By Staff Writer Sawyer Pollitt.
The news lately has been abuzz with negative allegations toward Tesla co-founder, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and for good reason. However, it seems that Musk has finally done some good and contributed to solving the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
This past week the school district of Flint posted a tweet praising Elon Musk. They say that through a partnership with the Musk Foundation and Elon Musk himself they have replaced water fountains at all Flint schools and installed new water filtration systems. This is shockingly good news for Elon Musk who has been going through a bad press cycle as of late.
The tweet reads “Thank you @elonmusk and @MuskFoundation for investing in the health/future well-being FCS Students! Your generous donation will help us replace ALL water fountains w/NEW WATER STATIONS & WATER FILTRATION at ALL SCHOOLS! Looking forward to our burgeoning partnership! More to come!” suggesting that Musk still has more planned regarding the Flint water issue that unfortunately still remains unsolved.
In July Musk tweeted “Please consider this a commitment that I will fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels. No kidding”, with any luck this points to continued action by Musk and his foundation seeing as how he has made good on his promise so far.
One cannot help but think that this may be a publicity stunt by the Musk Foundation in an attempt to sway public opinion of Musk in a favorable direction. The general view of Elon Musk as of late has been shifting toward the “Bond Villain” end of the billionaire entrepreneur spectrum. With The relatively quiet publicity, by Musk standards, surrounding this project it seems to point in the direction of genuine good will on part of Elon.
Regardless of the motivations behind this act of public improvement, what Musk is doing is ultimately a good thing.
Even if he is providing clean drinking water to schools full of children out of complete self-interest and vanity, the fact remains that he is still providing clean drinking water to schools full of children. Musk has said that he is devoting $480,350 to Flint schools for the purposes of purifying water.
The seeming ease at which the Musk facilitated change in Flint calls into question the actions, or rather inactions, of more of the world’s millionaires and billionaires. If with $400,000, Musk could provide clean water to every school in flint, what could be done if more men and women of his wealth and position made moves and acted to alleviate one of the greatest humanitarian crises facing the United States today? The potential for the private citizen to make change is great.
As nice as it is that Musk is donating this money, and helping to alleviate the problems in Flint, the most worrying part of this development is that the Flint water crisis is still ongoing.
It has been over four years since it was first discovered that the water in the town of Flint is unsuitable for any kind of use and little has been done to fix the problem either by the United States government or by citizens in a financial position to help.
The superintendent of Flint schools had this to say “The new water filtration systems will be instrumental in helping our students return to the normalcy of what should be a fundamental right: having access to safe, clean water from water fountains in their school” A fundamental right, being provided not by the government, but by a man who is one mental break away from becoming a super villain.
Hopefully, the positive press garnered by this story and others like it will inspire celebrities, businessmen, politicians, and other wealthy members of society to take action regarding humanitarian issues.
With the rise of poor public sentiment toward the mega-rich and corporations this would be a fantastic way for them to build their public image, which is unfortunate because one should be doing good things because they are good, not for self-interest.
PHOTO COURTESY: ABC NEWS