NAACP president meets with Flint residents, leaders over water crisis

- The national  president of the NAACP traveled to Flint to meet with the people to talk about the current water crisis.

He believes they were ignored because the residents are mostly black and poor.

NAACP President Cornell William Brooks recently tweeted that environmental racism plus indifference equals lead in the water and blood.

On Tuesday Brooks met with Gov. Rick Snyder, who wants to rebuild trust in Flint. Brooks says there is only one way to do it.

"At the end of the day one of the best predictors of trust is performance," said Brooks. "Trust can be measured by the color, the smell and the quality and safety of the water coming out of the tap in Flint."

Right now there is little of it in Flint.

Brooks spoke with Snyder about the city's water crisis and talked economic development in Flint, residents having to pay for water they can't drink and how much the fix will cost.

"Given the magnitude of the crisis we can't expect $20 million to pay for this," Brooks said. "We know for a fact that to either replace the pipes or recoat the pipes, will cost well more than what's being discussed thus far."

The rendezvous followed the civil rights organization's public meeting where it laid out a 15-point plan to help remedy the environmental blunder.

Among other things the NAACP is calling for a repeal of the emergency manager law, installation of new water service lines and meaningful accountability for those responsible for the water crisis.

Six-year-old Charles Knox is just one of thousands of children in Flint that drank the city's lead tainted water.

He and his sister will be tested for elevated lead levels in their blood this week.

"Ever since the switch we have been noticing differences in his skin and colorization and rashes," said Charles' father. "We know that is a severe case that is going on."

Snyder is requesting expanded Medicaid coverage for Flint residents under the age of 21. 

That will help, but Mayor Karen Weaver says everything included federal funding, hinges on how the state will shoulder much of the financial burden for the water crisis.

"The state has to step up," Weaver said. "The state has money and the state has said they're responsible. So the state has to step up at which point the federal government will step in and do more."

Attorney General Bill Schuette is conducting an investigation of the Flint water crisis, but the NAACP is calling on the US Department of Justice to look into what went on there.
 

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