The Heroin Suburbs.
Listening to a local radio station this morning and a discussion about the heroin crisis afflicting suburbs, including affluent, predominantly white suburbs. Police prefer treatment over incarceration. Parents, communities and neighborhoods are coming together now that white kids “with a future,” are dying or becoming addicted. revolutionary approaches to save our kids, but where were these out-of-the-box thinkers and save-the-children humanitarians when crack cocaine was flooding into Black communities in direct proportion to hope flooding out of those same communities. These same communities watched tax bases and manufacturing jobs drained away in the Reagan, Clinton and Bush era profit over communities, free market, predatory capitalism With a loss of livable wage jobs schools and infrastructure collapsed.
Blacks were barred from the GI Bill after the 2nd World War, which built a heretofore nonexistent American middle class, through free or nearly free college, medical benefits for the veteran and their families, interest free or low interest home and business loans. 350,000 Blacks served in WW2, but unlike whites, the benefits door was literally and purposely slammed shut in their face. That has never been corrected and never officially acknowledged. That wealth in that community would have reaped far reaching benefits, and since the end of the war, all social strife in the United States can be traced directly to America’s disenfranchisement and abandonment of the Black community. All.
The same white people decrying the heroin crisis now that it afflicts white kids were the same people demanding three-strike rules, and calling kids in impoverished neighborhoods “feral.” They are the same ones who demand tougher jail sentences for children of color caught up in America’s communal drug problem. They welcome more police but in those “other” neighborhoods, defend stop and frisk and explain away police abuse to minorities.
So sorry if I am less than sympathetic to the plight of drug addicted rich white kids, who incidentally mostly come from two parent homes. The Right and too many on the Left love to blame a symptom of the decimation of Black neighborhoods. And recall that there were different sentences and punishments for crack cocaine in Black neighborhoods as opposed to weaker sentences for powder cocaine, ubiquitous among whites.
Maybe the answer is consistency. like we’ve done for Black kids, catch a white kid with an Ibuprofen that isn’t prescribed, throw away the key, or shoot ’em in the street if they try to run. Or, or, or, maybe we understand that the drug issue in America is part of something very unique to American culture, politics and economy, like rampant consumerism, a failure of moral leadership, lack of actual opportunity, devaluing people over greed, and over emphasis on individuality to the detriment of community and too many damned lawyers and cops. I’m just spit-ballin’ Then, instead of gunning down 12 year olds, or throwing them into jail over and over, preventing them from voting or addicting them to hopelessness, we can start solving some problems and move this nation forward.