A Flint public official has resigned from his position after he was recorded blaming the water crisis on “ni–ers” who “don’t pay their bills.” Phil Stair, the former sales manager at Genesee County Land Bank, was reportedly sitting in a bar when approached by environmental activist Chelsea Lyons, who was secretly recording the conversation.
“Detroit was charging all its customers for the cost — they weren’t collecting from their residents, they were shutting water off, they were letting bills go forever, they were charging everybody else,” Stair can be heard saying. “Flint has the same problems as Detroit — f‑‑‑ing n‑‑‑‑‑‑ don’t pay their bills, believe me, I deal with them.”
Lyons was only looking to speak with Stair about Land Bank’s handling of foreclosed homes in the area. She never expected him to be so open and candid with his opinions on Black people, according to the Washington Post.
“I had no idea he was going to say the things that he said,” Lyons told MLive. “That was not exactly what I was going for.”
The day after the recording, Stair resigned from his position and apologized in his resignation letter. Although it’s worth asking if he’s truly sorry for what he said or sorry that he got caught?
“I feel that I cannot carry out nor be effective in my position at the Land Bank with the social media [recording] of my private opinion on the Flint water crisis and the insensitive language used,” Stair’s resignation letter said. “I am deeply sorry for what I said and those I offended. I do not know how I can face my friends and co-workers.”
Land Bank officials released a statement condemning Stair’s actions and insisted they don’t reflect those of the company.
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