Current Events

What the Crack Epidemic and Opioid Crisis Tells Us About Race in America

Comments (19)
  1. Alynthia M Penn says:

    Think this might be a part of the US trying to respond with a stronger disciplinarian stance?
    It won’t mean much if the majority of those they prosecute are minority bystanders but I don’t think they’ll find as many. Just a hunch…

  2. h l munsey says:

    mr robert vincent’s comment is somewhat on target. it is very fine to protest when there is injustice. and there is nothing in scripture that says we (blacks) cannot use avenues (legal) to fight injustice. but to desire the acceptance of white america is not only wrong, it’s (idolatry). it makes me sick to hear black people say ‘good’ hair. what is ‘good’ hair? and that’s just one thing. but blacks (as a whole) live their lives to be like white people. sad but true. where is JESUS in all of this. women ‘adore’ oprah. she’s rich and got ‘good’ hair. but she is not a (true) christian. she’s a fraud. and if she dies in the state she’s in, she’s going to Hell. yet blacks and whites ‘worship’ her. she ain’t talking about crack, etc. i’m done

  3. Roger Vincent says:

    It is not as black and white as this author has made it out to be. Does anyone see what is going on in California? That law may not be a problem now but it will be in the future, and as we Christians are busily being consumed by what pagans do, the noose will be slowly tightening around our necks. Are you ready? Because, the pagans won’t care what color you are.

  4. Alysia Crawford says:

    Thank you for this brave and bold article. For those of you who can’t see the truth and grief in this… I really have nothing to say. There are those willing to rub dirt on their eyes in order to be healed of blindness and there are those who just won’t risk getting themselves dirty enough to be able to see. My eyes were opened a long time ago and every time I learn more my vision gets deeper and clearer and my heart swells with love for my brown skinned brothers and sisters and that love drives me to link arms with them in an effort to END. THIS. I follow their lead- for they are the experts in this long, hard, relentless journey. It is an honor to walk with them.

  5. Quartlbaum says:

    Sometimes people just hear what they want to hear see what they want to see but if you’re looking for the truth you just got it the epidemic in crisis issue is very real the way people of color are treated in America has not changed many of you know what I mean just walk into any Chinese store in the end or anybody ever foreign birth and just watch the reaction as you walk through this door this is because America is still constantly trying to put everybody before the black people so a lot of foreigners come and believe that they are the new white people were blacks are concern my personal belief is we need to group together fix our neighborhoods block by block start to purchase from ourselves and continue to be the 30 billion dollars a year buying power that we are change in life starts with one so will you be the one to step out and start making this change black or white it doesn’t matter change must be gin

  6. Lady says:

    There is someone who commented here saying racism isn’t to blame it is the user who made a choice. The article clearly stipulates that the attempt to end the usage were vastly different based on race. White people on the drug get rehab black people on the drug received jail. Statistics proved that the treatment of the same problem was vastly different.

    But hey I’m opened minded let’s say we take the user as the primary reason why people do drugs were there things such as redlining (the limitations of moving and being denied home loans), how about the school to prison pipeline, what about PTSD caused by seeing grotesque violence acted out on people that look like you could all these things lead to limitations feelings of being trapped that cause someone use drugs. Not saying that other races don’t have issues but anytime a law has to be made to protect people it means they were considered in the first place. Black people were consider 3/5 a person then property and had laws that finally freed them to be people then given permission to vote then had to avoid lynchings which are now public executions by cops. Rosewood, Black wall street, Seneca falls now know as central park all prominent black communities and business that were destroyed.

    But sure the choice is on the user has nothing to do with the experience or environment and it is okay the treatment to each users choice is different. *insert more sarcasm here*

    1. Frank says:

      You have a lot of excuses, and racism is your first choice.

      Still, it comes down to the choice to change. Hate the messenger because you refuse to hear the message, but truth is still truth.

      By the way, the absolutely overwhelming of homeless drug addicts are white. And guess what? They’re full of excuses too.

  7. Osa says:

    Yes!! This is spot on CJ keep writing great work!

  8. Thomas W. says:

    Sometimes, say the Reagan administration from your example, react to things simply from a legalistic perspective that we as Christians have often resorted to when faced with a problem.

    Subject X is not good for you; therefore, we ban Subject X.

    Racism may very well be a part of it and initially for drugs, even unconsciously, but it’s as likely that it’s our legalistic tendencies in reactions.

    In conjunction with that, Reagan didn’t really fight an overseas war (he had a cold war), and I think he focused on one here instead, by creating a war on drugs which many at the time, regardless of color viewed as bad.

    30 years or more later its much easier to see how ineffective and wrong it was for various reasons including how it effected African American communities and families.

    And this is where I don’t think you give enough credit to this changing. Many white people have been highly supportive of the black lives movements. Many white people are sharing the problems and failures of the war on drugs with others and seek reform to the system. It takes time to get through entrenched worldviews. But this is breaking through even on conservative and traditionally legalistic worldviews toward a more libertarian stance on the matter of drugs.

    The media doesn’t like to tell you that though.

    The opiod crisis/epidemic, whatever you want to call it, is providing an opportunity though for treatment and pathways that are non-incarcerating. In other words, there is a prime opportunity to set the foundation for all the other drugs we’re concerned with moving forward to reform and legalization at least for usage. Instead of waiting for an ambiguous perception of admittance on the past, there is a great opportunity to change at this point.

    And I’ll say it here. Trump’s ability to pace and lead is a prime opportunity to lead us away from the Jeff Sessions who are still hung up on legalism when it comes to drugs. He’s already making Sessions back off of weed. I would not be surprised that by the end of his 8 year run if most recreational drugs have moved away from incarceration and toward treatment for addiction where wanted.

  9. h l munsey says:

    please stop blaming white america for the woes of the black community. the black preachers don’t preach the ‘truth’. and (most) black families don’t want to hear the truth. so just STOP. the bible is the (same) for every single person that has ever been born. if we truly follow CHRIST, then we will teach and preach HIS TRUTH. i don’t live to please white people. i live to please JESUS CHRIST. the reason why the black community is so screwed up is because we (so deeply) desire the acceptance of white people. that’s IDOLATRY. the ‘truth’ is the ‘light’. like it or lump it.

    1. Frank says:

      The problem – at least with this author – is the exact same problem exhibited by every single addict. The problem is somebody else’s fault. In the short term it feels MUCH better to blame everyone else, but in the long term it’s suicide.

      1. Elodie Quetant says:

        I’ve read this article several times and believe you may be missing something. The media and government responses to these drug issues ARE THE SUBJECT of this article. The author does not say or imply black people are addicts because of racism. Not even one time.

      2. Frank says:

        I don’t believe I said anything like that, Elodie.

  10. Frank says:

    I work with recovering drug and alcohol addicts every day. There is ONE key and ONLY ONE key to recovery. Unless you are willing to take personal responsibility for your choices, and commit to change, nothing is going to get better.

    In other words, you CJ, are dead wrong in the basic premise of this article.

    Sadly, blaming everything on racism is far easier than taking personal responsibility for anything.

    1. Toviyah says:

      You seem to be angry with the drug addicts’ denial and self-pity. But it’s part of the disease. So what are you doing to overcome your resentment toward those people ? Just curious.


      1. Frank says:

        Taviyah, did you fail to read my first sentence?

        “I work with recovering drug and alcohol addicts every day.”

        There’s your answer.

        Stop blaming everything on racism. That’s just stupid.

        By the way, the absolutely overwhelming majority of addicts – particularly homeless addicts – are white. Gotta be racism, right?

      2. Frank says:

        Also, don’t bother projecting your own psychosis onto me.

        My anger is toward people’s tendency to blame everything & everyone but the right thing & person. The people who do that will never recover.

        Same principle applies to black Americans. If all you ever do is blame everyone else for all your problems (which is what “TheWitness” specializes in) you will never be anything but miserable, and addicted to being resentful.

      3. Thomas W. says:

        Neither one of you are helping the conversation move forward. Projecting others feelings or by calling what someone believes or said is stupid, isn’t helpful. We can be better than that.

        We can refrain from such while still making responses from different points of view.

      4. Frank says:

        Thomas W – making excuses and blaming everything on racism isn’t “helping the conversation move forward.” It’s moving everything backwards. But hey, if moving backwards is what you all want, don’t let a voice of disagreement and honesty stand in the way.

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