Yesterday’s Heroine; Today’s Heroin

It was just Frances E. Willard Memorial Day. Not many people remember her now, but before her death on February 17, 1898, she was one of the most famous women of her time. Wikipedia calls her a suffragist, but Frances Willard gained her fame by forging the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) into the largest organization of women in the world by 1890.

The WCTU, reacting to the increased liquor traffic that developed in the US during and after the Civil War, called for “the entire prohibition of the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage.” Eventually this led to the Prohibition movement and, in the way problems have of creating their own solutions, the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous, the world’s largest mutual aid society.

Alcoholism remains an enormous problem to this day, one that Alcoholics Anonymous strives mightily to address. It is at least as old as the Bible, and is very familiar, if not well understood. You could say it is old hat, at least among northern Europeans.

Not so with heroin. The opium poppy may have been used for 5,000 years in the Orient, but not in the West, and not like this. The opiate addiction ravaging the US for the last almost decade is a whole new animal for white America, one that kills tens of thousands of people each year, more than guns, more than cars.

That this is a white problem is sometimes ignored and sometimes acknowledged, but nearly always misrepresented, in three main ways:

First, it’s depicted as a problem of poor whites, especially Appalachians, when it’s endemic in all 50 states and like every other addiction cuts right across class lines. But the mainstream media are fond of the rise-of-the-poor-white-trash narrative, and will cling to it even if their own children overdose on narcotics.

Second, it’s depicted as being caused by pharmaceutical companies overmarketing and doctors overprescribing pain medicine, when the real driver is illegal drugs from illegal Mexicans. “Nearly all of the heroin used in the U.S. is brought across the border by Mexican traffickers, who are nearly always illegal aliens.” The CDC itself sows this confusion. As Ann Coulter put it,

It’s true that overdose by prescription drugs is the leading cause of overdose deaths, but that’s a trick: The CDC classifies all opioid pain reliever deaths as “prescription” opioid overdoses — whether or not an actual doctor or “prescription” was involved. Guess who’s moved into the “prescription” drug business in a big way? That would be Mexico.

The DEA makes the distinction between an illegal drug and a legal prescription drug. Why doesn’t the CDC? Presumably because for the last almost-decade, the federal government far preferred to demonize Big Pharma and the stereotypically white male doctors than Mexican illegals. For the CDC to lump all opioids together as “prescription” opioids or as “pain relievers” reveals not just a lack of competence, but a highly dangerous unwillingness to address source of the soaring number of heroin and fentanyl overdoses.

Third, it’s depicted as a demand-driven problem, when the evidence shows that it’s access-driven: the rise in heroin addiction is being fueled by an unprecedented supply of very cheap, high-purity heroin from Mexico. As described in Sam Quinones’ relentlessly factual investigative book Dreamland, specific Mexican families targeted specific American cities, based on information about sales of prescription narcotics, for the introduction of illegal opioids. With the brilliant simplicity of the marketplace, their product took off like wildfire: it was cheaper, more potent, and more available (read “unregulated”) than pills. Clamping down on licensed doctors (read “regulated”) simply shifted business from prescribed drugs to proscribed drugs.

As Quinones describes, the Mexicans do not sell heroin to blacks because of the violence, and they do not sell to Mexicans because it destroys the people who use it. So it’s a problem of whites. But under the they’ve-got-it-coming mentality of the past almost-decade, any focus on the heroin crisis among whites is seen as anti-black: “When the problem was crack, you didn’t care, and now that it’s your kids you do.” For this reason, and with a cynical and woeful sleight of hand, the Obama administration transformed an illegal alien issue into a Medicaid/Medicare abuse problem.

Hillary Clinton vowed to spend another billion dollars to fight the opioid epidemic. What a pointless gesture that would be. Right now, all a heroin dealer has to do is avoid guns and he will face only deportation if caught — a far more temporary setback than prison, as he can simply come right back. The political will to control the border is what we need, not more money for harm-reduction.

And what about America’s tragedy, the immiseration of whites that drives the escapism of drugs? Is it really social justice, the self-inflicted wounds of the salt of the earth, punishment for their years of racism, comeuppance for their ignorant Christian anti-cosmopolitanism, the necessary and appropriate penalty for their failure to be progressive enough fast enough?

Of course not. This, the media portrait and the received wisdom of the past almost-decade, is racism at its worst. What we are in fact seeing is the cruel economics of cross-cultural open borders, and the destruction of tens of thousands of innocent families.


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