So, I was watching CBS This Morning today, which is part of a daily ritual for my wife and I. On this morning’s show, Gayle King, Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell were speaking about the “opioid epidemic.” Apparently, Donald Trump is prepared to call the issue a “public health emergency.” Now, I’ve been hearing about this “crisis” for a while and I get angrier every time it’s discussed. Not because drugs aren’t a problem, but because of the racial implications of this situation. In layman’s terms, it’s a crisis now that it’s affecting White people, but it was a crime when it was affecting Black people.
Now, before I continue, let me get into some specifics. Statistically speaking, White people are two-times more likely to use illicit substances than Black people. With that being said, Black people somehow represent almost half of the drug convictions in this country. During the 1960s and 1970s, heroin did massive damage to inner cities all over America. In addiction, crack cocaine took the despair to another level in the 1980s and early 1990s. However; Black addicts were never given any help, son. Instead, they were given lengthy prison sentences, man.
Look, I don’t want people to misinterpret what I’m saying here. On the real, I don’t want anyone to suffer from drug addiction, fam. But if we’re keeping it a buck, the racial double standard has ravaged families all over this nation. Honestly, it’s hard for me to empathize with a White addict from a rural area when I know a Black addict would just get jail time. Hell, even look at the new marijuana laws, bruh. Tons of minorities are still sitting in jail for weed offenses while dispensaries can collectively make billions. Why? Because the new weed laws aren’t always retroactively applied, son.
In the end, my point is simple, man. Drug addiction was treated as a crime when it affected Blacks and other minorities. Now, it’s being treated like a crisis because it’s affecting White families. Listen, as a Black man who’s personally seen households affected by drugs, how am I supposed to feel about that? How am I supposed to feel about the fact that we get treated like criminals instead of victims? *Sigh* I swear, people of color just keep singing the same song, fam. We just want to be treated as equals, bruh. Ultimately, if drug addiction is really an epidemic, then it should be treated as such for everyone. Everyone, folks. That is all. LC out.