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Auchter's Art: A thank you note to Flint


ARTIST'S POV: After three years of the Flint water crisis, fatigue has set in — first and foremost, for the citizens of Flint who have had to live with the daily grind and persistent worries. But also for Michiganders living outside and looking in. 

The fatigue for us is different — it's trying to stay engaged with a story that may not seem to affect us, at least not directly. Three years is a long time to hold somebody's attention.

This week Michigan Radio presented several stories from a number of angles to mark the anniversary. In fact, the reporters and staff have done yeoman's work from the start to keep this very real and worthy story relevant to those outside of Flint. They have done such a wonderful job that I found myself hard pressed to come up with something new to say in a cartoon.

I finally got the idea of writing a thank you note because, well, my mom taught me the importance of writing thank you notes. When somebody has done something for you, it's important to acknowledge the gift. And having grown up in the Flint area and lived in Michigan since, Flint has taught me (and continues to teach me) plenty.

Sometimes the lesson has been what to do, for example, witnessing the grace and resolve with which many of its citizens have handled this ongoing crisis. Sometimes the lesson has been what not to do, for example, building an amusement park without roller coasters or electing a self-serving, egotistical businessman named Don as your leader. (Sorry, those are inside jokes for Flintoids.)

But what may ultimately be the best reason to be thankful is this: If we can work with Flint to help it prosper, we can certainly handle any problem Michigan faces.

John Auchter is an editorial cartoonist. Views expressed in his cartoons are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management or the station licensee, The University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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