This one right here is probably the saddest instance of all the instances. When dealing with anything regarding the people of non-color—America dresses up, throws on its superhero cape, and runs to save the day. On the flipside, whenever it’s something regarding black people or minorities in general—gavels are slammed down, sentences are handed out, and jail cells are closed behind them. This situation being an example of that very thing.

In the 80’s and early 90’s, crack cocaine ripped through the black community like a thunderous rage. Death, violence, and economic disparity soon followed. If you’re wondering what America the Great did in this situation, I’ll tell you. Black people were prosecuted in droves—families were ripped apart—children were placed in foster care—and jails were filled with dealers and drug abusers. For black people, America did not put on its cape and run to save the day. It didn’t shed a single tear at the state of emergency minority communities were in. Matter of fact, thanks to Nixon and Reagan’s war on drug policies, the crack cocaine epidemic was treated like a criminal justice issue, the 13th amendment was given a new meaning, and overcoming addiction was something for families to figure out themselves.

At first, it was meth leading the charge. Today, in the year of our lord two thousand and eighteen, we are dealing with an epidemic that America calls an opioid, but in the streets, we call it heroin. There’s no real need for America to dress up the term, but since this “epidemic” is affecting white people, a more colorful, health related term needs to be used. You see what I did there—I just hipped you to what the media does when you’re white in America—it’s called PWW (protecting what’s white) if you were wondering.

Right now, America needs us to link arms, gather around our white brethren and sisters, channel all our ancestors (yes, even the ones they enslaved), and sing old negro spirituals to help them in this time of need. They need us to pass the collection plate and chip in with our coins to donate to “community” organizations. Because now that this issue is taking white people out, America’s new drug problem is now a national health crisis and not a criminal justice issue.

The jails are no longer being filled (not with them anyway)—help groups are sprouting up—Congress is now scrambling to help—and rehabs are allowing drug users to claim treatment on their insurance. All of this because the skin color of those overdosing has changed.

Shadress Denise
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