A recently published audio file features the voice of a Flint, MI official using racial epithets as he peddles ignorant stereotypes about African Americans.
The audio was obtained by Truth Against the Machine, an online newspaper run by Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks.
In the troubling audio, a local Flint official with the controversial Genesee County Land Bank avers that the reason for the Flint water crisis was that black people didn’t pay their water bills, audio recordings obtained by Truth Against The Machine reveal.
Phil Stair, a sales manager for the Genesee County Land Bank made the comments on May 26th during a conversation with Truth Against the Machine reporter and environmental activist Chelsea Lyons in Flint.
“Flint has the same problems as Detroit—fucking ni**ers don’t pay their bills, believe me, I deal with them.” -Phil Stair, sales manager for the publicly-funded Genesee County Land Bank
Listen to the audio:
Phil Stair: Water Crisis Caused By “Ni**ers Not Paying Water Bill”
The top commentator on the YouTube video featuring the newly released audio of Phil Stair’s comments on Truth Against The Machine’s channel wrote:
“Let’s redistribute the wealth y’all stole then maybe they could afford it.”
Another commenter said:
“One could always easily argue the classism and corruption angle on stories like what’s happening in Flint, Standing Rock, etc. But the masses just can’t seem to accept the role racism plays in them. To them I say, good luck denying it now.”
And in another audio segment produced by TATM, Stair says “Well, I call the south side, where we were, that’s the new east side cause we [land bank] tore most of it down; all them derelict motherfuckers have moved down to the south side. They’re destroying that.”
Phil Stair- “Derelicts” and “Deadbeats”
Stair was driving to a restaurant with Lyons when he made the comments.
He did try to clarify his statements:
“I don’t want to call them ni**ers, shit I just went to Myrtle Beach, 24 guys, and I was the only white guy; I got friends, I mean, there’s trash and there’s people that do this shit. They just don’t pay their bills. Well, Detroit, didn’t collect on their bills, so they charged everybody else, but- Flint- Flint had to pay their bill to Detroit.”
Aside From Sounding Like a Bigot, Stair Got The Facts Wrong
Contrary to Phil Stair’s version of events, independent investigations into the Flint water crisis have determined that it was state officials who were mostly to blame for lead in Flint, Michigan’s water:
“The Flint water crisis is a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction, and environmental injustice.”
‘That’s how an independent task force opened its final report on the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint.
It concluded that primary responsibility for the crisis in Flint, Mich., lies with a state environmental agency called the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality — though it said others are also to blame.
The group was appointed in October to investigate the roots of the crisis. It issued its findings at a joint news conference Wednesday with Michigan’s embattled Gov. Rick Snyder.
“No one asked the question, ‘What will happen if we don’t have corrosion control in place?’ The answer to that question is exactly what happened in Flint,” task force member Chris Kolb told reporters.’
Stair Resigns His Position in Disgrace
Mr. Stair has resigned from his position following publication of his racist remarks:
The sales manager of the Genesee County Land Bank has resigned his position after water activists recorded him saying Flint’s problems were caused by “ni***** (who) don’t pay their bills.”
Michele M. Wildman, executive director of the Land Bank, said Monday, June 5, that she has accepted the resignation of Phil Stair, a longtime employee of the agency.