“There are lots of villains in this story. A disaster of this scale does not happen completely by accident. Many people stopped caring about Flint and Flint's kids. Many people looked the other way. People in power made tragic and terrible choices—then collectively and ineptly tried to cover up their mistakes. While charges have been brought against some of the individuals who were culpable, the real villains are harder to see.
Because the real villains live underneath the behavior, and drive it. The real villains are the ongoing effects of racism, inequality, greed, anti-intellectualism, and even laissez-faire neoliberal capitalism. These are powerful forces most of us don't notice, and don't want to. These villains poisoned Flint with policy—with decisions that were driven by lack of hope in government. If we stop believing that government can protect our public welfare and keep all children safe, not just the privileged ones, what do we have left? Who are we as a people, a society, a country, and a civilization?
For all the villains in this story, there are also everyday heroes: the people of Flint. Each one has a story to tell—100,000 stories in all— about months of pain, anger, betrayal, and trauma, along with incredible perseverance and bravery. Flint fought hard, never gave up, and turned a devastating crisis into a model of resilience.”
—Mona Hanna-Attisha, WHAT THE EYES DON’T SEE, A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City