Racism was one of the main factors that provoked the water crisis in Flint, found a damning report released by a task force appointed in 2015 by Governor Rick Snyder in order to determine the root causes of the Flint water crisis.
“Flint residents, who are majority Black or African-American and among the most impoverished of any metropolitan area in the United States, did not enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as that provided to other communities,” the report said without explicitly mentioning the word "racism."
While Snyder and other Republican lawmakers tried to blame the federal government and the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the task force also found that the main culprit was in fact the Michigan Department of Environment Quality, which is under Snyder's authority.
Despite evidence of water poisoning, from the accounts of experts and residents, the agency failed to inform state officials and even lied to the EPA, affirming the city was properly treating the water.
Because Snyders' administration relied on the agency, a new water system were imposed on Flint residents coming from Flint River instead of Detroit River, while their claims of water insalubrity were denied on the ground of its more expensive costs.
Nevertheless, the EPA also has its share of responsibility, for not intervening strongly enough until January, when it emitted an emergency order, added the five-member task force, which includes two doctors, a water expert and two former state lawmakers.
On Wednesday, Snyder declared that in his opinion, racism was not really at the core of the water crisis: "I don't know if you can conclude it was a racial issue by any means, but I don't know."
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