Racially charged audio recordings of Phil Stair possibly highlight more underlying problems in the City of Flint
An activist and reporter for Truth Against the Machine recorded two nights worth of conversations with Stair
In the recordings Stair blamed Flint’s problems on those living in poverty, used racial slurs, and spoke of disparaging poverty stricken areas of Flint
TATM says they will release the third part of their recordings in the next few days
Since April of 2014, the African-American dominant community of Flint has been forced to live without usable water. The people in the community use water filters and bottled water to drink, experience rashes from showering, and have to find other means to do laundry to avoid pungent smells.
After years of seeing no answer to the water situation, we are now getting a deeper look into another problem that has been haunting the community of Flint, foreclosed housing.
Tax Liens And Foreclosures
On May 3, 2017, the Huff Post released an article stating that thousands of Flint residents were facing possible foreclosure for their unpaid water bills. The city warned roughly 8,000 residents that if they were six months or more behind on their water bills, they could face tax liens, which will eventually lead to foreclosure.
The city’s desperate need for revenue is what caused the initial water issues in 2014. Now, despite the water being unusable, the City of Flint began sending out the threat of tax liens in March as they continue to desperately struggle for revenue.
Genesee County Land Bank is a non-profit government organization that manages tax-foreclosed properties. According to their website, the Land Banks mission is to “The Land Bank’s mission is to restore value to the community by acquiring, developing and selling vacant and abandoned properties in cooperation with stakeholders who value responsible land ownership.”
Until recently, Phil Stair was the sales manager of the Genesee County Land Bank. Stair recently resigned from his position after a recordings were released in which the government employee stated that, “Flint has the same problems as Detroit—fucking niggers don’t pay their bills, believe me, I deal with them.”
Truth Against the Machine reporter Chelsea Lyons recorded the conversation her and another individual had while riding in a car with Stair after meeting him in a bar earlier in the night. Lyons was tipped off that Stair was in a local bar in the area.
After meeting Stair, Lyons was able to get multiple damning recordings over a two day period. In recordings, not only does Stair blame problems in Flint on the community while using racially abrasive language, he also claims that Land Bank owns 25% of the City of Flint, despite residents claiming that number is much higher.
Stair claims in the recordings that Land Bank has been disparaging poverty stricken areas of Flint. “Well, I call the south side, where we were, that’s the new east side cause we [land bank] tore most of it down; all them derelict mother fuckers have moved down to the south side. They’re destroying that,” Stair said in the recordings.
Fuckin’ deadbeats who, when they tear the houses down, they gotta go somewhere, they go on the south side. It just shifts- it just shifts the sh*t. The people are still the people, they fucked the houses up, then they leave and when we tear em down, they just go somewhere else and just fuck those houses up. I bought my house for $23,000 in 1981, and they sold that house right there for $4,000 about four years ago. So, 30 years it didn’t… but… it doesn’t owe me anything.
The first released recording is roughly twenty minutes. However, TATM claims to have at least six hours of recorded conversation with Stair. The first recording can be heard below.
The Second Audio Release
In the second audio release, Stair talks about the use and distribution of cannabis at the land bank office. While personal feelings on cannabis are growing more towards acceptance, it must be noted that this is a non-profit government organization building where it is being used illegally.
Stair claims that the City of Flint made advantageous deals with C3, a Chinese company that makes “plastic injection molded automotive parts for major automotive companies from our facilities in China and Pontiac,” according to their website.
Hundreds Of Promised Jobs Governor Snyder and then-Mayor Dayne Walling publicly endorsed the deal claiming that C3 was going to bring hundreds of new jobs to the area. The company made millions of dollars from taxpayer-supported loans through the State of Michigan for bringing jobs to Flint. The reality is that C3 hired twelve Flint locals.
In a truly disturbing part of the conversation, Stair claims there are more problems with the water in Flint than perhaps many realize. Currently, it is common for children to receive frequent lead poisoning tests, but Stair claims switching water reservoirs is not the only problem the community is facing.
They had five major General Motors plants that each used almost as much as the residential used, and there’s only one [plant] left. And it’s not on the Flint water system anymore, because the water was fucked up. So, the pipes are built to deliver water to 200,000 people plus 5 General Motors plants; now there’s less than 100,000 people and one plant, so now the water pipes are over-sized for the users; slow-moving water goes bad, so there’s other issues, so that means they gotta put more chlorine in and other shit… it’s a quality thing.
Mainstream media and government officials have tried to claim the water in the area as safe, despite members of the community arguing that idea. If what Stair says is true, that means there is a whole new round of problems that is brewing in the Flint water pipelines.
TATM stated they will be releasing the third part of Stair’s recordings in the days to come.