Review: Crack; Cocaine, Corruption and Conspiracy.
The scourge of crack cocaine in lower income communities in America is
truth we all know about, if not from rap lyrics, it’s from movie scenes and all
over the entertainment sphere. We know it disproportionately affected
communities of colour, more so those populated by black people. This fact is
appalling when you consider that at some point the majority of users were
white. The documentary explores the inception of the problem and the
reaction of the government and how that culminated in a situation that
affected black and brown people decades later to this present day.
Ripple or domino effects are always a wonder to watch, that stack of
dominoes hitting each other gives you a dose of excitement as you see
them crashing in an organized frenzy. Fun right? Well in government, a
domino effect can result in dire consequences for the public. This
documentary plays out like a domino effect because it chronicles the life of
crack from how it got to the American shores to the over two decades
journey it took to ruin people’s lives concluding in jail cells. The story I
believe is also about the US government’s glaring inadequacies in dealing
with problems faced by black and brown people and how racism and the
resultant dehumanization robbed people of their basic human rights and
The crack epidemic had an enormous effect on the American political
landscape as it gave rise to ideas and interventions which would later prove
to have been more destructive than helpful. Political careers alleviated, as
government agencies conspired to destabilise other countries with no care
to how those actions would affect their own people. Chronicles of disregard
are packed into this film by way of chapters so you can see the building
blocks of what they called the “crack epidemic” which was just a long con in
my opinion. A con to rob black and brown communities of their dignity in
order to facilitate government mandated slavery in the form of prisons.
With further reading one can place that the crack epidemic and the narrative
created by the media and government intervention led to the Prison
Industrial Complex which is basically a form of slavery. As prison
populations grew a hundred times as a result of militarization of the police
due to a crackdown on crack, the government started outsourcing prions to
private companies. Those prisons were filled with black and brown people
who worked as labourers for next to nothing and still do– SLAVERY.
It is a heart-breaking watch for anyone with a soul because it’s a stark
representation of how policies and inaction can lead to massive human
rights violations. How helpless people are to governments that purport to
protect but in actuality do more harm than good. The crack epidemic was
conspired, an aspect that is not explored enough because of how
disparaging the implication is to the US government.
In the Cartoon Network adult satirical cartoon Boondocks, one of the main
characters, Huey (voiced by Regina King) says; “Ronal Reagan was the
devil.” This documentary explores Reagan’s complicity and how he played a
crucial role in the epidemic but it also lets us know that he wasn’t the only
one. It is a system that continues to disparage because that is what is was
built to do.