The New America, in progress

I’m certain this disaster has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the changing demographics of Flint, which has seen the Non-Hispanic Whites population fall from 70.1 percent of the population to 35.7 percent since 1970:

“The City of Flint has experienced a Manmade disaster,” said the city’s mayor Monday evening, as she declared a state of emergency over evidently staggering levels of lead in the city’s tap water. Mayor Karen M. Weaver has requested federal assistance to deal with the fallout from over a year’s worth of tainted water delivered to Flint residents and, allegedly, falsely declared safe by government officials.

In September, news broke that lead contamination was on the rise in Flint. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of the Hurley Medical Center concluded that since the water supply switched from the Detroit system to Flint River in April 2014, the number of infants and children with elevated levels of lead in their blood had doubled, from 2.1% to 4%. While the rise seems small, it is statistically significant. Even so, Attisha warned: “My research shows that lead levels have gone up. I cannot say it’s from the water. But that’s, you know, the thing that has happened.“

The World Health Organization says “lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”

The high levels of lead have been attributed to old pipes and plumbing, which researchers say rubs off more into Flint River water than it does other sources. Because the water itself is more corrosive than other supplies, it erodes the pipes it flows through, picking up lead along the way.

Flint River is one of the filthiest rivers in Michigan. Over the years, it has housed raw sewage, tires, old refrigerators — which residents have attempted to sift out — and lead. In spite of this, officials declared it safe to drink in April 2014, when they switched the supply to the tainted river.

The change was widely attributed to the city’s switch from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River under the leadership of the city’s previous mayor, Dayne Walling. The shift in supply was a result of failed procedures and negotiations to continue purchasing the water.

Shortly after the April switch, residents complained the water emitted a foul odor and was cloudy in appearance, but local and state officials insisted the water was safe. In spite of these assurances, in January 2015, MLive reported the State Department of Environmental Quality had “issued a notice of violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for maximum contaminant levels for trihalomethanes — or TTHM — a group of four chemicals that are formed as a byproduct of disinfecting water.”

These chemical byproducts are linked to cancer and other diseases, and presented a separate issue from the lead.

The water was so dirty that in October 2014, General Motors announced it would no longer use treated Flint River water at its engine plant out of fears it would cause corrosion.

It’s probably just Bad Luck. Or Evil Liberal policies, who are randomly adopted by various polities for No Reason At All. Perhaps they should consider importing some Magic Dirt to combat the bad juju in the water. Or sacrifice some albinos to appease the angry river gods.

Now consider the fact that the national US demographics have fallen to around 70 percent Non-Hispanic White already, then contemplate the 40-year projections.