Here's an unusual article that's a recommended read. The author recalls his first-hand experiences as a pastor in a multcultural community. He reflects, 'As I look back at my own calls for harsher sentencing legislation, I can only confess that I was complicit in doing the wrong thing'.
This article is important in comparing the ‘crack epidemic‘ of the eighties to current ‘opioid epedemic’. The pastor sums it up in his words:
So what I am struck by now is how my perspective has changed. Sure, I’m a few decades older and have learned some things, but it’s worth noting what crack meant to us. It meant black street crime.
Today, what the opioid epidemic means for many of us: Whites need treatment.
Perhaps, there are still two standards in the US, one for blacks and another for whites? Given that Pew Research has recently cited 50% of US families have been impacted by the opioid crisis, there’s now a political incentive for politicians to be seen to be engaged helping encouraging more funding for treatment and prevention.
But there’s another factor, overprescription of opioids to older Americans looks to be peaking. But the ugly part of the opioid crisis is the massive explosion of illegal opiods by criminals – prices are tumbling and greater volumes are entering the marketing targeted at younger users.
Surely the criminal aspects of the ‘crack epedemic’ are not so dissimilar from the crimal aspects of the ‘opioid epedemic’? So are the media and political classes now softer on crime?