Let’s be real. We all know how the crack epidemic started – white people in power pumping drugs onto our streets to secretly fund wars in other countries. During that time, cocaine use was at its highest ever. But you never heard about it being criminal behavior because it was the drug of choice for white people in power and they had access to rehabilitation services.
The result was the incarceration of those impacted the most by the government smuggling drugs into the United States. Drug use is the same across racial and ethnic lines. Yet, Black people were disproportionately targeted by the same system that trafficked drugs into their communities. Now, white people have created another epidemic. This time it disproportionately impacts them and they are predictably blaming asylum-seekers at the US-Mexico border.
Another exercise in white supremacy.
There is no part of US history that will show non-white people not being oppressed by a system white people control. Indigenous people were slaughtered. Latinos were forced to give up massive swaths of land. Black people were enslaved. Dig anywhere within those and you can easily expose just how the system operates. Many of us see it. But broader US society despises us for bringing it to the forefront.
We see how the US operates in foreign countries. Particularly, in the southern hemisphere. Rich with resources, heritage, and history that goes far beyond the invention of “white people”. What the US can’t do in those regions is erase the respective cultures and history represented in Asia, Africa, and Latin America as they did in the United States under the guise of whiteness. In those countries, US colonialism is despised by large portions of the population.
Whiteness represents a cultureless upbringing. It erases white people’s respective heritage from their family’s country of origin. DNA tests often lead white people to say, “I’m from many cultures and countries,” but we can all say that. The difference is, non-white migrants represent the culture and language where they have the most recent history. For example, as a Cuban, I focus on accelerating my family’s culture. One way I do that is through my children.
It’s called cultural acceleration.
Our food, music, language, folklore, religion, and politics are all part of a culture based outside of the US and we honor that. Indigenous people, Black people, Chicanos, and other similar cultures are reckoning with a whitewashed history. Those groups, however, are tasked with finding aspects of their heritage erased from a society born and raised out of structures built by white people for white people. Our respective histories, regardless of how ugly, give us power.
Hence, the attacks on non-white history.
The ‘Fentanyl Crisis’
The uniquely North American “opioid epidemic” has now become the “fentanyl crisis” according to those who label things. Despite no discernable connection to immigration, Republicans have succeeded in not just claiming the southern border is wide open but in also falsely linking Latino migrants to the trafficking of fentanyl into the United States.
Since US Conservatism is largely based on being loud rather than being right while creating far-fetched nonsensical narratives, this leaves Democrats reacting to Republicans. They do so by enacting cruel and inhumane policies that criminalize migrants. Instead of driving its own fact-based narrative, president Joe Biden’s administration opted to try and appease extreme far-right conservatism.
From ridiculous funding for police with little-to-no allocation for accountability to advancing the inhumanity at the increasingly militarized US-Mexico border, no matter what the White House does, right-wingers will never vote for Biden. Meanwhile, he’s alienating his core supporters in favor of the whims of far-right culture wars.
Recently, Republicans held a hearing in Congress about the Southern Border. Several on the political right have used extreme language in an effort to demonize immigrants while attacking President Biden. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) has done as much damage to dehumanize migrants as any Klansman could. She regularly claims cartels, Latinos, and Biden are responsible for fentanyl deaths occurring under the Trump administration.
These narratives drive racial and ethnic animus towards non-white asylum-seekers in addition to the lies about migrants on welfare, taking jobs, and causing crime. Immigrants are far less likely than US-born citizens of committing crimes or being incarcerated. Whether documented or not, they also pay into systems they can’t use such as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.
The truth about fentanyl is that it is smuggled by US citizens for US citizens who create demand by funding and using the drug. Studies based on data provided by the US government show that 90% of fentanyl from Mexico was seized at legal entry points or interior vehicle inspections and 86.3% of fentanyl trafficking convictions were of US citizens. These are numbers that don’t fit far-right narratives and very little has been done to combat conservatives’ false assertions.
Meanwhile, solutions to properly combat opioid addiction such as intervention programs are continuously overlooked by a broad bipartisan coalition of politicians. Make no mistake, this is not a Republican versus Democrat issue. Like much-needed immigration reform, harm reduction solutions addressing addiction are broadly ignored by the vast majority of US politicos.
Blaming immigrants is just another way for white people to not look at themselves.
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