Today at an address in New Hampshire, the President said the United States must “get tough” on opioids. “And that toughness includes the death penalty.” The image at the top of this post is what immediately popped into my head. I believe that the President was referring to the death penalty only for the people on the left of that photo.
One of the reasons why so many black and brown men have been incarcerated is because the laws are harsher for black and brown men. I can name many young white men who have used and sold illegal drugs and not one has been jailed.
This is not about getting tough on opioids or other illegal substances. I fear that this is another “opportunity” to destroy men of color. Or maybe the death penalty comment was just a hyperbolic remark tossed out for cheap applause with no intentions to follow through.
Either way, addressing opioid addiction is crucial. Addressing the uneven incarceration of men of color is also crucial – and it’s been an issue for hundreds of years in this country.
Two blog posts in one day is not my norm. But I couldn’t not say something.
Images are of actors playing drug dealers. On the left are characters from The Chi (which is one of the best shows on television if you are looking for something to watch.) On the right are actors from “The Preppie Connection” based on the true story about student cocaine dealers at Choate Rosemary Hall. The white kid was arrested and convicted. He got five years of probation and no prison time.