The Media Treats White Drugs Users Like Angels Who Lost Their Way and Treats Black Drug Users Like Demons Who Must Be Returned to Hell

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A white man and woman sitting in the front seat of a car, both on the passenger’s side, with the car door open, looking at the camera. Two children, on the passenger’s side, in the backseat, also seen.]

Let me ask y’all a rhetorical question:

Did the media cover the crack epidemic in black and brown communities like they are currently covering the heroin/opioid/crystal meth crises in primarily white communities?

Do they cover the current synthetic marijuana crisis in black and brown communities like they are currently covering the heroin/opioid/crystal meth crises in primarily white communities?

Nah, they do not.

When discussing any drug issue in black and brown communities, crime and fear of black/brown people are the driving forces. Black/brown people are regarded as monsters.

Exhibit A:

“There is a word that local residents and workers use to describe a group of drug users whose presence they say has grown around a busy Brooklyn transit hub: zombies. What was once a few familiar faces has turned into a tribe of strangers, walking around, staggering and looking lost, in the throes, it is believed, of the ill effects of K2, a synthetic drug that officials in New York have been working hard to eradicate.

The problem in the neighborhood has gotten to be such that a manager of an urban farm nearby, tired of the smoke wafting onto the property, posted two hand-painted wooden signs with a simple message: ‘No Smoking K2.’

On Tuesday, the longstanding problem became a local crisis on this gritty patch, on the border of two developing neighborhoods, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick. In the area around the subway station at Myrtle Avenue and Broadway, emergency workers transported 33 people who were suspected of overdosing on K2 to hospitals, the police said. The powerful drug, also known as Spice or synthetic marijuana, has grown in popularity in recent years despite public warnings.

Eight people were taken from the Stockton Street area to Woodhull Medical Center suffering from ‘altered mental states,’ lethargy and respiratory issues around 9:40 a.m., a spokesman for the Fire Department said. Others were found in the surrounding area.

‘It’s like a scene out of a zombie movie, a horrible scene,’ said Brian Arthur, 38, who watched three people collapse as he made his way to work in the morning and began live-streaming the episode on Facebook. ‘This drug truly paralyzed people.’”

But when discussing any drug issue in white communities, care and empathy for white people are the driving forces.

You can almost hear the violins playing as they write about white drug users as though they are protagonists in some romance novel. White people are always afforded their humanity.

Exhibit B:

“Katie Harvey walked out of the house where she lived with friends, shoved her duffel bag into her mother’s car and burst into tears.

‘I need to go to detox,’ she told her mother, Maureen Cavanagh. ‘I’m just tired of everything.’

Ms. Harvey, 24, had been shooting heroin for three years. She had been in and out of detox — eight times altogether. But it had always been someone else’s idea.

This time, Ms. Harvey made the arrangements herself. She had come to loathe her life. ‘I haven’t even been doing enough to get really high,’ she said. ‘I’m just maintaining myself so I don’t get sick.’

Before she left for detox, Ms. Harvey curled up on the couch in her mother’s living room in this well-to-do suburb north of Boston and reflected on her life: her low self-esteem despite model-worthy good looks; her many lies to her family; how she had pawned her mother’s jewelry and had sex with strange men for money to pay for drugs.

As she spoke, tears spilled from her eyes. She wiped them with the cuff of her sweater, which covered track marks and a tattoo that said ‘freedom’ — her goal, to be unshackled from the prison of addiction.

Ms. Harvey had been a popular honors student. But she developed anorexia. Alcohol was next. By 21, she was hooked on heroin.”

Despite the drug crises in white communities being the largest the United States has ever seen, dwarfing the crack epidemic of the 80s, white people — from every class status — have the benefit of never being negatively judged for their behavior; white communities have the benefit of not being raided by rabid police departments and S.W.A.T. teams; white people aren’t being rounded up and shuffled into prisons by the truckload; white communities and the people who reside in them aren’t being pathologized; no one is blaming white culture for this deviancy; no one is attributing this to the immorality of whiteness and white people; there’s even sympathy for babies born with opioid addiction; and they are sure to downplay crystal meth and hyper-focus on opioids-as-painkillers to ensure maximum sympathy. No, for white people, this is being treated as a health crisis from which they can be saved. And addiction, for white people, is being treated as an illness.

All of this is, of course, the complete opposite of how addiction was and is being dealt with in black and brown communities. In black and brown communities, to this very day, addiction is regarded as a crime and black and brown users are considered criminals.

Please consider that the media doesn’t broach how violent crime in white communities — violent crime between white people — has exploded as a result of this drug crisis. Notice how white drug dealers’ mugshots aren’t plastered on every channel at the top of the news hour. The term “white-on-white crime” isn’t even in the American lexicon despite this significant uptick in crime in white communities that no one is talking about. In fact, when crime related to this enormous drug crisis is being discussed, white people are, once again, blaming black and brown people for white people’s “fall from grace.” This charade is an essential part of how white supremacists ensure whiteness and white people appear biologically, ethically, morally, and psychologically superior to blackness/brownness and people of color.

The only way you would know that white-on-white crime is ravaging white communities is by going to those communities or talking to the academics doing the research and conducting the studies. But you will not find it in the news because to maintain the facade of white superiority, such violent behavior by white people must remain utterly hidden while, simultaneously, criminal activity in black and brown communities must receive hyper-focus to the point of exaggeration, leading to skewed perceptions of black and brown criminality — bolstered by the fact that police forces are forced to seek out crime in black and brown communities and ignore it in white communities — that people of all races believe are accurate.

Most white people you encounter will maneuver and manipulate the discussion around all of this, and employ sly sophistry and deception to ensure obfuscation of these very salient, observable, and pervasive facts. Don’t bother to argue with them; no matter what evidence you present, they will keep asking for more. The more you present, the more they will scoff and claim that the evidence doesn’t meet their standards (they have no standards, by the way; they are continually raising the bar simply to keep it out of reach). They could find the evidence themselves if they had the wherewithal. But they don’t. They are only asking for more as a strategy to keep you occupied and exhausted.

They will insist that “This is about class, not race!” ® as a defensive strategy to avoid implication for the part they play in white supremacy and claim victimhood through class status. What that analysis always ignores is that white supremacy is a tangible, demonstrable benefit even for the poorest of white people. Within classism there is racism.

Look at sentencing in the prison industrial complex, for example. White people receive lighter sentences than black people with similar records who commit the exact same crimes. Additionally, a white person with a criminal record is more likely to be hired for jobs than a black person without one. White high school dropouts are just as likely to land jobs as black college graduates. Further, black people are, overall, poorer than white people at every class level. Most white people, employing the very white supremacy they claim they don’t ascribe to, will blame those outcomes on black people by calling us “inferior,” “criminal,” “lazy,” and all the other tired stereotypes that comfort them and keep them from having to actually engage or acknowledge their complicity.

The evidence of inherent institutionalized and social racism is accessible, available, and abundant for anyone actually interested in seeking. But most white people aren’t interested in that. Rather, what they are interested in — whether they admit it or not; whether they can face it or not — is justification for their racism and the solidification of white supremacy. So they’ll point to one anecdotal exception as the means to throw out the rule. They have no intention of ever being convinced or ever acknowledging the truth. They have way too much riding on the lie.

If possible, ignore the fuck out of these white people. Whatever you have to do — block them on your social media, delete them from your comments sections, exclude them from your safer spaces and intelligent discussions — do it. And let that be the only energy you expend on them because anything beyond that is a complete and utter waste.

Now, of course, the way white drug users and white drug addiction are being treated is how all drug users/addictions should be treated. I have to say that outright because there will be people who will purposely misinterpret what I’m saying and intentionally derail this discussion on that particular point in order to deflect/deny/ignore/minimize the inherent racism and white supremacy I’m analyzing. That addiction is a health crisis not a criminal crisis goes without saying.

But what I’ve described above are some of the ways in which I know for a fact that the United States is an anti-black, anti-brown, racist white supremacy. And it’s one of the chief reasons I distrust American media in particular. Because almost all American media — whether film, music, newspaper, radio, or television — is designed to delude white people, and people of color, into believing that white people are the only human beings on Earth.

And nine times out of ten, the indoctrination is successful.