Dear Good People,
Thank you for your interest and support. Here are a few remarks and suggestions concerning the water crisis in Flint. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
First and foremost, the crisis is not exaggerated. The pipes are corroded, the water is contaminated, distribution of water and water filters is a welcome but totally inadequate response. Fixing the now ruined infrastructure is both necessary and costly.
Importantly, testing has clearly shown elevated levels of lead in the systems of Flint children. Know this: the effects of lead poisoning are permanent and affect the cognitive, physical, regulatory, social, and behavioral aspects of the individual. They cause learning, behavioral, attentional, and physiological problems, potentially for the rest of one’s life. For children, treatment consists of immediate riddance of the lead source, healthy diet, increases in Vitamins C, calcium, zinc, phosphorous and iron; educational, language, hearing, behavioral and mental health resources and assistance.
Please spread the word. Test the water in your area. Be mindful of the toxic materials we are placing into our environment as a result of the plastic and chemicals being utilized.
A message from Rev. Justin Schroeder, Senior Minister, and Rev. Jen Crow, Executive Minister, First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
This past Sunday, a young, unarmed black man, Jamar Clark, was shot in the head by a Minneapolis police officer. Spending time at the 4th Precinct on Sunday night with other clergy, it's clear that people are angry, grieving, and wanting justice for Jamar Clark.
Since the shooting, we've witnessed ongoing protests at the 4th Precinct, and a two hour shut down of I-94 on Monday night. Many of you have been asking, "What can we do?" There's no one right way to respond, but there are a number of ways to be involved, each one grounded in our faith and in our [First Universalist's] racial justice resolution:
In the last two weeks of August I went on a self-constructed two week language immersion experience in Copenhagen. While there I wore a small "Black Lives Matter" button. It led to some fascinating conversations. Huge numbers of people from the Middle East, Syria especially, are pushing their way towards Europe. The Continent finds itself with the biggest wave of displaced people and its biggest humanitarian crisis since World War 2.
Denmark has a new right wing coalition government. And there, as here, politicians on the right compete with each other over how far they are willing to go in getting tough on immigrants. The new immigration minister, Inger Støjberg, has a special gift from dramatic anti-immigrant gestures which make great hooks for news stories. One of her moves was try to remove the special permission to immigrate that the former left wing government had given to 2,500. Another was to put an ad in a Lebanese newspaper telling people that Denmark was a bad place to come to (and calculating the cost of this advertisement as equal to the cost of supporting one immigrant for one year) -- or sending more police to the border.