Perception on drugs the black community vs the white community

Jersey College

Kimberly salmond

English 201

William Birnes

There are persistent racial inequities in the opioid issue, despite the more humane language of the 1980s crack cocaine campaigns, according to the Crack vs Heroin Project. According to a study, black individuals are detained and sentenced more harshly for drug offenses than white people, despite the fact that the two ethnic groups consume the same number of drugs. There are racial disparities in drug interdiction and punishment because of America’s disproportionately harsh reaction to the late ’80s crack epidemic and the subsequent war on drugs. In 1971, former President Nixon launched the “war on drugs” as a way to punish African-Americans. This deep-seated assumption of remorse and vulnerability that Nixon pounced on spurred a heavy-handed response to crack cocaine 10 years later. Despite the fact that most cocaine abusers were and still are Caucasian, sensationalized tales of “crack infants” and violent “crackheads” often presented crack consumers as black. Because of the stigma attached to crack users, they were seen as “dangerous reprobates” who ought to be imprisoned (Barthelemy et al., 2016).

Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which included a 100-to-1 powdered cocaine-to-crack imbalance and allocated $1.6 billion in federal money to enforcement agencies and imprisonment, was a response from policymakers. In 1988, Congress gave authorities and prisons huge amounts of money and declared consumption of cocaine the sole substance that was a federal offense. More severe punishments for crack charges were passed in 15 states, varying from 2-to-1 in Florida to 100-to-1 in Nebraska and North Carolina, depending on the amount of powder cocaine compared to crack. Resurrecting the whipping post and reviving chain gangs were two ideas that were proposed in Delaware and North Carolina in an effort to combat drug trafficking (Barthelemy et al., 2016).

Racial disparities in drug offenses and parole hearings remain, despite today’s more sympathetic perspective of substance abuse. The narrative changed as more and more white individuals were hooked to and died from opioids. Heroin and pharmaceutical painkiller abusers are often presented as compassionate sufferers in the press. In 2018, Congress allocated more than $7.5 billion to combat the opioid crisis, but the vast majority of that money went to studies, rehabilitation, and preventative measures rather than to social programs. Little attention is paid to the effect of the war against drugs on minorities and their families. Although the discrepancy between powder cocaine and crack was decreased from 100 to 1 in 2010, experts believe the ratio has no scientific foundation and sustains a double standard for those charged of crack charges in the federal judiciary, who are mainly Black (Girma et al., 2020).

A flawed system continues to harm innocent individuals and their loved ones who have been convicted of minor drug charges, however. People convicted of drug charges have been prevented from getting government aid and residential help, eligible for federal aid, and even military benefits at the national level. Having a drug charge might make it difficult for someone to secure a permanent employment, vote in elections, or find a good place to live


Barthelemy, J. J., Chaney, C., Maccio, E. M., & Church, II, W. T. (2016). Law enforcement perceptions of their relationship with community: Law enforcement surveys and community focus groups. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 26(3-4), 413-429.

Girma, M., Robles, C., Asrat, M., & Hagos, H. (2020). Community perception regarding maternity service provision in public health institutions in 2018 and 2019: A qualitative study. International Journal of Women’s Health, 12, 773.