The people of Flint, MI were forced under disastrous events. Innocent woman, children and innocence were affected by the well known “Flint Water Crisis”. An article by Sara Ganim and Linh Tran back in 2016 states, “ Flint, Michigan, lies about 70 miles from the shores of the largest group of fresh water … the Great Lakes. Yet its residents can’t get clean water from their taps … the state decided to save money by switching Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron … to the Flint River … known to locals for its filth.” The dirty river caused trouble amongst all of Flints residents. The water was brown, smelly, tasted funny, and has lead in it according to Ganim and Tran. This being the tap water for all of Flint became a problem for all of the innocent people affected by it. Adam Zyglis created a cartoon in 2016 to spread the word of this unfathomable crisis. The picture portrays to the right side an innocent mother and child in complete suffering from this disaster, and to the left a wealthy and fancy Governor Snyder uninvolved and separated by class. Factors related to the Flint Water Crisis and Zyfils cartoon includes saving money, separation of class, and filthy water.
To begin, One of the most prominent points in the cartoon is the governor’s attempt to save small amounts of money in the meanwhile causing suffrage among the citizens. You can see this taking place in the picture with him taking coins one by one, the title of the art called “Pinching…”, and the mother pinching her cheek being affected by the poor decision. These factors contribute to the cartoons message because it brings to light the cause and effect factor of the Flint Water Crisis. Because of a cheap governer with only his interest in mind many innocent civilians were forced to endure his decisions. This aspect is supposed to affect the reader in a logical aspect. It shows how the decision of one man with power can have an impact on the personal lives of many. This part of the cartoon appeals to ethos and logos because it shows the moral stance of the governor and expresses the purpose of his decision.
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Equally important, Zyglis cartoon expresses multiple pieces relating to why this situation happened. The most prominent reason being the people of flints class and race. A large portion of Flints population is African American. In the cartoon the mother and child is wearing worn down sweatshirts were as the governor is wearing a suit and cufflinks. This aspect brings light to the fact that the governor is very well off and the innocent minority family isn’t. This part of the cartoon is supposed to effect the reader emotionally, the reader should be angered when viewing the obvious inequality. It is supposed to show the viewer that there is a deeper purpose behind why the water crisis took place. This part of text is supposed to appeal to ethos and pathos. It is there to express the inequality of class that is taking place in Flint.
Furthermore, Snyders actions lead to inflicting all of the people of flint with undrinkable poisonous water. The water was discolored and polluted with lead which is very dangerous for consumption. This relates to the cartoon because the water in the image is discolored, unclean and negatively affecting Flints people. The mother is in such disbelief of the situation that she’s pinching her cheek saying “wake me up from this nightmare” she’s suffering as well as her son. Rather than letting her son drink water from tap he’s holding a uncontaminated water bottle with clear water and beside her is the dirty water. The mother has to drink a glass of polluted water so her son can has clean drinking water. They are stuck in this situation and are forced to endure suffering. This is the water they drink, wash, clean, do everything with. They are trapped in a horrible situation because of poor decisions made by people with power. This part of the cartoon appeals to logos and pathos it is a fact that the people are being exposed to the filthy water and it is an upsetting sight to see mother and son holding each other enduring the suffering that was brought upon them. The impact of this piece is supposed to share with others what the people of Flint are experiencing.
To conclude, The Flint water crisis was a tragedy that could have been easily avoidable. It affected many people and harmed many lives. Adam Zyglis created his political cartoon to spread the word of what was going on in the town. He exposed Snyder trying to save money for his own gain, he shed light apon Flints economic status, and let Americans see in an image the filth of the water innocent people were stuck with.
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Flint Water Crisis Overview.
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Flint Water Crisis Overview [Internet]. Edubirdie.
2022 Nov 25 [cited 2023 Mar 27].
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