A Public Service Announcement
This is not an attack on white people, it is a critique of whiteness as a social institution. If there are questions please refer to my previous blog post explaining how Pro-Black does not mean “Anti-White.” On that note…
White people are literal cry babies. So willing to subject people of color to the most horrible conditions imaginable but once they get a taste their whole outlook changes…let’s take a look at the hypocrisy of attitudes toward drugs now that white people admit to using them.
In the 1960’s those damn hippies made marijuana and LSD cool and trendy. One of the reasons for the War on Drugs was to lock those hippies up for drug use because it was thought to be Anti-American. Those damn hippies grew up into my parents generation, the same generation that eventually gave into consumerism, capitalism, and all the other isms they once condemned. They grew up and became hypocrites. They started listening to government propaganda. Believing blacks were drug users and criminals, until their own kids started using drugs…
Now that white families are starting to be affected by the War on Drugs they seek “gentler” aka different aka preferential treatment. Please treat us like the delicate lily white flowers we are and not like those violent thugs.
And the response? Society is becoming more compassionate for white drug users than they every were for black drug users.
“Across the nation, task forces are assembling to provide creative, non-criminal, solution-based approaches to opioid addiction. First responders are being supplied Narcan to revive folks on the brink of death from overdose. Cities like Ithaca, N.Y. are shopping the idea of supervised drug use sites to provide safer space and medical assistance to drug users.“
This new way of dealing with the “heroin and opioid” epidemics ripping across white America is a slap in the face for black Americans. For decades the War on Drugs ravaged black communities, ripping families apart and contributing to the enslavement and disenfranchisement of millions of black Americans. But…we are asked to be more compassionate and understanding for white drug users…?
The Gentrification of The Hustle
Yet another slap in the face for black people in the long list of slaps in the faces we have endured is this new drug culture we see on the rise.
For years and years black people turned to selling drugs because of disenfranchisement, because they were denied jobs, because they had no other way to provide for their families. Selling drugs was a struggle, a last resort, but it built character, it put food on the table. It was a means to an end. Despite the risk of being incarcerated in droves, black people took that risk in order to survive. Unfortunately many did not make it due to being imprisoned, or killed because of selling drugs.
But now we see this resurgence in the glamorization of selling drugs one that has always kind of been around (Scarface, The Godfather) but has always been reserved for white drug kingpins and not for the everyday local black kid selling dime bags on the block. This glamorization is gendered, class based, and whitewashed.
Ladies is Pimps Too…
Let’s take a critical look at these headlines and other forms of media glamorizing drug use when white women do it.
Here we have two women, first, Nancy Botwin the main character of the hit TV show Weeds, about a white suburban mom turned drug lord, posing seductively in Mary Jane Green. Next we have the glamorous “Cannabis Queen of Beverly Hills,” but let’s not forget black women at the height of the crack “epidemic” were referred to as “crack whores.” Far from glamorous. There’s a gendered and racialized double standard there.
Then take a look at the young white hands wearing Zara frocks in “Marijuana Rebranded.” Rebranded into…what? A trendy hipster drug now that young millennial white women gentrifying Brooklyn are doing it? Weed is in Vogue now. *sigh*
Next we have, “Main Line Woman, 62, heroin addict, and not unique” the accompanying article details Lynne C. Twaddle, a “self-employed yoga teacher’s” descent into opioid and heroin abuse after two hip surgeries. Her age, race, and zip-code are meant to shock us. The uppercrust does drugs? My, oh, my! Duh…It’s completely unsurprising that white women of the 1% do drugs, they have to deal with white men of the 1% on a daily basis. Not to mention statistics have proven time and time again that white people use drugs and sell drugs at a higher rate than black people do.
The elderly Main Line woman certainly is not unique. Older white women get a pass for doing and selling drugs because they’re cute grandma types. Let’s not forget a video of “Grandmas smoking weed for the first time” went viral, was shared thousands of times, and viewed over 25 million times.
Meanwhile, black grannies aren’t getting the same type of treatment in the media…
See how she was doing it to put her grandkids through college and give them a better chance at life, versus *other* (white) grannies who were actual drug abusers or doing it for likes and retweets? Still, she was criminalized while the white grandmothers were not.
Who Getting That Paper Though?
Not black people. Remember, black people are thugs for selling drugs. White people are entrepreneurs for selling drugs.
Despite the street smarts, the business savvy techniques, the math skills utilized, black people selling drugs are still labeled thugs and criminalized in states that have and haven’t legalized marijuana use.
In those same states, young white male college grad entrepreneurs, are making serious coin off the sale of marijuana.
Not only has the sale of marijuana been gentrified but the language has been as well. All of a sudden we are seeing words like “budtender,” “Kushcations” it’s truly mindboggling.
Why can’t black and brown people have the luxury of holding such titles? Why is it only ok and cool and trendy when white people discover it and start doing it? Think of all the stereotypes you know of black marijuana users. The thug on the street corner, the dirty rastafarian, the kid who cuts class to get high. I want you to take a look at how black and brown people are depicted as drug users or sellers in popular media and just reflect on how it differs from the way white people are represented.
As this blog post comes to a close, I encourage (beg) you as a reader to open your eyes to the disparities and hypocrisies of how the black people and white people are portrayed in relation to the sale and use of drugs and drug culture. How does white drug culture differ from black drug culture? Think critically about it. Critique it. Question it. Recognize that these unfair depictions and disparities directly relate to the oppression of black people.
If we are ever to be a truly free, just, and equal society for everyone, we must start now to dismantle these ideologies and practices that unfairly target and criminalize black and brown bodies. Next time your racist ass grandma calls those black kids selling drugs on the corner “damn thugs” but admits to trying pot once or twice in college, call her out on her racist bullshit! Also, call yourself out. When you find yourself using a delivery app to get that OG kush sent straight to your Upper East Side address after a long day of work at your startup company, but flip on the news and see four more black and brown Bronx youth have been arrested for the sale of marijuana, CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE. The smallest steps help and can make an impact on the beginning to an end on this war on black and brown people.