Man, when I was in college (almost 20 years ago), I had a class with this amazing professor, and I cannot for the life of me remember his name right now, but he made such an impact on my character and how I think. Especially about race and racism.
One day, he was talking about the drug trade and how the “war on drugs” was a “noble” name and feeling ascribed to what amounted to legalized racism. He was discussing it, in his amazing voice, and some fucking young republican blond kid (he really was. I had run ins with him half a dozen times and he was a neo-Nazi nationalist prick) said something about how it wasn’t true. The professor stopped his lecture and goes
“What did you just say?”
And this kid stood up and says “It’s not true. Just because black people sell drugs, doesn’t make it racism to prosecute the crime”
And I thought this professor was going to literally split open and reveal like a fucking archangel, he looked so righteously furious, but he stood there breathing. And very slowly, he said “Why do they sell drugs?”
“Because they’re criminals.”
“They just woke up wanting to be criminals?”
“I don’t know”
“Boy…sit your ass down! How many black people you see reading population polls? How many black people you see making laws? How many black people you see with passports taking cruises across boarders? How many black people you know who work on the docks unloading cargo? How many black people you know who own boats? How many black people you know own planes?”
The kid was like…a quivering ball of mush, who just stood there like……………….
The professor calmed down, and said “Black people have two statistically quantified niches in the drug culture, and that is in the selling of the product, and the consumption of it. So you tell me what that says. To me it says they are purveyors of illicit things, and if a few of them die or get put into jail so people can put a face to their hypocrisy, then so be it. Disposable people.”
That always stuck with me. Disposable people. God damn. God fucking damn.
Wealth sits disproportionately in the hands of white people, so who is moving these drugs, facilitating the movement of these drugs, who is buying these drugs, who is making the law, who is (even more so when this incident happened) enforcing the law? Who is doing this? And what mask are they wearing? Simple. It’s the money, white people or people they finance. Creating a black mask to wear so that no one has to see what is actually happening. What the drugs are doing. Who is benefiting.
And now the culture around certain drugs is shifting. Information is getting out. People are debating freedoms and statistics and medical knowledge. The inequalities are being spotlighted and pointed out by more and more people. And some states even embrace this, but the federal government keeps pushing this logical fallacy that people become criminals because there is something already criminal about their nature. The establishment keeps discussing it as a crime, and I just…
I keep seeing it like this fucking puppet show. All these faces being used to create the impression of linkage – that drugs are evil, and that evil is other, and other is black.
It’s just…it’s disgusting.
And when that same kid who stood up in that class later stopped showing up, and someone told me he’d OD’d on speed and was taking a break…
I just shook my head and thought, “How many disposable people bought him the right to use his drugs and take a break from his expensive ass education? How many disposable people did he use up?”