Rapper mega-star Jay-Z narrated a short animated video called “A History of The War on Drugs from Prohibition to Gold Rush” and it’s absolutely brilliant.
It starts in 1986 when Jay-Z was growing up in Brooklyn, where drugs and black people were blamed for the economic destruction caused by Ronald Reagan’s trickle down nonsense. It moves on to the 90s when the U.S. became the country with the largest prison population by a mile.
And then it gets ugly. Suddenly, crack and cocaine were “different” drugs and crack users deserved far more mandatory prison time. Somehow, blacks did most of the jail time even though whites used and sold crack more than blacks.
But Jay-Z reserves his deepest contempt for the legalization of marijuana and how blacks and Latinos are being systematically barred from entered that incredibly lucrative and rapidly expanding business. Why? Because they had been previously arrested for selling marijuana. How convenient.
He finishes off with a simple statement of fact: “The War on Drugs is an epic fail.”
Here’s the amazing video:
Featured image by Jim Dyson/Getty Images