By Frank X Murphy
December 1, 2015
On Tuesday, November 24, Michigander of the Year Maureen Taylor of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization appropriately schooled infamous Michigan EMFs Darnell Earley and Eric Scorsone in the real world implications of their perfidy.[i]
Dr. Scorsone admits guilty knowledge of the risk. He says Governor Snyder’s totally unaccountable EMFs have to ask “how far can you go before you start to endanger public health.”
Former Flint EMF Darnell “Let-‘em-drink-lead” Earley (who by some miracle of impunity is still the EMF for the Detroit Public Schools), does him one worse: Knowing the risk of harm if an EMF “goes too far”, Earley presided in Flint over the contamination of the city’s municipal water supply with a potent neuro-toxin. Earley refers to this as “management of an unintended consequence resulting in a negative outcome from an otherwise sound public policy decision.”
Translation: “Money talks, bullshit walks.” And if they hadn’t gotten caught by heroic independent journalists and researchers,[ii] their “unintended” and “negative” crimes would still be covered up by lies; their racist oppression could still be falsely labeled “sound” fiscal management
Comparing Scorsone’s and Earley’s statements, both seeking to justify lack of accountability for the Flint River scandal, teaches much about the nature of power in Michigan under Governor Snyder. The consequences, especially for those who are most vulnerable to abuse, continue to horrify. Between a) Scorsone’s admission of awareness of the risk, and b) Earley’s denial of responsibility for the realization of those risks, there is no remaining solid ground for policy serving the public interest. Consequences are only imposed when minimally necessary to preserve the institutional relations and systemic power dynamics responsible for the harms. Truly consequence-free government oppression thru innovative and lucrative corporate profiteering. No wonder they’re called Evil Mother Fuckers (EMFs).[iii]
Former Detroit EMF Kevyn Orr expressed this essential recklessness, violence and impunity in the exercise of power at the sole public meeting he deigned to hold in the summer of 2013, during his brief and fraudulent hiatus from his partnership at Jones Day law firm: “Now look, I’m a trial attorney. I can cut somebody’s throat and leave them to bleed out in the gutter with the best of them. But I didn’t want to do that. That’s not my role in this job. My role in this job is sort of the Zen of emergency management.”[iv]
Such “Zen” EMFism under Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is a highly developed form of structural economic violence. Rather than a coincidence or anomaly, connections between Snyder’s EMFs and related injustices must be understood in order to overcome them. Like the pandemic of racist police brutality sweeping the nation and being courageously fought by local African-American youth movements in many communities under the Black Lives Matter label; like the decades-long policies of mass racial incarceration and the racist war on drugs; EMFism is a violent dominator response to the class and other structural power dynamics of late capitalism. In multiple contexts of access to necessities of life and basic human rights – essential human needs like education, water, housing, development, finance (now transformed into evil modalities of resource theft thru emergency management and destroying democracy), and the nexus between governing authority/power, race and class – EMFism and its violent “emergency” powers doctrine threaten genocide against those on the sharp end of the system’s restructuring.
At the global level this insidious process portends continually escalating wars, resource grabs, climate chaos and ultimate civilizational collapse. At the local level water shut offs and contamination, mass foreclosures, the permanent destruction of public education, and a new apartheid system of de facto inequality and oppression enabled by corporate-favoring “emergency” law powers and white supremacy. Our survival depends on our ability to understand, confront and articulate, and develop alternatives to, such madness.
Realizing the true nature of EMFism does not mean giving up the struggle for a decent life for all. Rather, it means fighting back, building alternatives, surviving and thriving in the real world where we live, rather than the darkening gray zones created by soulless elites between Scorsone’s admission of academically respectable misdirection, and Earley’s denial as outrageous perjury; between reckless disregard risking harm to those they deem superfluous, and callous lies seeking to cover their bloody tracks. Read it in the papers, hear it on the news, see it on your screens; we’re on the brink of destruction without a clue. This is the dominator heritage and legacy of the EMFs.
Detroit grassroots community leader Maureen Taylor correctly identifies Earley’s ouster from DPS as the first step toward accountability for this neo-genocidal, racist plunder of urban communities in southeastern Michigan. Further steps must include long-term movement building, deep radical education and continually increasing bottom-up campaigns for social justice, human rights and criminal accountability for all EMFs and their elite supporters. Break out the torches and pitchforks.
Frank X Murphy is the pen name of a Detroiter who wonders what “otherwise sound public policy decision[s]” the EMFs could be thinking of.
[i] Read Maureen’s letter to the editors of the Detroit News at: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2015/11/23/letter-costs-suspended-democracy/76287960/
[ii] Principally Curt Guyette, Kate Levy, Dr. Marc Edwards and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who finally upheld the rights and dignity of the even more heroic working family activists of Flint, after their suffering, and attacks on their health and welfare, were so shamefully disregarded and covered up by Michigan EMFs for so long.
More information is available at http://www.aclumich.org/democracywatch/index.php/blogger/listings/cguyette and http://www.detroitmindsdying.org/
[iii] In the presence of members of the clergy, elderly ladies or others concerned with the niceties of language, some prefer the term “Emergency Manager Fascists”. More information is available at http://www.d-rem.org/