), the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center
As I step down from my soapbox, I would like to say that I hope this scandal serves as a wake-up call to all non-voters, no matter where you live. I always stress how important it is to vote because you’re helping to put these jokers in office by NOT voting.
If you DON’T exercise your right to VOTE, then you DON’T have a right to COMPLAIN.