2021-10-18 11:16:05

“Racism Plays Major Part”: Like in Flint, Lead Pipes Leave Benton Harbor, Michigan, with Toxic Water

Residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, are calling for immediate action on replacing the city’s lead pipes, which have endangered their drinking water. Since 2018, tap water in the predominantly Black city has contained lead levels up to 60 times the federal limit.

Yet government officials have only addressed the toxic contamination as an urgent crisis in recent days.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who exposed a similar water crisis in the neighboring city of Flint, sees parallels between the two emergencies. “Every day that goes by when there is lead in the water is one day too long for the children of Benton Harbor,” she says.

Reverend Edward Pinkney, president of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council, emphasizes that racism plays a major role in the government’s slow response. He says, “Since it’s Benton Harbor, a Black city, they figure this can continue.”

Democracy Now! produces a daily, global, independent news hour hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. Our reporting includes breaking daily news headlines and in-depth interviews with people on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues. 

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Amy Goodman Benton Harbor Benton Harbor Community Water Council Democracy Now! Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha Drinking Water Flint Free Speech TV Government Lead Lead Pipes Michigan Reverend Edward Pinkney Water Crisis

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