Jay Z is teaming up with the New York Times to deliver a brutally honest look at racially-themed shortcomings associated with the “War on Drugs.”
Accompanied by the artwork of Molly Crabapple, the Hip Hop mogul serves as narrator for a short film in which he calls out the so-called war as an “epic fail.”
“As Ms. Crabapple’s haunting images flash by, the film takes us from the Nixon administration and the Rockefeller drug laws..through the extraordinary growth in our nation’s prison population to the emerging aboveground marijuana market of today,” the NYT wrote in an op-ed accompanying the film premiere on Thursday.
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While Mr. Carter does indeed touch on several negative effects that the War on Drugs had on Black communities, Melissa Harris-Perry says there’s more to the story.
In response to the viral video, Harris-Perry further expands on the topic by introducing intersectionality and addressing how the “War on Drugs” specifically affected women of color.
“If Jay has given us a ‘History’ on the War on Drugs, allow me to offer a “Herstory” on the War on Drugs. Don’t get it twisted this ain’t beef,” Harris-Perry wrote in an op-ed for The Undefeated.
She goes on to examine how Black communities were destroyed by the politics and policies of America’s misguided attempts to end the widespread drug epidemic by targeting African-American drug dealers in impoverished neighborhoods, while failing to also target their distributors — many of whom were not people of color.
Both Jay and MHP have started a very important conversation that illustrates the bias in policing and mass incarceration, as well as the detrimental effects they have on the communities they target.