White Addicts and Black Criminals

There’s significant national attention on the opioid crisis.

Ekow N Yankah had something important to say last year. His op-ed is resonant.

It is hard to describe the bittersweet sting that many African-Americans feel witnessing this national embrace of addicts.[…] White heroin addicts get overdose treatment, rehabilitation and reincorporation, a system that will be there for them […]. Black drug users got jail cells and “Just Say No.”

The difference in the national response is staggering, but sadly, unsurprising.

No sane community faced with addiction and crime would invite or acquiesce to brutal policing as their fate, and no moral community would impose it as a primary response. We do not have to wait until a problem has a white face to answer with humanity.

…or unity.