Black America’s Double-Dealing on Drugs

Drug Dealer

“Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.” So wrote current U.S. president Barack Obama about his youth.

In May 2009, Jabrai Jordan Copney, a black man, allegedly shot Justin Cosby, a black man, inside a Harvard University dormitory. Cosby fled, collapsed a block away, and later died. Harvard banned from campus student Chanequa Campbell, also black, who said she had nothing to do with the killing. She knew Copney only through Harvard student Brittany Smith, Copney’s “longtime girlfriend,” who, America being America, is probably also black. Police claimed $1,000 in cash and a pound of marijuana (both green) were near the scene of the shooting.

We still do not know what happened – all four people may be innocent – but there has been too much glamorization of “thug life” in black America. I need a soldier, sings the never-poor Beyoncé Knowles, as an orangutan ambles up behind her: Gotta know to get dough / And he betta be street. This glamorization has led to disingenuous double-dealing about drugs and criminality in the black community.

Imagine if a white man had shot Cosby, but Harvard had refused to act against students connected with the shooter. Preacher Al Sharpton would now be hosting press conferences in front of the Statue of Three Lies. Al Sharpton, who was caught on videotape discussing a major cocaine deal with a man he did not realize was an undercover cop; but he still enjoys enormous support amongst African-Americans.

NAACP president Benjamin Jealous has brought up the double-standard in sentencing for those convicted of possessing powder cocaine, who are typically white, and those convicted of possessing crack cocaine, who are typically black. Entertainment mogul Bill Cosby asks, Why are these blacks dealing drugs in the first place? America’s prison moloch is indeed bloated with a million black bodies, but, says Cosby, “These are not political criminals”; and I say, we do have political prisoners - such as H. Rap Brown – but the black community is silent about their plight. The majority of middle-class African-Americans have no problem defending common criminals, but are deathly afraid of being associated with law-abiding former Black Panthers.

At a meeting organized by Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree about reducing the number of young black men in prison, the 1,000-person, mostly black audience convulsed with laughter when black Harvard professor Roland Fryer joked about his drug-dealing past – his family sold crack, and he personally stole money and sold marijuana – saying he once thought of going into the pharmaceutical industry, street-side. Everyone errs, but Fryer is unrepentant: “I don’t know if I need to be forgiven for anything,” he told McLean’s. Certainly not for poisoning black children.

Liberals lambasted George W. Bush for years when rumors swirled that the former U.S. president may have used cocaine, but black Americans cheer for Barack Obama, who freely admits to using “blow”.

Black America’s double-dealing on drugs and criminality must end. The descendants of slaves and sharecroppers, who fought terrorists in South Carolina and South Boston, who scrimped and saved so that today’s black youth could become astrophysicists, did not bleed and sweat so that, instead, those youth could “get rich or die tryin’” selling drugs.

farley_1Let us articulate a new model for black America, taking the best and rejecting the worst of Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, the Nation of Islam, the Black Panthers, and, yes, The Cosby Show: Black Americans must develop skills the world needs, create a political phalanx, renew our race pride and links with the Continent, understand that, if God has eyes, they are not blue, realize that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, and campaign to get Keshia Knight Pulliam her own TV show.

Or else leave black America to die, bleeding, in the street.

Jonathan David Farley

Republished with permission from The Black Commentator.

Published by the LA Progressive on June 16, 2009
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About Jonathan David Farley

In 2005, Seed Magazine named Dr. Jonathan David Farley one of “15 people who have shaped the global conversation about science”. He is the 2004 recipient of the Harvard Foundation’s Distinguished Scientist of the Year Award, a medal presented on behalf of the president of Harvard University in recognition of “outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of mathematics.” He obtained his doctorate in mathematics from Oxford University in 1995, after winning Oxford’s highest mathematics awards in 1994. Jonathan Farley graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1991 with the second-highest grade point average in his graduating class.

Dr. Farley’s mathematical work has been profiled in The Chronicle of Higher Education, in Science News Online, in The Economist Magazine, in USA Today, on Fox News Television, and on Air America Radio. In 2001, Ebony Magazine named Dr. Farley a “Leader of the Future.” He has also been profiled in Jet Magazine, in Upscale Magazine, and on the cover of the NAACP’s Crisis Magazine.

Dr. Farley has been an invited guest on BBC World News Television, BBC Radio, and U.S. National Public Radio. On November 18, 2001, Dr. Farley was an invited speaker at the “Stop the War” demonstration in London, which drew 100,000 people. His essay, “My Fellow Americans: Looking Black on Red Tuesday,” appeared in Beyond September 11: An Anthology of Dissent, which also featured essays by Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky. Dr. Farley has written for Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Guardian newspaper, Essence Magazine, and the hip hop magazine The Source.

The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts (home to both Harvard University and MIT) officially declared March 19, 2004 to be “Dr. Jonathan David Farley Day”.