UNITED STATES—Its epic on scale, and the attention that the city of Flint, Michigan is receiving in the midst of a water crisis is unlike anything I believe America has ever experienced. The city of Flint is dealing with a major water crisis so much to the point that the water is not safe to drink, it’s not safe to bathe in, it’s not safe to cook with, heck, and it might not even be safe to clean with. I cannot recall a time, when such an epidemic has crippled the United States.

Back in 2014, the city of Flint switched its water system from Detroit, to utilizing the Flint River which has been known to be polluted. While all the remnants of who knew what and when is still under investigation, the American public is pointing the finger at City leaders including Emergency Manager Darnell Earley and Governor Rick Snyder for placing the lives of children and many residents of Flint in harm’s way.

Being a native of Michigan, this strikes me at the core. Watching televised news reports of people crying out for help, and seeing children sick and even worse, knowing that their lives will FOREVER be changed because lead has been implemented into their bodies is horrid. Someone in the high ranks knew the level of danger that was evident by switching the water systems and now a price will have to be paid and it should be criminal. How could a governor allow such an action take place without testing that water on multiple occasions to ensure it was safe is beyond baffling to me? Yes, Rick Snyder you have made an epic mistake and I’m certain you’ve placed a nail in the coffin of any other political aspirations that you may have considered. If you think a chance at the presidency is in your horizon, forget it. While filters have been provided for residents to use to ensure clean water, not in a million years would I drink that water, heck I don’t think I could even consider living in the region for fears of health concerns. Not just for myself, but my children. Lead is so dangerous for kids because it halts developmental growth, I mean we’re talking about crippling effects to the body.

It is poisonous and can impact the nervous system in ways that people never expected. It can cause debilitating effects on the muscle tone in the body including impacting the fingers, wrists and ankles. High doses of lead can impact the brain and kidneys and can even lead to death. For kids, it impacts the mental capacity and has been linked to learning disabilities. We’re talking a major crisis here and many people in Michigan are livid by the outcome. What is worse, Flint is a city that is of a lower income so it raises the question of rather those in political power cared what transpired? I would hope that is not the case, but the fact that no one, and I MEAN NO ONE is taking accountability for what has transpired lets it be known that people are just focused on covering their own a**.

This has gotten so bad that President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in Flint, and even Governor Snyder has now called in the National Guard to assist with the situation to provide water to residents of the city. What was just a few weeks ago just a Michigan problem has become a national firestorm, with politicians Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders calling out Governor Snyder for allowing such a situation to arise?

Civil Rights leader Jesse Jackson visited the region over the weekend to address the issue at hand, not to mention celebrities like Cher taking to social media to voice her concerns about the water crisis. What I praise Cher for is not just talking the talk, but actually taking action because she is sending a massive shipment of water to the residents of Flint to help deal with the crisis.

President Obama arrived in Michigan on Wednesday to attend the NAIAS at Cobo Hall. I wonder if the president will take his travels to Flint. I sure hope so because it is a massive issue of concern that should be addressed. Guess what the same applies for Governor Snyder who has yet to come to Flint and address the people. Rather he wants to or not, he must because right now he is not looking to good in the political arena.

The Michigan Attorney General is now investigating the water crisis, and I expect the federal government to probe into the issue as well to find out who knew what and when they knew it and what actions were taken to address fixing the problem before it got worse. I mean if this issue was raised by residents in 2014, why the hell is it just being noted that in 2016 the issue as a major problem.

I mean 2 years, we’re talking about close to 2 years of people bathing, drinking and using water that was dangerous to their health. I mean seeing people and even worse kids with rashes over their bodies is just disheartening in more ways than I can imagine. If a crisis like this can take place in Flint, Michigan, what is to say such a crisis can’t take place at any city across the United States? We all know that lead is a dangerous element and many older homes have lead-based paint and other materials that are harmful to adults, but even more harmful to children. We see those commercials time and time again about water issues in third-world countries, but for most Americans to hear of such a crisis on American soil instills a level of fear.

Water is an essential human right in my opinion. Everyone should have access to clean water, rather you’re paying for it or not, and if you’re paying for water and being given contaminated water, shame on the government for allowing it to happen. There will be consequences for such antics, the big question we’re all waiting for is to find out all the parties involved and what was not done that should have been.