Welfare activist confronts biased television reporter on his account of the water shut offs in Detroit. From the link where I found the video:
“Before I answer that let me say, shame on Hank, shame on him,” Maureen Taylor said. “for putting that lie and that mis and that disinformation out on the air. To suggest that people don’t want to pay for a water bill is scandalous. What is at stake here is that there are tens of thousands of low income families who cannot pay rising water bill costs. The cost of living is going up. The chances of living is going down. And we’ve got these reporters out here, like this guy, that’s just standing on the side of the people that have money.”
Maureen Taylor then brought up all the corporations that have owed tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands whose water was not shutoff. Somehow the payment delinquency of the rich and affluent is different than the generally forced payment delinquency of the poor.
To be exact, the city is shutting off water to households that are two months or $150 behind on their bills. (That’s about average for Detroit!) This is in a city with 38% of residents living in poverty. The NBC reporter rattled off all the institutional customers who are delinquent; their water is flowing. The Detroit Water and Sewer Department has JUST released funds to assist low income families in paying their bills. They did the shut offs FIRST. In the heat of the summer.
If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.
Let’s not forget to mention how some people received bills that were suspiciously low for several months only to receive letters threatening shutoff because they were “underpaying” their bills when they were paying the amounts they were directed to.
Furthermore, some people received bills that were way too high, and when they would try to contest it with the water company, few would actually successfully do so because it’s impossible to reach actual people at the water company more than half the time.
Something horrible is going on here, and the people that are being blamed are Black, Latin@, and several other lower income communities of color. The same people who are facing the problems outlined above.
I don’t know if I have to spell it out, but this is a very clear example of systematic racism in 2014.