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Moore writes: "This week it was revealed that at least 10 people in Flint have now been killed by the actions of the Governor of Michigan."

Filmmaker Michael Moore addresses press in Flint, Michigan. (photo: Detroit D-Free Press)
Filmmaker Michael Moore addresses press in Flint, Michigan. (photo: Detroit D-Free Press)

ALSO SEE: Jesse Jackson Says Flint Residents ‘Betrayed' by Water Crisis

President Obama, Please Come to Flint

By Michael Moore, Michael Moore's Blog

18 January 16


ear President Obama,

I am writing this to you from the place where I was born -- Flint, Michigan. Please consider this personal appeal from me and the 102,000 citizens of the city of Flint who have been poisoned -- not by a mistake, not by a natural disaster, but by a governor and his administration who, to "cut costs," took over the city of Flint from its duly elected leaders, unhooked the city from its fresh water supply of Lake Huron, and then made the people drink the toxic water from the Flint River. This was nearly two years ago.

This week it was revealed that at least 10 people in Flint have now been killed by these premeditated actions of the Governor of Michigan. This governor, Rick Snyder, nullified the democratic election of this mostly African-American city -- where 41% of the people live below the "official" poverty line -- and replaced the elected Mayor and city council with a crony who was instructed to take all his orders from the governor's office.

One of those orders from the State of Michigan was this: "It costs too much money to supply Flint with clean drinking water from Lake Huron (the 3rd largest body of fresh water in the world). We can save a lot of money doing this differently. So unhook the city from that source and let them drink the water known as 'General Motors' Sewer' -- the Flint River."

And, lo and behold, the Governor was right. It was a lot cheaper! Fifteen million dollars cheaper! And for saving all that money, it is now estimated that to repair the damaged water system in Flint, it will cost at least $1.5 billion. Someone had suggested to the governor, before he did this, that the river contained many toxins. He ignored that. One of his own people said maybe they should add a safe-to-drink "corrosive protector" to the water so that the toxins in said water wouldn't leach the lead off the aging water pipe infrastructure and into the drinking water. "How much will that cost?" asked the governor's office.

"Just $100 a day for only 3 months," the governor was told. Oh, $100 a day?! THAT'S TOO MUCH!, came the reply from the governor. Don't worry about the lead. "Lead is a seasonal thing," he would later explain to the public. "Heck, there's lead in everything!" Just let them drink the river water.

This is a city full of poor black people, a city where half the population (including myself) found a way to escape the misery and the madness (the crime rate is so bad, we've lead the country in murders for most years -- and just to get an idea of what that means, if NYC had the same murder rate as Flint last year, over 4,000 New Yorkers would have been killed, instead of the 340 who actually were).

My city has been pummeled by General Motors, Wall Street and the State and Federal governments. It's no surprise that the Republicans who control our State Capitol in Michigan didn't have to worry about any push-back from the residents of Flint because, to them, that's just a bunch of eviscerated black people who have absolutely no power, "don't vote for us any way," and have NO means to fight back.

And now, after every single child in Flint has been poisoned with lead-filled water that the State knew a year ago was in that water, we learn that the governor's office sought to cover it up, hiding it not just from the defenseless African Americans they secretly fear and despise, but also hiding it from YOU and the federal government! (Link)

And, as if things couldn't get any worse, the news of 87 people with Legionnaires Disease happened this week. Ten Flint residents have been KILLED by this disease which is caused by tainted water. Not by gun violence, not in Afghanistan, but by an act of racism and violence perpetrated by the -- I'm sorry to say -- white, Republican governor of Michigan who knew months ago the water was toxic.

All fingers from the doctors and scientists point to the filthy, toxic Flint River as the cause of this Legionnaires Disease outbreak. 10 human souls deceased. In an average year, Flint already had an astounding 8 cases (and rarely a death) of people contracting Legionnaires Disease. Since the citizens of Flint were forced to use the water from the Flint River, EIGHTY-SEVEN CASES OF LEGIONNAIRES DISEASE have happened! AND TEN DEATHS! And the number is expected to rise.

President Obama -- the people of Flint are crying out to you for help. Our Congressman, Dan Kildee, has called the federal government for assistance. But he's been told that it's a "State issue" and that "the State of Michigan has to be the one asking the feds for the help."

NO! The STATE is the one who CAUSED THIS! That's like asking the fox if he could repair the chicken coop. No, Mr. President, we need YOUR help -- TODAY. 100,000 people have no water to drink, to cook with or to bathe in.

This week, you are coming to Michigan to attend the Detroit Auto Show. We implore you to come to Flint, less than an hour's drive north of Detroit. Do not ignore this tragedy taking place every day. This may be Gov. Snyder's Katrina, but it will become your Bush-Flying-Over-New Orleans Moment if you come to Michigan and then just fly away. I know you don't want that image of flying over us as you "fake-sad" look down on Flint just as Bush did in that never-to-be-forgotten photo-op over New Orleans. I know you are going to come to the rescue here in Flint. I can't imagine any other scenario.

We need:

  1. The CDC here at once to truly assess all of the disease and damage that has been forced upon the people of Flint.

  2. FEMA has to supply large water containers in every home in Flint -- and they must be filled by water trucks until the new infrastructure is resolved.

  3. The EPA must take over matters from the State (can the governor be removed and replaced like he did to the mayor of Flint?). Immediately.

  4. You must send in the Army Corps of Engineers to build that new water infrastructure. Otherwise, you might as well just evacuate all the people from Flint and move them to a white city that has clean drinking water -- and where this would never happen.

President Obama, I'm counting on you to give us a response. Can we expect to see you, in Flint, in the next few days?

Michael Moore
Flint native


P.S. President Obama, thank you for responding so quickly to us in Flint. To have you declare a Federal State of Emergency for Flint after our letter to you -- and to do it while we were all gathering for our rally in Flint today -- that was a big boost of hope to everyone present.

Until, that is, we all got home and actually read your Order.

It turns out you are sending only $5 million in aid -- and you are not sending it to Flint, you are sending it to the corrupt Governor Snyder who triggered the poisoning of Flint in the first place! Your Order says you're invoking FEMA -- and ONLY FEMA's --help for just 90 days, and that all FEMA is to do is ship in bottles of water and filters. No EPA being sent to Flint. No CDC. No Army Corps of Engineers! Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea of the catastrophe that has taken place here? The entire water infrastructure to every single home in Flint has been ruined. 102,000 people have been knowingly poisoned by a host of toxins -- including every single child who now has some level of irreversible brain damage. You read that right - every single child.

You need to strengthen and expand your emergency order to fix this disaster, and you need to come to Flint after you look at all the bright, shiny new cars at the Detroit Auto Show on Wednesday. Mr. Obama, if not to Flint, then where? your social media marketing partner


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+123 # angelescrest 2016-01-18 22:48
Thank goodness Flint has Michael Moore. Don't let up, Michael!!!
What an f-ing crime!
+84 # Doc Mary 2016-01-19 00:22
And Rachel Maddow. She and the local reporters who brought it to her attention should get a bit of credit, too.

I find this so mindbogglingly incompetent (as in the banality of evil) that I don't know what to say. We knew what lead would do to children decades ago. It's not like it's a secret.

When landlords have failed to get leaded paint out of the homes of tenants with small children; when leaded paint has fallen off public bridges and contaminated homes - ignorance was no excuse (and perhaps not true anyway) - they had to pay up. How could the governor and his cronies not know this?

Then when caught - when it was impossible for any sane person to pretend he didn't know about the problem - they're STILL waffling.

You're quite right, Michael. Impeachment. Criminals. Trials. Jail.

And do whatever is possible to make up for the damage already done to those children.
+33 # sea7kenp 2016-01-19 07:58
Rachel Maddow is awesome!
+12 # bmiluski 2016-01-19 11:35
I agree sea7kenp....I'v e just started watching her and she is great. She is from where I get my news.
I used to watch PBS but ever since Liberty Media bought 67% of the News Hour shares, the news has become homogenized and not much better than the other news channels.
+27 # FIRSTNORN1 2016-01-19 08:33
Quoting angelescrest:
Thank goodness Flint has Michael Moore. Don't let up, Michael!!!
What an f-ing crime!

Well said - I can only add "God Bless Michael Moore".
I do not like to use the word, "evil", because I think it should only be used by intelligent (and unbiased) minds like Scott Peck who wrote a book called "People of the Lie"; however, I'll make an exception to my *normal policy* and say that as long as the Republican Party is willing to bring forth evil men like Gov. Snyder, we must confront the reality that we live in a *truly evil nation* where the hypocrisy of saying "God Bless America" when what we are thinking is *black lives don't matter - just send them back to Africa* is truly astounding.
+5 # Barbara K 2016-01-19 17:23
Thanks, I read your letter a few days ago and passed it on. I had also contacted Rachel by email a few weeks ago. I am a Michigan resident and was so appalled at what this crook of a governor has been doing to my once beautiful state. Having his crony start pumping the toxic water from the river is stunningly awful to do to the residents of Flint. Everyone in the state knows that river has been toxic for over 100 years!! I hope the people sue the livingdaylights out of the tbag governor, the tbag legislature, and the tbag crony the gov put in charge of Flint after he dismantled Flint's duly elected City Officials. This is not the first city he did that to, but it now has become a deadly stunt. Many will remember me writing of what is happening here in Michigan. The state also needs to be audited to see what Snyder has been wasting our money on.

+2 # Barbara K 2016-01-19 18:52

+75 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2016-01-18 23:40
Maybe the governor just want to kill off the blacks? Cruel as it sounds. The governor's actions are very much criminal in nature.
+28 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2016-01-19 00:19
"Maybe" is bloody unlikely.
+7 # bmiluski 2016-01-19 11:37
Quoting Eldon J. Bloedorn:
Maybe the governor just want to kill off the blacks? Cruel as it sounds. The governor's actions are very much criminal in nature.

That, Eldon would mean he gave the situation some thought. I don't think he really cared.
+4 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2016-01-19 23:55
Intelligence "is the ability to adapt to change."

Making a change from a fresh drinkable water supply to forcing citizens to drink water from a naturally occurring water way, river, that was transformed into an "industrial pollution discharge channel is very thoughtless indeed. The governor's decision was thoughtless. But, what he did by his thoughtlessness of consequences is very criminal.

I agree, he did not care.
+81 # Steve B 2016-01-18 23:41
How about a new slogan:

Guns don't kill people. Republicans do.

OK, too crude. We'll change that to certain Republican attitudes do. That the rule of gold should overrule the Golden Rule, for example. That's why Bernie's candidacy is so important. He's driving a wedge through the heartlessness by directly challenging pay to play government. Even awakening libertarians would jump on this wagon. I foresee a great "upwising" that leads to genuine political climate change. Meanwhile, I hope Obama shows up. Good going, Michael.
+55 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2016-01-19 00:18
No Steve B. You had it right the first time. Republicans kill people. All that talk about wanting to save every zygote is pious shit. Save zygotes but Black Lives Don't Matter!
+35 # pagrad 2016-01-19 07:12
The American voter still hasn’t learned;

When I first heard the NEWS story, I suspected that the Governor was a Republican.
Shure enough, the Governor is a Republican.
When a Republican Political Candidate gains office, they reduce funding, not just to education, because a poor education produces ‘cheap Labor’, but to gain a gullible political base.

Republican Political Party philosophy has been a failure for the last 100 years. Google it! The major economic depressions happened during GOP administrations . (1873, 1929, 2007)

No Republican Political Party candidate ever understood Economics.
If they did, they would not be Republican! They do not understand American History, either.

Most countries have outlawed the Nazi Party. In America, they have renamed it to the Republican Political Party.
+4 # Barbara K 2016-01-19 17:27
Not always. I did not, and many others did not vote for this government we were stuck with in Michigan, courtesy of the mass gerrymandering done here.

+61 # dotlady 2016-01-19 00:13
This is a terrible example of murder by cost-cutting. Bad decisions must be remedied and the people responsible for them must be removed from any position of power. Without fairness and social justice, we don't have anything here but a jungle.
+22 # Kwamined 2016-01-19 02:53
Snyder and his team must be prosecuted and preferably executed.
+23 # FIRSTNORN1 2016-01-19 08:52
Quoting Kwamined:
Snyder and his team must be prosecuted and preferably executed.

While I don't necessarily think that execution would be *cruel and unusual punishment* in this case, I do believe that a more appropriate punishment might be to be confined to a prison cell with a diet of bread and Flint River water until they pass away.
+1 # Barbara K 2016-01-19 17:29
Sadly, we do not have the Death Penalty in Michigan.

+47 # Holmes 2016-01-19 03:14
In 20 years time, commentators will ask why so much violence in the young adults. Lead exposure affects the brains of children and there is a rise in anti social violence as they reach adulthood. There has been a general decline in violence despite what the papers/MSM and some public officials banging the 'Law and Order Drum' to get re elected.

The decline in the use of lead paint and leaded fuels is part of the cause of the reduction in violence.

Put the administration in jail for murder after bankrupting them to pay damages for for damage to the citizens.
+18 # sea7kenp 2016-01-19 08:00
+32 # Shades of gray matter 2016-01-19 04:45
I assume the Right to Life crowd will storm Michigan from all 49 of the other states, bring help to Flint and hell to Lansing. Caribou Barbie is probably on the way now. Maybe they'll bring their snipers, shooters, bombers, and arsonists to terrorize the red government in a blue state.
Is Mr. Moore leading and helping to fund a Recall of Gov. Snyder? That would be walking the walk, no? Does Snyder have an "email" problem? His Staffers? Maybe Michiganders will FINALLY vote, preferably absentee (it's EASY there)in midterm elections, demand court ordered democratic districting? Where are Michigan's US Senators on this?
+18 # sea7kenp 2016-01-19 08:05
Moore specifically sent another missive, a week or so ago, asking that Governor Snyder be prosecuted, and shipped to prison. It made RSN.
+5 # Barbara K 2016-01-19 17:33
We, the residents of Michigan, held a recall and had more than enough signatures to recall him. However the tbag Secretary of State claimed the font was too small. It wasn't. But she turned them over to a tbag judge and we never saw them again. It should have been brought to a vote 6 years ago. Yes, it was that long ago. There has been so much crookedness in this state, it is like the mafia is running it.

+23 # davidh7426 2016-01-19 05:57
The governor of Michigan may wish to bare in mind that the people are getting angry, very very angry. And may, if pushed far enough take matters into their own hands.

America, with these acts, may well have reached a tipping point. Not a pleasant prospect in a country awash with guns.
+30 # torch and pitchfork 2016-01-19 06:37
Governor Snyder and his minions should be prosecuted in the same manner as the Chinese company that sold poison baby formula-- 3 death sentences, 3 life sentences, 3 sentences of 15 years.
+19 # indian weaver 2016-01-19 07:08
Is Flint in China? Sounds like it, considering the politicians' decisions. And getting away with it, no prosecution, no protection of citizens by feds / state - just take their money, period.
+4 # Karlus58 2016-01-19 09:55
Read the above comment mate! That's the correct response.
+10 # WhatNext? 2016-01-19 08:37
Michael, Send a letter directly to Michelle Obama. She may give a tad more of a damn about black children.
+12 # diamondmarge7 2016-01-19 08:53
Send a letter to BERNIE SANDERS. He will get something done.
-22 # turnoutthelights 2016-01-19 09:17
Yes send a letter to Bernie Sanders. He will get to a podium and scream and yell and flail his arms.
-6 # bmiluski 2016-01-19 11:40
My thoughts exactly turnoutthelight s. It was Hillary who brought up the situation in Flint, during the debate, not Bernie.
+6 # Pikewich 2016-01-19 21:04
So what? 99% of what she does is for her personal benefit. Bernie's yelling and ranting comes from a deep seated disgust with establishment politics, and I am with him on that
+12 # tedrey 2016-01-19 08:58
Contact your state and federal representatives . Impeachment and/or indictment at once.
+13 # Salus Populi 2016-01-19 09:36
All three of the Dem candidates for President should be making generic preemptive ads for the general election, featuring Flint and Gruppenführer Snyder and his minions, along the lines of

"Look past the promises of tax cuts that always flow to the über-wealthy. *This* is what happens when the Republicans take charge.

Don't be fooled again. Unless you're a member of the 1 per cent, you have everything to lose and nothing to gain by voting for a Republican.

Remember: Guns don't kill people. Republicans do."
+6 # jazzman633 2016-01-19 09:52
Hear, hear, Michael! It's "Roger and Me" all over again, but much worse. Flint -- once a center of automotive glory -- just can't seem to catch a break.
+5 # Madmedic 2016-01-19 10:22
For those who don't know in other places in the US, Flint and the area around it, from Bay City to Pontiac and suburban Detroit, then west to Brighton and Howell has been heavily racist for many decades, and it got far worse with the migration of poor Southern whites to the area to work in the auto plants prior to and during WWII.

Many of the native Michigander racists, as well as the later transplants have supported discrimination against blacks and latinos for their entire lives, in fact, many of them voted for the very Republicans that have been running the State of Michigan into the ground since the years of the Engler administration.

The current man made disaster in Flint couldn't make many of these racists any happier, since they largely deserted Flint, Saginaw, Midland, Bay City, etc. proper when the US auto industry began tanking in the 70's.

I seems to be poetic justice if there are non minorities in the Flint area who are suffering the ill effects of the poisonous water in Flint. Of course it's always sad when innocent children suffer, but many of those non minority white children's parents undoubtedly voted for and supported Govs. Engler & Snyder"s Fascist experiment in Michigan, as long as it was the poor minority folks in Flint, Benton Harbor, Detroit, etc. who had their democratic rights to self government stripped away (as well as any actual wealth or assets still remaining in their communities). What goes around often truly does come around.
+7 # Madmedic 2016-01-19 11:02
On a side note, again, for those outside of Michigan who don't know much about Flint, Flint was not only where autos were assembled, but it was also the location where many of the individual components were made, including those made at the enormous Flint AC Delco plant. Delco car batteries and many, if not all electrical components made by them contained, you guessed it, LEAD, ACID and/or COPPER. Where did the runoff from those factories go? Again, it doesn't take a rocket scientist or environmental expert to know where Flint's toxic chemical brew comes from.

In the 1980's most of Flint's old auto manufacturing plants were demolished, opening the underlying soil to the rains and snows of central Michigan for the last 20 to 30 years. The run off from those exposed sites has been flowing into the local rivers and aquifer for decades.

This man made disaster is just another footnote in the long history of US industries' and the Republican party's rape of the US citizenry and our environment.

For an excellent expose of the State of Michigan's (as well as the US Government's)sl ow and erratic response to a nearby community's 15 year battle to get a totally contaminated former industrial site (St. Louis, Michigan) cleaned up, read Jane Keon's new book "Tombstone Town" (a city) "Left For Dead Marked With A Tombstone, a toxic Town Fights Back."
+3 # Shades of gray matter 2016-01-19 12:36
Inbreeding has left us Michiganders with but 1/2 of 1 finger on one hand. We have trouble reading because it's hard for us to point, unless it's at a scapegoat. And, we can only vote ONCE every 4 years, and only then about half the time. Thus, although an overwhelmingly blue state, we have DISGUSTING GOP governors and an incestuous (literally)Chri stian T-Party legislature. They literally "share" office space (desk tops..not computers) for conservatives to commit adultery on the taxpayers dime. We come up short all around, if you know what I mean, can barely give the finger, and are generally one and done, when it comes to (NOT) voting, and some other stuff. The Spartans are cool, though. Trojans don't fit us Michiganders.
+4 # Anarchist 23 2016-01-19 14:20
The REAL Terrorists
+4 # PeacefulGarden 2016-01-19 17:40
We need to bottle water from the Flint river for our community loving Federal and State Government Representatives and Senate to drink.

The bottle could be called "Flint Water, when you place money before community". Why, we could even have a catchy tune, a old style 70s pepsi kinda tv commercial.

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