So we're scrolling around Twitter and what do we see? @OneToughNerd has a new post filled with adorable pictures. Adorable because front and center is 8-year old Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, the little girl from Flint who "got" President Obama to come visit her beleaguered city last week.
For those who need a recap in March Mari wrote a letter to Obama to share that she was heading to D.C. to watch the congressional hearings where Gov. Snyder would be testifying
about the water crisis that had affected her and her peers. She wanted to meet Obama and his wife — she wanted to see
Anyway, Obama wrote back sharing that he'd actually be heading to Flint in May and that he'd love to meet Mari. Which he did.
Obama's presence in Flint was important because it signified leadership in a city that for months, years really, has been begging for it. The people of Flint, like Mari, want accountability, transparency and ultimately someone to say they matter.
While Gov. Snyder has made overtures they have been largely criticized for lacking intention and weight. His 30-day Flint Water Challenge
, which he promptly backed out of
to go to Europe, for example, felt goofy and disingenuous. A PR-move if anything.
Mari appears to be no different.
Not that Snyder has proved himself to be the most adept at understanding the pulse of the people, but did no one around bring up the fact that the reason Mari wrote in the first place was to say 'hey, I'm riding a bus for hours to hopefully witness someone (aka Snyder) be held accountable for the tragic actions taken against my city'?
Or maybe, 'hey dude, PICK ANOTHER KID. Stop riding on the coattails of Obama's positive PR move and invite oh, I don't know, one of the other thousands of poisoned children who have been affected by lead tainted water under your watch.'
And why now? Why is this one child suddenly worth your screen time? Because from how her "kind note" reads, it seems the most memorable part of her meeting with you was an iPad and hot dogs.