Friday, November 28, 2014

Published 10:30 AM by with 1 comment

Crack Whore? Crack Head? What's in a Name?



I am sensitive. I like to think I am culturally aware. I will have to be honest, I am biased, too. For more than seven years, I studied race in America. That information permanently impacted my life – my lens upon which I view things. In that, everything – and I do mean E V E R Y T H I N G in America is covertly or overtly connected to race.

This is not about trying to change your mind. I am not trying to get readers to agree, either. I do want to simply ask you to read this and think through it.

Talking to a Facebook friend, I realized that she and I have the same thoughts on this. . . When we see certain images, even in negative situations, they appear polished and good. But when we see other images in the same situation, they are bad, made poor decisions and their plight should be exactly what they deserve. Has anyone one else noticed?

At some point in America, there became a War on Drugs. This war has locked up several men, women and left children abandoned or living with grandparents or other family members. When the images of drugs are seen in the media, more times than not, it depicts the African American male in an urban enclave (polite way to say ghetto) living below his means, with money hidden in the slates of the floor. The male has gold teeth, no shirt and usually does not have a haircut. He’s the scary black man. When we see women in the drug game, they are not attractive . . . their hair isn’t done, their mugshots are so embarrassing and dehumanizing, we often repel when we see her. She is depicted as a whore – no... a crack whore, and if interviewed, they wait until she is high.

Am I the only one bothered by this?


Further, when crack exploded, no one cared. The American world looked on like it was a soap opera, watching our neighborhoods fall into a deeper sense of depravity – there was no help. There were few
people who thought of the man or woman on drugs as victims. Sadly, they were depicted and viewed as people of rage. . . people who did not care for themselves, hapless and hopeless, and almost deserved their demise. No consideration was given to their previous life; education or family. They were evil.

BUT . . . when Sally got addicted to heroine it is pitiful – she is faultless. The camera will find her best family member, allow them time to gather their thoughts, and tell her story. When meth hit the rural states in America, it was a quiet plague that ruined towns. Ohio has been devastated by meth – and when white boys began to fail and drop out of school because of their addiction, it became an issue; a problem for us all to consider. The questions, “Where did this come from?” “Why would these people in this neighborhood run to drugs?” Then the questions and probes began into the ‘root cause’ of the problem. The answers are bountiful. The plight, the same.

However, when the black drug dealer is in front of the judge, the sentence is harsh. His white counterpart often gets sent to rehab. When the crack whore is before the judge, her family is destroyed – if she has children, they are doled off to various people; homes, to foster care. It takes at least three visits to court before the court usually takes a white mother away from her child.

Does anyone see the injustice of the justice system?


While addiction is no joke – white or black – my concern is how it is shown to America. When blacks are addicted, it is their fault; they bought into quick and easy money – fast times and riding high (no pun). They are asked, “What lesson did you learn?” and the reporter, while thinking they are being fair; is condescending and judgmental. When the same reporter is sent to Ohio to see the emptied town – the vacant homes, lack of jobs, it is pity and despair in their voices. The questions are softer – and without judgment. Why?

The reporter of majority descent often understands the Ohio plight because s/he too may have had friends who tried drugs in high school or college and they managed to use only on weekends. The sight of Ohio is very disturbing, but in an ‘awww, you didn’t stop’ kind of empathy. There, the reporter sees him or herself, what could have been if s/he had not stopped. Deeper, this is about the disdain of one community and believing that only because factories left town, desperation crept in and left these whites with no hope – but dope. 

Sadly, Americans do not empathize with blacks in the same situation.

Worse, this speaks to the deeper problem: Race in America. Any time one race or ethnic group is dominant, or thought of as better, it is a very dangerous situation. Why is the white crack addicted woman thought of as needy? A person who has fallen into hard times – due to circumstance? And we are to accept her into society after her misgivings. But the black counterpart is not.

Race is difficult to navigate especially in America. Our history is an awful one -- This is just another example.


** Goal D Locs **

1 comment:

  1. Excellent Article. Very true points.

    ReplyDelete