A Flint official suggested in May that the root cause of last year’s Flint water crisis was that black people refused to pay their water bills, according to a video obtained by a Michigan-based activist group.
“Flint has the same problems as Detroit — fucking niggers don’t pay their bills, believe me; I deal with them,” Phil Stair, a manager at the government-operated Genesee County Land Bank, reportedly said in a May 26 conversation with environmental activists. Stair, who is white, claimed that the city’s black residents’ failure to pay their bills caused price hikes, which ultimately prompted officials to switch Flint’ water supply.
From The Daily Caller
"Genesee County Land Bank is a government organization that manages foreclosures in the Michigan area.
Stair’s comments came shortly after Flint City Council members approved a one-year moratorium May 18 on liens after citizens protested the city’s threats to foreclose the homes of nearly 8,000 people affected by last year’s lead crisis. Many people have been directed to drink out of water bottles until the city’s pipelines are brought up to snuff.
Council President Kerry Nelson said he had received numerous calls to his office pleading for the move. Residents are refusing to pay the city’s high rates for water that could not be used without a filter. Stair’s statements suggest that there is some animosity between the city officials and the citizenry in the area.
Stair qualified his comments, telling activists during the sit-down chat that, “I don’t want to call them niggers, shit I just went to Myrtle Beach, 24 guys, and I was the only white guy; I got friends, I mean, there’s trash and there’s people that do this shit. They just don’t pay their bills. Well, Detroit, didn’t collect on their bills, so they charged everybody else, but- Flint- Flint had to pay their bill to Detroit.”
Genesse County Land Bank Executive Director Michele Wildman told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the bank accepted Stair resignation Monday morning shortly after the video surfaced. “We are deeply troubled by the offensive and inexcusable comments and apologize to the community for his words,” she added.
Michigan state officials have been struggling to get the small, mostly black town’s water system up and running after lead contaminated its water supply. High levels of lead are believed to be a contributing factor to the outbreak in Legionnaire’s disease.
Officials switched the small eastern Michigan city’s water supply from Lake Huron in 2015 to the Flint River in a bid to save money. They transferred the water source from the pricey Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) pipeline to the even more expensive Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). But the state applied the wrong regulations and standards for drinking water, which ultimately resulted in corroded pipes.
The scandal eventually came to a head after thousands of Flint citizens sued the federal government for failing to handle the city’s water problem. They claimed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to take the proper steps to ensure that state and local authorities were addressing the crisis. The defendants are seeking a civil action lawsuit for $722 million in damages.
There has been plenty of blame to spread around. Activists and regulators claim the bulk of responsibility for the debacle rests on local officials. Stair appeared to mirror that position.
“It was really a failure on the part of the Governor to step in,” he said of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s supposed failure to address the city’s water infrastructural problems before they became scandals.
Read Full Story At The Daily Caller