Justice

This 10-Year-Old Political Cartoonist From Flint Is Turning Heads

March 18th 2016

By:
Alex Mierjeski

An aspiring political cartoonist from Flint, Michigan is turning heads for his biting coverage of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's Congressional testimony, which took place on Thursday.

He is Iain MacIntyre, and he is 10 years old.

MacIntyre's pointed critique paints a picture of Snyder, whose handling of the crisis has been called into question time and again in recent months. At a Democratic debate in Flint earlier in March, both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called on Snyder to resign over his mishandling of the crisis — calls that were re-ignited following the testimony on Thursday, MLive.com reported. The cartoons were tweeted out by Nayyirah Shariff, an organizer and activist in Flint.

Snyder appeared before the U.S. House committee on Oversight and Government Reform Thursday for the first time in since the start of Flint's water crisis, which has likely exposed thousands of Flint residents — including children — to elevated lead levels in drinking water. Lead exposure, especially in young children, can cause serious cognitive development.

Another, more detailed cartoon presents a stark portrait of daily life in Flint, including insufficient government-issued drinking water filters and an aversion to bathing in the lead-laden water.

According to Gawker, MacIntyre traveled with his family and the activist group Flint Rising to Washington, D.C. to watch Snyder's testimony, which marked the third Flint water hearing, but the first at which Snyder appeared. Another MacIntyre, Broghan, also 10, offered a scathing visual characterization of the testimony — and of the scandal more broadly.

At the hearing, Snyder and officials with the Environmental Protection Agency were hung out to dry over the contamination crisis, which has dragged on since April 2014, when state-appointed city officials switched water sources to the more corrosive, untreated Flint river that leached lead and other contaminants from the city's aging pipes.

"This was a failure at all levels: Local, state, and federal officials — we all failed the families of Flint," Snyder said on Thursday.

Snyder continued: "Not a day or night goes by that this tragedy doesn't weigh on my mind — the questions I should have asked, the answers I should have demanded."

Read more: Gov. Snyder Finally Testified About the Flint Water Crisis

[h/t Gawker]