*A photo of 9-year-old Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny with Donald Trump has Twitter reacting to the pained look on her face and stiffness of her arm in his grasp – a far cry from her unbridled enthusiasm and eager embrace of President Obama during their meetings earlier this year.
As previously reported, Mari – a.k.a. Little Miss Flint – wrote a letter to the president in March telling him about her efforts to raise awareness of Flint’s toxic drinking water, which became contaminated with lead in 2014.
“I am one of the children that is affected by this water, and I’ve been doing my best to march in protest and to speak out for all the kids that live here in Flint,” Mari wrote.
President Obama granted Mari’s request to meet with her and other members of her community. They would eventually come face to face twice – once in Washington, and once in Flint.
And then Mari was forced to meet GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump when he visited Flint on Wednesday.
Twitter felt her pain.
The look on Little Miss Flint’s face perfectly encapsulating the American electorate, 2016. pic.twitter.com/YbyqdwQ6V9
— Colin Dickey (@colindickey) September 15, 2016
Little Miss Flint bravely deals w yet another toxic, orange-ish mess. pic.twitter.com/VHUxzQQhgM
— Allie Gross (@Allie_Elisabeth) September 15, 2016
Little Miss Flint is all of us in 2016. pic.twitter.com/grsNmSTBnd
— Abraham White (@abwhite7) September 15, 2016
I’ve seen kidnapping photo’s – where the victim is holding up ‘today’s newspaper’ – that were less alarming. pic.twitter.com/e4VaczQhSQ
— Pin Head (@PiercedSkull) September 15, 2016
Mari and her mom LuLu Brezzell were part of a crowd of about 70 people invited to hear Trump speak at Bethel United Methodist Church.
Below, the MLive caught up with the two before Trump’s speech to get their thoughts about his visit. Brezzell says she’s an Independent and has not made up her mind on who to vote for in the 2016 election.
“I do want to hear what he can offer the city if he becomes elected,” she said of Trump.