Of Power and Poison


“My family drank fluoridated water from the city taps when I was born, over 40 years ago. We lived in newly built housing close to a well-maintained park; my mother bought fresh produce at a nearby grocery and weekend farmers’ markets. When my parents moved out of the city a few years later, I found myself in a verdant suburb with expansive lawns, a gurgling neighborhood creek, and air so fresh I never thought to notice it.

Year after cavity-free year of my childhood, dentists and hygienists praised my superior flossing and brushing skills as if I had created that outcome—though in reality, my tooth-cleaning habits were no different from those of any other child.

I carry the bodily imprint of my racial privilege right down to the strength of my teeth.

The families and children of Flint, Michigan, have also been drinking water that changes the makeup of their bodies…”

 — “What is the Dollar Value of a Human Right?”: Flint’s Act of Extreme
Envionmental Racism | My latest at The Body Is Not An Apology

7 thoughts on “Of Power and Poison

  1. A telling article. It took a bit to get all the way through to the end, but it does a good job of stating the inherent evil of dumping the wealthier society’s waste, poisons, and toxins on the poor communities. The cost in human lives is as immeasurable as it is immoral.


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