A PERSPECTIVE FROM A SMALL TOWN COUNTRY BOY ON THE CRACK-COCAINE EPIDEMIC!

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… from privilege to underclass households I had a front-row seat to watch crack cocaine flourish. What was once a rich man’s high was now the poor man’s destruction. We were ignorant of its affects. The addiction deserves little to no explanation. Yet what does deserve explanation is the Blueprint that transfigured our parental and communal structures into an atmosphere ravaged by social neglect.

The chaos that came of the crack cocaine epidemic would forever change the relations amongst the afflicted. Overnight we went from mentors of humble origins and kids breakdancing on the block for fun to knocks and domestic terrorists without conscience armed to the teeth eager to rob, steal and kill for the spoils of the trade. Where we once became friends before becoming anything else, everyone in the Dope-Game became everything else before becoming friends. This made for an environment that had an alienating affect on individual and community bonds. The first sign of a problem, this caused us to turn-on each other as if cannibals because we had no foundation to fall back on to provide reason to the situation. Cats got so cold in the Game that they would give you a piece of dope to smoke before they would give you a plate of food to eat. The value we once placed on community solidarity was transfixed to a “block” represented by the neighborhood gang of trap-stars as a place not to be respected insofar as the greater community was concerned, rather a place to be respected and used to make Dope-Boy Magic.

Moreover, the epidemic gave way to Afflicted Deliberations (Chapter 2). It enslaved the mind of both the knock and dealer alike. There was this sense of euphoria despite whichever end of the pipe one was on that was addictive. The knock found escape in his or her “pipe dreams.” The dealer sought escape from poverty and with money came power. The need for diplomas and degrees went out the door as young Black men flooded the streets in the “Pursuit of Happiness.” Despite Mom’s developing habit, she remained adamant that I received that “honky” education. So much so, her methods often left welts on my backside and did more to discourage me. Besides, I thought I had it all figured out from seeing the hustle stacks she made. It didn’t take a diploma or a degree to get rich! All I needed was some cocaine, a Mason jar, baking soda and presto! Dope-Boy Magic did the rest.

So there it was there, the birth of a means that seemingly provided financial security to those trapped in the ghetto. Crack cocaine would create an opportunity, to say for lack of better term, for a large-scale drug economy that didn’t exist with marijuana or other drugs. This was so for two reasons: (1) In 1984 Congress passed the Borland Amendment cutting aid to the guerrilla based anti-communist army (i.e., The Contras) in Central America. Thereafter, President Reagan gave Lt. Colonel Oliver North the “green-light” to form a private network to fund the Contras. The primary source of funding would stem from pumping tons of cocaine into the ghettoes of America (Chapter 3-Tribalism)); and (2) After the Contras had successfully overthrew the communist governments of Central America, the newly established democratic governments would roll-out the red carpet to accommodate the North American Free Trade Agreement (N.A.F.T.A.), which gave American Big Business access to Third World quasi-slave labor to man the foreign manufacturing companies they would rush to build in Central American and elsewhere the CIA and U.S. armed forces had done their dirty work. Suddenly, many Americans, particularly Latino and Black Americans, found that their labor was no longer needed and thus they were left unemployed with mouths to feed.

THE WAR ON DRUGS was anything but! Like many other rhetorical wars announced by politicians and enacted by political institutions such as legislators, courts, and prisons, it masked deeper social and racial agendas. Namely, the record disenfranchisement that ensued from drug related arrests and racially tinged laws such as the crack vs. powder cocaine statutes, which were purposefully designed to permanently lock predominately Black and Latino Americans into positions of second-class citizenship (Chapter 7-The Web of Injustice). Crime and welfare reform would gain tremendous momentum as America’s right-wing media machine pumped-up pictures of crack babies, knocks and drug related violence to support the draconian malice necessary to elevate this so-called war from a rhetorical one to a literal one for political gain.

Excerpt from Domestic Genocide: The Institutionalization of Society.
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