Monday, April 25, 2016

Flint Water Crisis and Privilege

“Difference is not the problem; it is privilege and oppression based on difference.”
-       Allan G. Johnson.

 Throughout human history, the rich and powerful have used difference as a tool with which to protect and expand their privileges at the expense of the poor and powerless.  A recent example of this is eloquently stated in an article by Leonard Pitts Jr. regarding the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article73441967.html

Mr. Pitts correctly points out that had the water been contaminated in an upscale community there would not have been a crisis.  He states that he cannot imagine a similar situation arising where the average income is over $100,000 a year.  As he sees it, it is not merely a race issue – it is an economic issue “about how we treat the poor, the way we render them invisible.”

 I appreciate people like Mr. Pitts who keep the reading public informed about issues of social justice.  And even if I haven't their skill nor their audience, I will always seek ways that I can add my “stubborn ounces” to the scales of equity. 

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