When he’s not too busy praising Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly at the expense of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, documentary filmmaker and activist Michael Moore campaigns for his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Why? Because the city has endured an increasingly problematic water crisis, and many in the state have laid the blame on Governor Rick Snyder. And while Snyder and his colleagues in the Michigan senate and house have agreed to funnel millions in emergency funding to address the crisis, Michiganders like Moore think it’s too little, too late.
So much so that the 61-year-old director of Where to Invade Next wants everyone to stop sending bottled water and money to Flint and revolt against Snyder and those responsible instead. That’s because, despite how nice the individual gestures have been, Moore argues on his website that (1) all the bottles sent thus far won’t be enough, and (2) even the minimum requirement of bottled water cannot undo the significant health damage that has already been done.
100,000 bottles of water is enough for just one bottle per person— in other words, just enough to cover brushing one’s teeth for one day. You would have to send 200 bottles a day, per person, to cover what the average American (weare Americans in Flint) needs each day. That’s 102,000 citizens times 200 bottles of water — which equals 20.4 million16oz. bottles of water per day, every day, for the next year or two until this problem is fixed (oh, and we’ll need to find a landfill in Flint big enough for all those hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles, thus degrading the local environment even further). Anybody want to pony up for that? Because THAT is the reality.
What does Moore want those who want to help to do instead? He wants them to “join us in a revolt” (not a literal one, of course) against the state government in Michigan and, more specifically, Gov. Snyder. For this to happen, Moore sets out five points of order that must come to fruition:
- “Demand the removal and arrest of Rick Snyder, the Governor of Michigan.” How? By signing Moore’s online petition, which has garnered more than 450,000 signatures as of this writing.
- “Make the State of Michigan pay for the disaster that the State of Michigan created.” Even though Snyder and the legislature set aside $28 million for relief efforts in Flint, Moore notes that the governor’s plea for President Obama to declare the city a federal disaster zone would make the federal government pay for the state government’s mess.
- “The Federal Government must then be placed in charge.” Yes, Moore argues, the state should pay for it all. However, they shouldn’t be put in charge of cleaning up the wreckage they caused in the first place.
- “Evacuate any and all Flint residents who want to leave now.” As unsafe as the city of Flint is, many of its residents are unable to leave on their own accord. So, Moore thinks the authorities should help anyone living in the disaster zone leave, but only if they want to leave.
- “For those who choose to stay in Flint, FEMA must create a temporary water system in each home.” Despite the incredibly unsafe environment the Flint Water Crisis has created, many with families and stronger, older ties to the area might not want to go. Whether their decision is a good one or not, Moore suggests FEMA provide the means for these people to stay.
The feasibility of Moore’s five points, especially his petition to have Snyder removed from office and arrested, remains to be seen. Heated rhetoric aside, the documentary filmmaker’s letter does shed some much-needed light on aspects of the crisis unknown to anyone who isn’t on the ground in Flint — other Michiganders, Americans and those willing to help.
(Via Michael Moore)