Tag Archives: Michigan

Once Again Michigan Uses Voter Suppression Tactics

I stood in line a little over an hour to vote in yesterday’s Presidential Election 2016, and I can honestly tell you that voter suppression tactics in the battleground state of Michigan was in full force.  The powers that be worked their magic to try to discourage Michigan residents from voting.

Crowded polling sites.  There are four precincts at my polling site.  I vote at a church of a nice size but it is not large enough to hold a crowd we all know and expect on Election Day.  Some stood in line for a long time before realizing they were actually in the wrong line.  It was very crowded, and not only did voters threaten to leave, some actually left.  I am sure there was a poll supervisor somewhere in the mix, but said person was in dire need of assistance with crowd control.

It was so catastrophic at my polling site that I would have about-faced with a quickness,  and went home had I not been the strong person that I am.  I walked inside and had to ask several people whose line they were standing in just to find the line for my precinct.  There is no such thing as a straight line, by the way.  They all wrap around here, there, and everywhere.

Additional polling sites need to be put in place because it is ridiculous to have that many precincts in one room.  Did I mention that some sites has 5 precincts?

Some of the schools were closed yesterday, others remained open.  I am referring to schools that serve as polling sites.  I feel that all schools should be closed on Election Day and be used as polling sites.  The middle school and high school in my district both have two gyms.  Those are excellent polling sites.

By the way, schools that are polling sites and remain open on Election Day is dangerous, a safety issue.  You have hundreds, if not thousands, of strangers entering in and out of schools to vote.  But if I want to drop my kids lunch off at school on a random school day, I have to get buzzed in.

Not enough polling stations.  I noticed over the past few elections that my precinct always have the longest line on Election Day.  So it is upsetting to see that there were only seven polling stations per precinct.  I am sure you are wondering how I know all of this if the place was crowded.  Well that’s easy, I am an observant person.  Anyway, one of the election workers set up an additional polling station while I was in line.  Voters received their ballots and walked right past it because there was not a light attached to it.  It would have been difficult to read the ballot in the dimly lit room.

Older workers.  The poll workers are usually old.  Those lines moved so slow yesterday because all the workers were elderly, especially at my precinct.  It took the lady nearly forever to tear the bottom portion of the ballot off and you could hear voters sigh loudly.  My precinct always has the longest line so I knew in advance what I was in for when I saw the workers were all old.

One thing I was thankful for is the worker that greeted voters at the door.  He yelled out that you could just go over to your precinct if you already knew it.  He also handed out voter applications.  Receiving that application was a great time saver because it was already filled out by the time you got to the table.

Broken ballot machines.  The machines that you feed your ballot into kept breaking down at some polling sites.  Voters didn’t have a long wait time to vote, but they waited nearly an hour for the machine to accept their ballots after several tries.

No early voting.  I know a lady whose work shift begins at 8:00 a.m.  She showed up at her polling site when it opened at 7.  The line was moving slow and she was not allowed to move ahead.  She ended up leaving without voting so she wouldn’t be late for work.  There are a lot of registered voters that are unable to vote because their jobs are a good distance from their homes.  They drive at least an hour one-way to and from work.

Michigan does not offer early voting.  We have absentee voting but there are strict requirements.

I was voter #179 at precinct 7 in Flint Township, Michigan yesterday.  Michigan really needs to make the voting process easier to encourage registered Michigan voters to get out and vote instead of discouraging them.

But then again, Michigan is a battleground state.  Battleground means a place or situation of conflict.  I love challenges which explains why I love my battleground state of Michigan,  and I am always ready to tackle its’ wild and crazy voter suppression tactics.

 

Really?

FlintTownship

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.

My Two Cents Worth on Flint’s Water Crisis

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.

The Flint River flows behind my subdivision in Flint Township. It's pretty much in my backyard.
The Flint River flows behind my subdivision in Flint Township.

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.

Flint Water

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
  • Kettering University
  • University of Michigan – Flint Campus
  • Flint Cultural Center including 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.

*Drops mic and walks off*

Black Best Buy Worker Helped White Customer, Ignored Black Customer

 

bestbuy

I visited my local Best Buy store, located at G-3660 Miller Rd., Flint Township, Michigan in the afternoon on Sunday, December 21, 2014.  Out of all the years of visiting my favorite tech store, I encountered the worst customer service experience ever.

I went to Best Buy the day before and made a purchase, but I forgot to buy ink for my printer.  So on the 21st, I stood in line, in the computer area, to get a price check on the packs of HP ink I was holding.  The ink was on sale the day before on the store’s website.

There were two male Best Buy employees at both registers, one black, the other was white.  There was a white female customer being waited on by the black worker.  I was in line behind her.  The white employee couldn’t help anyone because his register was processing slowly.  Both workers were talking and laughing with the white female customer, while her significant other stood off to the side playing on his phone.  The black worker was skinnin’ and grinnin’ so hard, he could barely ring her up.  And the white employee held a brief a conversation with the customer in another language.

The white employee eventually left.  I was the only other person in line.  When the customer left, the black employee looked down and around as if he was looking for something.  Then that joker walked off WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING ME.  He didn’t even look up at me.  He started talking and laughing with other store employees, never once looking back at me.  Actually, none of them did.  An obvious case of discrimination.

A black male employee walked over to the group and exchanged words with them (I was unable to hear everything).  The black worker that left me hanging said (while looking around), “I’m going to help her.”  That son-of-a you-know-what pointed to a white female, and walked off to help her.

I told myself, “Ain’t that a bitch?  No the fuck he didn’t.”  I rarely use bad language, but this was a no bars hold situation.

I walked around the area to find someone to scan my items, but was unsuccessful.  I looked and saw a worker helping a customer at the same register.  As I headed back in that direction, the black employee looked right at me, turned, and walked off to help ANOTHER WHITE FEMALE CUSTOMER.  This time I said, “What the hell is going on?  Ain’t that a muthafuckin’ bitch?”

All I wanted was my HP 564 black, and multi-color pack of ink scanned for a price check.  But instead, I received discrimination at its’ finest.

Of course I tweeted about it, as soon as I left the store.

bestbuytweet1

Best Buy commented on my tweet.

bestbuytweet2

I responded.

bestbuytweet3

I didn’t get another response from Best Buy.

I returned to the store the next day to purchase the ink.  I only went because my kids needed it for their projects.  That joker was working, wearing a bow-tie looking like Orville Redenbacher.  I was still frustrated, so I turned down the nearest aisle so that I wouldn’t have to walk past him.  I could have looked at his badge for his name, but I didn’t want to.  I already remember how he looks.  I don’t want to remember his name.

It’s not just about black-and-white.  It’s about customer service.  And the service that I received was downright POOR.

Best Buy.  Flint, Michigan.  Discrimination.  One day before my birthday.