My issue with Trump’s invite to Duterte

If you are unaware, Rodrigo Duterte is the murderous leader of the Philippines. There is no doubt that this man is responsible for the murders of countless drug users and drug dealers in the Philippines. Trump recently invited him for “friendly conversation.”

Trump and his supporters can be heard declaring the need for “law and order,” a phrase made popular by Richard Nixon’s run for presidency, and a major part of his successful, and widely imitated, “southern strategy” (political strategy to win over whites, particularly southern whites, by appealing to racism). Trump saw Jeff Sessions to be someone he could trust as upholding “law and order.”

Jeff Sessions, now the Attorney General, is problematic with his approach to justice in this country. Jeff Sessions supports the failing “war on drugs,” a battle that has only worsened the lives of U.S. Americans, Latin Americans, and South Americans. A battle that has incarcerated a disproportionate amount of disadvantaged Americans in order to fill prisons, many of which are private and generate profit for private parties. Prison is an industry and the “war on drugs” helped that industry grow.

Imprisonment does not address or seek to solve the issues behind why people use/abuse drugs or go into the business of dealing them. For that we must address poverty, income, healthcare, wealth distribution, etc. Yet Trump and his supporters cry for “law and order” and attempt to worsen access to wealth, income, and healthcare under the guise that the middle class is failing because those in need are… in need and lazy, not because the wealthy are increasingly wealthier.

We may not see police death squads murdering drug users and drug dealers anytime soon in America, but I doubt Trump has any interest in addressing the horrible effects of the “war on drugs” anytime soon, as I see with his friendly invitation to Duterte. Trump and his supporters will continue to propagate the idea that people, like my friends and family who have struggled and/or lost their lives with/from drugs, belong(ed) behind a cell, stripped of their humanity. When you hear that rhetoric, I urge you to “just say no.”