For the last three years, Benton Harbor has seen a steady increase in the amount of lead in the city’s tap water. The lead levels have now hit a peak, and residents are asked to not use the contaminated water because it could be dangerous.
Mehdi Hasan, an MSNBC commentator and host of The Mehdi Hasan Show, had a lot to say about Benton Harbor’s water crisis and did not hold back on addressing the elephant in the room — race.
“Imagine having to question whether you can drink, cook, or bathe with your tap water for five years, in a country where the billionaires just added $1.8 trillion to their collective wealth since the start of the pandemic,” Hasan said in the seven-minute segment. “But places like Benton Harbor are poor, their cities don’t have the resources to fix themselves, and the people who live there aren’t white, mostly.”
Benton Harbor, like Flint, is a city with a majority Black population, with 80% of its residents identifying as such. For comparison, St. Joseph, a city that neighbors Benton Harbor and has no issue with its pipes, is 84% white.In September, Governor Whitmer asked for $20 million to replace the lead pipes in Benton Harbor. Michigan’s GOP-controlled legislature only approved $10 million.
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In Benton Harbor, MI lead levels in water dwarf those in Flint yet, for years, government action has been slow.— The Mehdi Hasan Show (@MehdiHasanShow) October 13, 2021
“This is what it looks like when the toxic blend of political dysfunction, systemic inequalities and good old fashioned racism boil to the surface,” says @mehdirhasan pic.twitter.com/ZPJnpccF5E