Flint, Michigan’s water is contaminated with lead. It’s an environmental, political and personal calamity. So where does Hillary Clinton go first? She casts it a racial issue.
“We’ve had a city in the United States of America where the population which is poor in many ways, and majority African-American has been drinking and bathing in lead contaminated water and the governor of that state acted as though he didn’t really care,” said a splenetic Clinton at a January 17 debate.
And of course that liberal bastion, the New York Times, jumped on the bandwagon, noting that the majority of Flint’s residents are black and many are poor. “If Flint were rich and mostly white, would Michigan’s state government have responded more quickly and aggressively to complaints about its lead-polluted water?” the paper said.
It’s abundantly clear that Flint’s water situation is a result of failure at all levels of government, local, state and federal.
It’s equally clear that the economic catastrophe that is Flint, with its debt, high poverty rate, crime and depopulation, is the result of years of negligence by incompetent politicians.
But the left, by framing the current water controversy as a divisive civil rights issue instead, is embracing a long-standing pattern of exacerbating division to secure and maintain political power.
The mean-spirited racism charge makes reaching solutions harder while serving to distract the target audience from thinking about larger issues. As Christopher Lasch put it, if the commitment is to fomenting division, rather than to finding common ground, “…society dissolves into nothing more than contending factions, as the Founding Fathers of America understood so well–a war of all against all.”
America is being threatened from within by this conscious effort to carve up the electorate into antagonistic special interest groups every much as it is being threatened from without by religious zealots.