If You Thought the Crack Era was Bad, Watch This Opioid Era That’s About to Kick Off

While cruising the Black social media streets, I’ve seen several folks sniggering over the opioid epidemic that’s currently plaguing White communities throughout America and while I understand the cynicism, some of us need to stop casting stones and look at what’s going on in our own backyards. Because it’s a whole lot of young drug addicts running amok causing chaos and mayhem but no one wants to talk about it. So I will.

Pill addiction in the Black community amongst the younger generation is running rampant and people are either ignoring it or acting shocked when the reality slaps them in the face. Rappers glorify opioid usage and brag about popping Mollies and unfortunately, too many young people have been heavily influenced by these fools and have become addicted.

According to a study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Heath Services Administration, it’s been a 40 percent increase of Black drug overdose deaths between 2015-2016 as compared to the overall population at 21 percent. And between the years of 2011 and 2016, Black folks have had the biggest increase in opioid overdose deaths, particularly for synthetic opioid drugs such as fentanyl.

I wasn’t one of the people who were kee-keeing about the opioid addiction problem in the White community but I do remember how crack addicts were treated back during the War on Drugs. Crack addicts were thrown into prison like trash and given no empathy or treatment whereas today, this opioid drug epidemic has been called a health crisis. Because the face of the addicts are White and suburban, not Black and from the inner city.

So as cynical as I am about this system I live in, I couldn’t help but put a correlation between the reckless crimes being committed in the city I live in which is Chicago and the rise of the opioid addiction in the Black community. I’ve seen mugshots of criminals who are usually between the ages of 18 and 35 and I see absolutely nothing in their eyes. Not a trace of humanity or common sense. A graduate student from the University of Chicago was murdered by one of these monsters and he gave the criminal everything he wanted and he was still shot down like a dog in the streets. The only reason his murderer was caught is because he sold his victim’s laptop and phone at a cellular store and it was on video. Crackheads weren’t that stupid back in the day because at least they waited until night to commit crimes and this murder took place at 1:54pm.

The long term ramifications of the opioid epidemic in the Black community is going to be horrendous. The community has barely recovered from the crack era and its existing on fumes. Imagine how the children born from this era in Black history are going to be affected. So my advice to the Black community is to take those blinders off and really look into the faces of the younger generation. Today I was almost pickpocketed by a young man while shopping in Walmart and if I wasn’t so cognizant of my surroundings at all times, I would have been robbed. He was too close to me for my comfort and I turned around and looked at him dead in the eyes. He scurried off like the piece of shit he was and left me in peace but another woman might not be that lucky.

Continue reading “If You Thought the Crack Era was Bad, Watch This Opioid Era That’s About to Kick Off”

If I was White, Female and Privileged for One Day

First of all, before I write this essay, I would like to state that I love being a black woman.  I love the beautiful brownness of my skin, my hair which is a crown that has anointed me Queen of my universe, my full lips, slanted eyes, and the strength of my ancestors who have dealt with much adversity during their journeys here in America and whose blood flow proudly in my veins.  But I have to admit, I wonder what it would be like to be a white female just for a day to see what it would to be like to be considered Aphrodite rising from the sea because at times, it is hard being a black women in a society that is sexist and has placed women who look like me on the bottom rung of every ladder in American society from economics to beauty.

White privilege is a critical race theory I came across in college during an African American history class.  I had to read an article entitled, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh and it opened my mind to some concepts I had never thought about before.  According to this article, white privilege can be defined as unearned advantages enjoyed by white people beyond those commonly experienced by people of color in the same social, political, and economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.) just because they are white.

White privilege is a topic most whites do not want to talk about because in admitting they are privileged because of their skin color would mean admitting that racism still exists and is not a figment of black folks’ imaginations but I digress.  It must be nice living in a world where almost every image of your kind is thought to be good and pure and I would like some of that privilege just for one day.

Just for once, it would be nice to go on a job interview and not have to worry about the texture of my hair and wonder if the person I am interviewing with has a problem with afros, two-strand twists, or any other “black ethnic” hairstyle I might be wearing that day.  If I was a white woman, I could toss my silky, long hair around with no problems.

Just for once, it would be nice not to be labeled an angry, bitter, black female who is filled with hatred just because I happen to have an opinion different from the black man that I am debating with.  If I was white woman, I could be as argumentative as I want and be told that I am merely feisty.  Black men would swim through a river of snot for me and tell me that black women are just too combative to be considered “wifey” material and that is why 40% of African American women remain unmarried.  As a white woman, I would be able to date freely and not be told by my peers to lower my expectations or else die a lonely and miserable spinster with five kids with five different fathers.

Just for once, it would be nice to see someone who looks like me on a regular basis on the covers of high fashion magazines and playing the role of the leading lady in movies and television shows. As a black woman, I am constantly scolded by the media and some of my people for being too dark, too nappy, and too fat and that I will never be placed on that anointed pedestal as the standard of beauty and loveliness for American society.  If I was a white woman, this problem would be null and void because I would be considered the crème de la crème.

But alas, I am a black woman and that is nothing to shirk at.  The strength and tenacity of black women who can make something literally out of nothing is something to be admired than scorned and I am proud to be one.  I actually feel sorry for white women sitting upon that fabled pedestal because it is a lonely tour of duty filled with unrealistic and shallow expectations and most fall swiftly and hard from that same pedestal.  Better to be me with all my flaws, real and imagined than to be the poster child of impossible beauty. But I can keep it real; sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a white woman. In my world, black women are called everything but a child of God and for once, it would be nice to be the anointed one.