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Month: January 2017

#Flint: Lawsuit Seeks More Than $700,000,000 in Compensation From EPA For Flint Residents

More than 1,700 Flint residents are part of a class-action lawsuit that seeks more than $700 million in compensation from the US Environmental Protection Agency for personal and property damage allegedly caused during the water crisis.

From MLive:

The lawsuit, filed Monday, Jan. 30 in U.S. District Court, claims the EPA failed to follow agency mandates and directives after issues arose with the water and did not take emergency action until several months after it first became aware of trouble with the city’s water system.

The EPA has not yet responded to the lawsuit brought forth by former Flint resident Jan Burgess.

According to the lawsuit, an administrative claim for payment of $722.4 million in damages has been pending with the EPA since April 2016 and has neither been accepted nor denied by the agency.

The lawsuit charges the EPA with failure to take mandatory actions required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SWDA), failing to undertake a timely investigation and failing to warn the public of environmental risks to public health.

According to the lawsuit, the EPA was made aware of the issues with Flint’s water in October 2014 after the water source was switched from Detroit to the Flint River, but failed to take steps to make sure Michigan and Flint officials were taking appropriate action to protect the public. Because of this, the agency was in violation of section 1431 of the Safe Water Drinking Act.

From the EPA website:

SDWA section 1431, 42 U.S.C. §300i gives the EPA Administrator broad authority to act to protect the health of persons in situations where there may be an imminent and substantial endangerment. Specifically, section 1431 provides that, upon receipt of information that a contaminant that is present in or likely to enter a public water system or an underground source of drinking water, or there is a threatened or potential terrorist attack or other intentional act, that may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons, the EPA Administrator may take any action she deems necessary to protect human health.

According to MLive, EPA officials are also alleged to have violated the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows businesses, individuals, or government entities to claim monetary damages resulting from resulting from personal injury, property damage or economic loss caused by negligent or wrongful U.S. government actions.

The damages claimed in the lawsuit on behalf of the residents include physical injury, illness, lead poisoning, dermatological disorders, loss of hair, gastrointestinal disorders and damage to the property of homeowners.

Read more at MLive.

#EmmittTill: Woman Who Caused 14-year-old Boy To Be Brutally Murdered Says She Lied

The white woman from Mississippi whose accusations in 1955 that a 14-year-old black boy from Chicago had made verbal and physical advances toward her caused him to be brutally murdered admitted half a century later that she lied.

Emmitt Till’s murder was a catalyst for 20th century civil rights movement, and a Vanity Fair article reveals that in 2007, Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman whose husband was one of two men that murdered Till, admitted to Duke University senior research scholar Timothy Tyson “that she had fabricated the most sensational part of her testimony.”

“That part’s not true,” she told Tyson, about her claim that Till had made verbal and physical advances on her. As for the rest of what happened that evening in the country store, she said she couldn’t remember. (Carolyn is now 82, and her current whereabouts have been kept secret by her family.)

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White Fragility Leads to White Violence: Why Conversations About Race With White People Fall Apart

A piece I wrote for The Root earlier this week on the difficulty of having conversations about racism with white people.

“It just so happens that the political category of whiteness means nothing but ‘I am better than something else,’” he told me in a recent conversation on racism. “What whiteness means is that I’m not black and I’m not nonwhite, and therefore I deserve extra privileges.”

What those privileges mean is being above reproach and critique and being able to feel safe and comfortable in all spaces, wrapped within a bubble of whiteness. And because that hold on whiteness and white supremacy is so important, the unpleasant side effect of white fragility often rears its ugly head.

“What is important to remember about white fragility and white discomfort is that when white people are scared, people die,” Ciccariello-Maher said. He cited the example of Jordan Davis, who dared to sit in a car with music loudly playing as a white man was present.

Source: White Fragility Leads to White Violence: Why Conversations About Race With White People Fall Apart

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I’m starting to impress myself! Nowhere to go from here but up. I cannot fall back.

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