The water crisis in Flint has added to the discussion over discrimination and whether the needs of some communities are placed before others due to their ethnic makeup or political composition.
On MLK day, Hillary Clinton declared"we would be outraged if this happened to white kids, and we should be outraged that it's happening right now to black kids." And while there is an ongoing investigation to determine the causes of the Flint water crisis and those responsible, the implication of Clinton's remarks reinforce traditional notions that communities with the least amount of political clout are the most likely to be underserved and disenfranchised by the government.
Whatever the true cause of the disaster, there's no doubt that Flint doesn't carry much sway in the current Snyder Administration. Take for instance this chart showing the Governor's donations per-capita by city.
If you think of political contributions as an indicator of political capital, Flint ranks near the bottom. And of course it's hard to imagine a similar disaster taking place in a city like Birmingham, Northville or Snyder's home of Ann Arbor which gave many many times over what citizens of Flint or it's neighboring communities gave per capita.
It is also worthy of note that top cities backing Snyder give more to conservatives than to liberals. Here are the top recipients of Snyder's main strongholds.
This stands in stark contrast not only to Michigan's overall stance as a left-leaning state, but also to Flint specifically, which gave much less, and what it did give went mostly to liberal candidates and organizations.
So although the crisis is far from over and the culprits far from being identified, Flint warrants both a humanitarian and political response. In addition to prodiving assistance to the communities being impacted through charity, citizens should also invest in political causes to make sure politicians don't abandon Flint after the media spotlight fades - and that that it never happens again.
Now, a group called Flint Rising is proposing just that - by using Crowdpac's new campaigns tool that allows anyone to raise money simultaneously for political and humanitarian organizations. You can support them by clicking on the link below, or crowdfund change on your own.