Michael Moore visited his hometown of Flint and helped to draw the national attention that this sorry situation deserves. As readers of this blog know, Governor Rick Snyder got a law passed allowing him to appoint emergency managers to take over cities and school districts that were in financial distress. The voters overturned the law. The legislature and the governor re-created it through some devious maneuver, giving Snyder the power to override democracy whenever he chooses.


Snyder’s EM for Flint was Darnell Earley. He decided to save money by cutting off the supply of safe water from Detroit and to have the residents use Flint River water instead. There are high concentrations of lead and other pollutants in the Flint River, and 10 people have died of Legionnaire’s Disease. Untold numbers of children may have suffered lead poisoning, which can cause irreversible brain damage.


This series of events is shocking. It is criminal. Governor Snyder should resign, as should all of his emergency managers. He should be charged with criminal neglect and tried for endangering the lives of the people of Flint by action and by negligence. An elected mayor would never had risked the health and safety of Flint’s citizens.


Of course, Darnell Earley is now in charge of the Detroit public schools. We should fear for the children.


And on Wednesday, Gov. Rick Snyder announced that the Flint area saw a spike in Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, around the time the city switched its water source — a spike in illness that proved fatal for 10 people. Officials did not confirm the water switch had to do with the spike, but a drinking water expert has said there was very likely a connection.


The situation has drawn rebukes from Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has said there is “no excuse” for the crisis, and from Bernie Sanders, who had similar statements and said Flint residents “deserve more than an apology.”


In response to the intense criticism, Snyder said at a news conference Wednesday: “We’re taking every action within reason, and going beyond reason to address this,” he said. He also said, “This is something you wish that never happened, and let’s see that it never happens again in the state of Michigan.”


At the protest on Saturday, Moore also pinned the city’s water conditions on governmental neglect because of the city’s income level and racial makeup.


“They would never do this to West Bloomfield,” he said. “They would never do this to Ann Arbor. They would never do this to Farmington Hills. Let’s call this what it is. It’s not just a water crisis. It’s a racial crisis. It’s a poverty crisis… That’s what created this.”