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Friday, June 16, 2017

THIS COULD HAVE BEEN PREDICTED

When drug addiction was a problem in the Black community, America's response was to lock up as many Black men as it could manage -- an ad hoc response to the Civil Rights Movement and the end of Jim Crow.  Now that opioid addiction is killing White people, enlightened responses focused on helping the addicted are all the rage.  Indeed, according to this story in today's TIMES, some folks thinking outside the box are even using the jails in Kentucky as treatment centers.

Why am I not surprised?

3 comments:

Daniel Langlois said...

'Why am I not surprised?'

I take this to be a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point rather than to get an answer. The point is that growing crime rates over the past 30 years don’t explain anything. The point is to contemplate that a great many criminals are disenfranchised, prevented because of their felony convictions from voting and from living in public housing, discriminated in hiring, excluded from juries, and denied educational opportunities. Oops, did I say criminals? I mean, well, yeah. I guess I lost the thread here, what about the criminals? I mean, fine, let them run around out here, and lock me up in there, maybe..?

Daniel Langlois said...

I think this is an interesting issue, kind of frustrating, I had a stint in law enforcement for a few years, maybe that makes a difference, but to me it seems a bit .. well, what is the word.....the way that there is all this political rancor around the idea of obeying the law even if you are Black, like everybody else. Respecting the law. What are parents telling their children, in the ghetto? Oh I dunno, maybe the idea is that the parents are in jail. I think there must be black people who work as police officers and such? Stickittotheman is kind of immature, isn't it? Is this really what we need, is lots of rhetoric about how the U.S. criminal justice system is a race-based institution? I mean sure, off the cuff, without looking it up, I know that almost two million people are currently locked up. I'm confident that there are some black women and Native American prisoners in there too. If I recall correctly, three decades ago, the imprisoned population was approximately one-eighth its current size. I'm not saying that I like that statistic. Or even maybe, there are racist practices in arrest, conviction, and sentencing patterns. I mean seriously, it's all very interesting stuff and all. And I don't have the answers about how to disappear the major social problems of our time. And I know of talking points like that (if this is accurate as I figure it probably is) African Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at more than five times the rate of whites. To me, improving criminal justice policies and reducing prison populations sounds great. Truly meaningful reforms to the criminal justice system sounds great. Here's a thought -- don't break the law. How does this sound?

Daniel Langlois said...

btw, what is up here?: 'When drug addiction was a problem in the Black community, ..'

This seems to imply that something or other used to be a major concern, but is no longer a major concern, in the Black community. Such as, illicit drug use, which maybe could mean heroin, marijuana, cocaine. But also, alcohol use, smoking, or such. There used to be social and health problems related to substance abuse, once upon a time. Or maybe the idea is that there was a time when the role of substance abuse in the continuing crisis of
inner cities, overshadowed the need to assess the extent to which substance abuse has permeated rural areas. I think I'm hilarious. When drug addiction was a problem..does this vaguely relate to the recent legalization of marijuana across some states?

'Now that opioid addiction is killing White people, enlightened responses focused on helping the addicted are all the rage.'

I guess that 'enlightened responses' is kind of a case of tendentiously loading the jargon with assumptions, right? I think the political rancor here, the reference to 'Now that opioid addiction is killing White people' is..well, hey. Not lots of things are on the level in this world. If your rancor is genuine, then fine. Let's hope it solves anything. Roger Waters is angry too. To me, I'd rather see this all as very much a serious issue, -- I mean, take the notion that treating substance abusers, especially African Americans, could save the nation billions of dollars. I worry about this deeply ingrained habit of useing difference as an excuse for your addiction and other inappropriate behavior. I guess maybe there are feelings and conflicts many blacks have around racial and cultural issues. Whatever pain caused by racism, feeling of helplessness, feelings of hopelessness..I'm getting depressed. I guess that's a bit snide, like as if I have a kind heart. What I have going for me is not that, but the fact that I do not question the legitimacy of middle class goals and aspirations.