By Roger Caldwell, NNPA Newswire Contributor
There is a subject that Black men refuse to talk about, and it is the abuse of drugs in our community. There is a menu of drugs in our community, and everyone who uses them has their desired choice. Drugs are destroying Black families, careers, relationships, lives, budgets, and mental health.
With Black people in America, there is a State of Emergency with drugs in our communities, and it is an urgent issue. The Drug Policy Alliance states, “The drug war has produced profoundly unequal outcomes across racial groups, manifested through racial discrimination by law enforcement and disproportionate drug misery suffered by communities of color.”
It is no mistake that drugs are so prevalent in the Black community, that our children can direct a stranger were to purchase drugs. The most amazing thing about drugs in the Black community is that nothing is done, because everyone is scared, others don’t care, so it is accepted.
Many drug activist organizations believe the criminalization of people of color, particularly young people, is as profound a system of racial control as the Jim Crow laws were in the country. Drugs are a control issue for Black men, and we wonder why we are stuck, and cannot get ahead. Instead of going to school or work, we are caught up looking to buy or sell drugs.
Recently, super-star DMX died of an overdose of illicit drugs, and the drug issue has been swept under the table, and hardly discussed. The abuse of drugs in hip hop is legendary, and a large majority of performers are high all day and night. Sex, drugs, cash and hip hop, are quite appealing to the young, because they are in the super fast lane.
Many in the record companies pay their performers with drugs, and after a tour stars end up owing the company. The majority of athletes are thought to make millions of dollars, but a large number stay in the pros for 3 to 5 years, and they also end up broke, and on drugs.
“Disparities in arrest and incarceration are seen for both drug possession law violation as well as low level sales. Those selling small amounts of drugs to support their own drug use may go to jail for decades. This unequal enforcement ignores the universality of drug dependency, as well as the universal appeal of drugs themselves,” says The Drug Policy Alliance.
In the 1980s and 90s, President Ronald Regan created the drug war, but it was waged exclusively in poor communities of color. After he announced the plan, crack cocaine hit the streets, and there were inner-city crack babies, crack mothers, crack whores, and drug-related violence. The drug war became corrupt, and federal agents were stealing from the drug suspects and dealers, and the drug cartels were started.
President Clinton’s “tough on crime” resulted in the largest increase in the federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history. “But Clinton was not satisfied with exploding prison populations, (no matter how minor the offence) and denying them basic public benefits, including food stamps, for life. Discrimination in virtually every aspect of political, economic and social life is now perfectly legal, if you’ve been labeled a felon,” says reporter Michelle Alexander –The Guardian.
The drug war was brutal, but in the late 1990s, the Opioid epidemic was created by the big pharma companies and has destroyed cities, towns, while CEO’s are making millions for their companies. There are 450,000 Americans who have died, and millions are addicted to these prescription opioids.
Drug distribution and addiction is created and controlled by our leaders in power. There is no mistake that drugs are flowing in the inner cities, and primarily Black people and people of color are affected, and the majority are in prison.
Black men must take the initiative to get drugs out of the communities. The Black community must expose the corrupt police officers, and work with the honest police officers and get rid of the dealers. Drugs are destroying our families and community; Black men must take a stand and make the difference.