A senior Flint government official has been caught on film blaming the Flint water crisis on black people refusing to pay their water bills, according to footage obtained by a Michigan-based activist group.
“Flint has the same problems as Detroit — fucking niggers don’t pay their bills, believe me; I deal with them,” Phil Stair, a manager at the government-operated Genesee County Land Bank, said in a May 26 conversation with environmental activists.
Stair, who is white, claimed that the city’s black residents’ failure to pay their bills caused price hikes, which ultimately prompted officials to switch Flint’ water supply to the toxic Flint River water – to which officials had failed to apply corrosion inhibitors.
Almost immediately, Flint residents complained about the water’s color, taste and odor. In the following months, numerous water issues arose, with little to no governmental action to fix them.
Daily Caller reports: Stair’s comments came shortly after Flint City Council members approved a one-year moratorium May 18 on liens after citizens protested the city’s threats to foreclose the homes of nearly 8,000 people affected by last year’s lead crisis. Many people have been directed to drink out of water bottles until the city’s pipelines are brought up to scratch.
Council President Kerry Nelson said he had received numerous calls to his office pleading for the move. Residents are refusing to pay the city’s high rates for water that could not be used without a filter. Stair’s statements suggest that there is some animosity between the city officials and the citizenry in the area.
Truth Against The Machine reports: Stair did go on to try and clarify: “I don’t want to call them ni**ers, shit I just went to Myrtle Beach, 24 guys, and I was the only white guy; I got friends, I mean, there’s trash and there’s people that do this shit. They just don’t pay their bills. Well, Detroit, didn’t collect on their bills, so they charged everybody else, but- Flint- Flint had to pay their bill to Detroit.”
Stair, a government employee through the Land Bank, which, according to its website, is a “non-profit government organization,” went on to explain to the activists his theory on the water crisis—one that’s been parroted by Governor Snyder and many other state and local officials.
“Detroit was charging all its customers for the cost—they weren’t collecting from their residents, they were shutting water off, they were letting bills go forever, they were charging everybody else; Flint has the same problems as Detroit—fucking ni**ers don’t pay their bills, believe me, I deal with them.”
Flint, which is 56 percent African American, was forced to switch to the toxic Flint River because of Detroit’s price hikes, according to Stair.
“Now, they need a 3-year extension on their contract to get on the new pipeline [Karegnondi Water Authority] they’re building to Flint. Detroit said no, we want a 20-year agreement. Flint said no we’re building the new system or what1ever, and they jacked em, they jacked the price up and they [Flint] couldn’t afford to pay it, so they said, well, we gotta go back to what we did in 1978.”
He continued: “They [Flint] had a water plant, we’ll take the [water] out of the Flint River and the reservoirs—there’s two reservoirs upstream—and we’ll just treat the water, because they had to maintain that plant because Detroit was supposed to have a second source- unless you have a backup you gotta- they had to maintain their plants. So they used to maintain their water plant, they treated their water, tested it, said it was good, and they’d dump it back in the river, because they couldn’t mix it with the Detroit water.”
Stair’s version of events doesn’t match previous records and reporting, which show Flint’s decision to switch off of Detroit’s water system—made by the unelected Emergency Manager appointed by Governor Rick Snyder—was not about saving money in the face of Detroit price-gouging.
Emails from before the 2014 water switch showed Detroit’s water and sewage department bending over backwards to retain Flint as a customer; after all, Flint was DWAS’s biggest customer other than the city of Detroit.