Ex-NBA player and former Detroit Pistons assistant coach Rasheed Wallace has a message for anybody who thinks the humanitarian crisis in Flint is over.
"Don’t believe the hype that you hear about the water being fixed," Wallace wrote in a new essay via The Players’ Tribune. "That water’s not fixed. This shit ain’t over."
Much of what Wallace writes echoes the stories of ongoing health problems and lack of government support told by those living with contaminated water. He also describes visits he made to support people in Flint over the past year, including donating and distributing a moving truck’s worth of bottled water with the help of his family and friends.
In one passage, Wallace describes an interaction he, fellow NBA vet and Flint native Morris "Mo" Peterson and several government employees had at a restaurant in Flint:
Mo and I spent a lot of time during dinner talking about Flint, how angry we were at the situation and what more we could do to help. Later on in the meal, we were approached by the people at the table behind us. They were from some governmental agency, and had overheard our conversation. I asked them what they were doing in Flint, and they said they were surveying residents about how they felt about the water crisis.
I couldn’t believe it.
How they feel?
Thousands upon thousands of kids exposed to extreme levels of lead in the water and the government apparently tried to cover it up—how the fuck do you think they feel?
Don’t nobody feel good about this. It’s a crisis.
Read the full essay here and let us know what you think in the comments.