In the midst of the Flint, Michigan water crisis, Gov. Rick Snyder surprised his wife with a lavishly appointed birthday cake replete with jewels and high-end designer names such as Chanel and a Michael Kors purse, reports the New York Daily News.
Snyder presented his wife, Sue, with the cake on Jan. 30 at a private party, which was attended by dozens of guests at an upscale restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, writes the News.
Fallout began after the bakery, Sweet Heather Anne of Ann Arbor, posted an image of the cake, noting that all of the designs were edible. The post got mixed reviews.
“I would be embarrassed to say I made a cake for Governor Snyder while people are dying in Flint because they are drinking poisoned water,” wrote commenter, Carrie J. Fisher.
The bakery told the News it was unaware that the cake and the event were for Snyder.
Via the New York Daily News:
The bakers poured 30 hours of labor into the cake not realizing they were putting the intricate touches on a royal blue Michael Kors handbag and a Tiffany’s gift box for Snyder, who tied the knot with the embattled governor nearly 30 years ago.
“I had no idea, like seriously no idea,” Sweet Heather Anne owner Heather Anne Leavitt told Michigan Live. “We knew that renting out West End Grill is not a cheap thing to do on a Saturday night, but we have a lot of high-end clients.”
“We just didn’t know this one was the governor,” Leavitt added.
Flint residents have been suffering in the midst of the recently revealed water crisis.
From Mother Jones:
Last month, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder issued a formal apology for the state’s handling of Flint’s contaminated water system. The crisis began with his decision to cut costs in the town by rerouting its water from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River. The Flint River water contained dangerously high levels of lead and continues to jeopardize the health of children.
The outrage over the public health emergency has only grown louder with the recent discovery of emails showing that state officials were shipping themselves clean water before telling residents that their water was contaminated.
But just a few weeks after begging his state for forgiveness, Snyder apparently thought it was a good idea to throw his wife an extravagant birthday party, replete with this eyesore of a birthday cake.
This is yet another prime example of how White privilege is tone-deaf: A state’s White upper-class leadership doesn’t think twice about hosting a lavish birthday party while residents in the predominantly Black city of Flint are forced to wait for clean water deliveries.