Flint, MI–International journalists have made their way to Flint to gauge residents’ thoughts on the upcoming presidential election.
Local doctor and activist Dr. Kent Key spoke to two journalists from France Oct. 2, which he jokingly called his “international day.”
Claude Guibal of France Inter and John Biers of Agence France-Presse both contacted Key last week, after reading stories about his conversation with Kamala Harris and his drafting of a resolution declaring racism a public health issue.
The journalists both knew of each other’s organizations, but neither knew the other was coming to Flint to talk to Key.
The interviews were conducted outside of the Flint Farmers Market three hours apart and both journalists wanted to talk about the election.
Key, executive deputy director for Community Based Organization Partners and faculty at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, said they wanted to “talk about the intersection of the water crisis, COVID-19, and the revolution on racism,” and how that will impact the way Flint residents vote.
He told the journalists that those issues would be weighing heavily on the people who do intend to vote, but that there are people in Flint “still on the fence about even voting.”
“Younger voters especially,” Key said. “For them, it’s as if our vote isn’t the vote that counts, so why bother?”
Others, he said, don’t really want to vote, but will vote for anybody outside of Donald Trump.
“There’s a broad mix of emotions around voting in this community, but we do have record numbers we’re starting to see in Michigan with early voting,” he said. “That’s hinting towards a strong turnout.”
Key said it’s telling that the international media is paying attention to the United States.
“We have been the laughing stock of other countries…our reputation has been tarnished since this administration was put in office,” he said. “The international audience wants to know how Americans will approach this election.”
He also said the fact that these journalists want to get the perspective of residents in Flint, shows the international weight the city has.
“We don’t even have the media platform here in the country, but people internationally care. It’s like the prophet without honor in his own country,” he said. “But Flint still has the ears and eyes of the international media…they could have gone to any state, but these international folks came to Flint.”
Key said the journalists’ stories should be published Oct. 26 .