Some notable Black American celebrities were absent during the 88th Academy Awards Ceremonies on Feb. 28, for reasons that have nothing to do with the obvious lack of colored Oscar nominees in the 2016 Oscars. Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay may have been snubbed by the Academy but, instead of protesting, they decided to make their presence more worthwhile by raising funds for the benefit of the people of Flint.
The musical event began hours before the Oscar Awards kicked off and was live streamed in an attempt to encourage people overseas to help out the people of Flint, Michigan. However, #JusticeForFlint was not an event for an isolated crisis but more of an eye opener to similar events occurring across the United States.
For instance, the Jackson, Misssissippi State Health Department released information that high levels of lead content have been detected in homes and has issued a warning about using tap water for drinking.
President Barack Obama already signed an emergency declaration to aid the residents of Flint but there had already been so much damage done and lives lost. To discover that the situation is now spreading to other counties and cities, where people of color are more common leaves on to second guess the intentions of the people in the seats of power.
"I'd think this falls into the environmental racism category ... We find ourselves trying to figure out ways for it not to be about race, but we don't see it happening in other communities," actor Jesse Williams said.
The Flint water crisis is a public health concern and it should be a national concern because everyone deserves to live a healthy life. It is no longer just Flint's problem and it should definitely not be a colored people problem. If even a fraction of the continent's population suffers, it won't be long until the rest feels the effects of that suffering.