AFRICANGLOBE – However right now inside America we are facing a tragedy in Flint, MI with lead poison contamination of the water. According to experts, the whole ordeal could have been avoided but was allowed to fester by city and state leadership.
In Flint, we too can charge genocide; the city is predominately Black and poor with a high rate of unemployment.
The poor Black and disenfranchised communities has suffered from lead poisoning over the years and the long term effects have been documented. One example was Freddie Gray who died in the hands of Baltimore Police sparking unrest and protests during 2015. Recent reports disclosed a high level of lead was found in his body. Mr. Gray is not the exception and according to a Black doctor I spoke to, the establishment has clear methods to eradicate most of the lead poisoning these communities.
The situation in Flint is not new and with a cursory glance at history, lessons can be drawn to help in the analysis of the crisis as a possible case for genocide.
Here are 6 questions and past actions in the U.S. that give precedent to why a charge of genocide in Flint is conceivable:
1) We should ask why isn’t the Federal Government working in conjunction with the state and city governments to relocate the people of Flint, MI as was done during the March 1979 nuclear meltdown at the Three Mile Island reactor in Pennsylvania, where citizens were relocated because of the danger of staying in the area.
2) The notorious acts of germ warfare against the indigenous people by European settlers here in North America such as the intentional spread of disease like small pox to weaken and kill Native Americans. It was a common method and was sent through small pox contaminated blankets.
3) Another note of history is the famed Tuskegee experiments where Black men were injected with syphilis and purposely denied treatment. This went on from 1932-1972 and was called the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” The study initially involved 600 Black men – 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease. The study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent.
4) Then there was the question of eugenics and forced sterilization of predominately Black women without their consent mainly in the Southern states. These were acts of genocide under laws such as the South Carolina Sterilization Bill passed into law in 1935.
5) In the case of criminal behavior and mass incarceration where America houses two million mostly Black inmates, maybe these should be tested for lead poisoning to see if it too is an underlining impact within their thinking.
6) We can encourage Black athletes and entertainers, especially those in Hollywood, to speak out and demand that the Federal government test young Black men in this country for the effects of long term lead poisoning, and test the drinking water in the cities across this country that are dominated by minorities.
The Flint, Michigan, lead poisoning issue is one of environmental corruption and racism among other important problems plaguing America. Black leadership is mostly pushed into discussions on civil rights, but this is about the life and death of a whole Nation of People that must be adequately addressed.
We want to know in straight words, what are the political positions on this from candidates vying to occupy the White House after this next national election? There may be many more Flints across America which gives us the right to say loud and clear that we charge genocide.
By: Akbar Muhammad