I care about Flint not because I can relate to it, and especially not because I empathize with the residents, for it is impossible to do so. I care about Flint because of how bad the situation is. Many of these kids will likely develop intellectual disabilities and behavioral problems, and have a much higher rate of ending up in jail. I can only try to imagine what it might be like to live in such a community.
The sad truth is that sometimes it takes the worst of the worst situations to really make me stop what I’m doing, and genuinely think about what it might be like to live in these communities. It takes videos of police shootings to get me upset and angry about institutional racism, not petty crime arrest statistics or unemployment rate numbers. Institutional racism is not something I grew up having to deal with, even though it was all around me.
So I go to these discussions, and I take these SLS courses, to learn how it got to be like this, how the things some… more
Yonatan Weinberg is an Israeli-American who grew up in a socio-economically mixed suburb of Atlanta, and developed an interest in social issues and causes by listening to his parents discuss Israeli affairs at the dinner table. He first recognized issues of racial disparity in high school when he realized that although his school was racially diverse, the majority of students in his AP classes were white. Yonatan is currently a student in both SLS Core courses this semester, learning to approach sustainability from both a systems perspective and a community perspective. He plans to incorporate sustainability in his studies at Tech and in his future career.
I care about Flint not because I can relate to it, and especially not because I empathize with the residents, for it is impossible to do so. I care about Flint because of how bad the situation is. Many of these kids will likely develop intellectual disabilities and behavioral problems, and have a much higher… more
Americans joke about a lot of first world problems, but in Flint, Michigan the issue of unclean water is no laughing matter. Often we hear about programs and innovations to get clean water to developing countries, but not to an established city in America’s heartland.
Flint. Where children have been drinking contaminated water under the negligence of the city.
Flint. Where children are consuming a resource that makes up 70 percent of their bodies.
Flint. Where elders and parents, children and babies have been dosed with remnants of lead that will affect the state of their health for the rest of their lives.
Every time I wash my dishes, drink a glass of water, rinse my fruit, or eat a piece of ice, I think about those kids in Michigan. Every time a mother boils a pot of spaghetti, I think about the poison that will be leeched into their meal. It’s relentless. To think that every time that you wash your hands or take a shower you are being poisoned… more