Thursday, August 15, 2019

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Suffering Michiganders Hope Tlaib Takes Time Out Of Palestine Trip To Visit Them
Rashida TlaibFlint, August 15 - Residents of this beleaguered neighbor of Detroit voiced expectation today that as part of her announced trip to witness the plight of faraway Palestinians firsthand, a congresswoman from their state might make a stop in their troubled city to get a better picture of what fellow Michigan inhabitants need.

As the people of Flint continue to recover from a drinking water and public health crisis stemming from mismanagement, aging infrastructure, lack of transparency, and, many charge, environmental racism, Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan plans a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories later this year to gain an on-the-ground picture of the complex situation people there face, despite the Palestinian situation having little or no bearing on the lives of the people who populate her home state. Nevertheless, Flint residents hope that Ms. Tlaib might deign to set aside some of her time to meet with them and see their trouble in person, since she harbors such concern for people of color and their struggle against systemic prejudice.

Congresswoman Tlaib plans a visit to the Holy Land with fellow progressive "Squad" member Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a public relations move aimed at keeping the Palestinian issue at the forefront of progressive politics and positioning the two legislators as prominent fighters for the oppressed. Flint inhabitants told reporters that they find that mission noble, but also think that perhaps the two American lawmakers representing the constituencies that elected them should consider placing the emphasis of their public activities on serving those constituencies and the states in which they reside, if that is not too much trouble.

"As American taxpayers we pay the salaries of Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar," stated Flint resident Stacy Mbeke. "Now, I might be a little presumptuous here, but I think the people whose interests Rashida Tlaib is paid to represent should take precedence over those who live elsewhere and who have no democratic say in her decision-making. The senators and Congressional representatives from Michigan are busy people, and we understand that, but maybe Ms. Tlaib can make a minor change to her itinerary and swing my Flint on her way to Palestine. If it's not too much trouble."

"I get it, she has important things to do that aren't making sure the problems of her state are solved and don't recur," agreed fellow resident Shawnda Pike. "My kids and their elevated lead levels can wait, because Rashida knows it's more urgent to draw he world's attention to Palestinian minors jailed for using rocks and firebombs to try to kill Israeli motorists."

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