Before Aretha Franklin passed away from pancreatic cancer (Aug. 16), she had a relentless wish to help create social change in Michigan—especially to help those affected by the Flint water crisis. Whoopi Goldberg, who attended the funeral, shared how much the soul singer wanted to help resolve the issue on The View on Wednesday (Sept. 5), Essence reports.
“Aretha was very upset…to discover that people are no longer giving water to the folks in Flint, Michigan and she wanted [Judge Greg Mathis] to take care of it. ‘Handle it!’,” Whoopi said. “So there was water being given, now the water has stopped. So whatever we can do to get that going.”
Due to the contamination of the water source in the area, the city has struggled tremendously with this crisis. According to The New York Times, the city of Flint has received water from Detroit for more than 50 years, but because of the steep price, the distribution ceased. It also doesn’t help that Gov. Rick Snyder put a stop to the free bottle supply that the city was awarded. Snyder determined that the water quality had improved because it “tested below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule for nearly two years.”
Judge Mathis was also present at Franklin’s funeral, and during his speech, he revealed the conversations they had regarding the matter. “Our last conversation and I probably shouldn’t speak on this because the governor was here earlier,” Mathis said. “But, our last conversation was about the Flint water crisis. Where we know now that the governor’s office ordered that the city of Flint be taken over. They changed the water supply and it poisoned the people.”
Watch Judge Mathis’ speech below.
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