It was only a matter of time before former Alabaman Senator and now current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, took on discrimination in the nation's colleges and universities.  After all, as the country's top lawyer sitting at the head of the nation's prime Federal agency for enforcing America's penchant for the "rule of law" from Maine to Florida and between Hawaii and North Carolina's Outer Banks, it's natural that he would direct the DOJ's focus towards discrimination.  It's perfectly logical that the Department of Justice would move to thwart all those institutions of higher learning who embody the worst of racially discriminatory practices by favoring one race over another in their admissions policies.  Yes, here in Jeff Session's version of American equality, equal opportunity and equal justice for all, there is simply no room to continue to allow the longstanding practice of favoring one racial group over another.  But White folks?  Really?  Yup, that's right: discrimination against White folks. After all, Trump highlighted the truly terrible plight of American Whites as they struggle to maintain their top dog majority status in American society.  Apparently, not only Trump but Sessions, too, heard their plaintive cries and Sessions has decided to act with the goal of trying to restore White America to its exalted status in America's traditional pecking order though college admissions.  Or something.  

This is one area where America's conservatives do pay attention to data and statistics.  By all legitimate measures, it is estimated that by 2050 the gaggle of minority groups that comprise the American patchwork quilt of color, race and ethnicity will be elevated to majority status, a situation that given the treatment of, let's say African Americans or Native Americans (or Jews, Italians and the Irish not so long ago), America's White community is not going to accept lying down.  And while Jeff Racist Sessions might be the most glaring example of White Power At All Costs at the moment, focusing the Justice Department's attention on "reverse racism" at our colleges and universities, is only the latest, most recent illustration of how White Power actually works.

Take, for example, the national scourge that is our opioid/heroin crisis.   Not only has the Sessions Justice Department and Congress allocated more funding towards allaying this national "health crisis epidemic" but states and local communities have geared up to eradicate this terrible tragedy extant across the entire country.  Not a day goes by when you don't hear some random Congressman or governor of one of our deep Red States take to the airwaves waxing indignant over this national health crisis and ask why it is that the government isn't doing more to end this horror and to help opioid/heroin addicts with increased access to curative drugs, therapy programs and intervention efforts.

But me and Jeff Sessions are old enough to recall what our national attitude and response was towards our national crack cocaine epidemic back in the 1970's and 1980's.  As crack use ballooned across the country there was no talk of increased funding for treatment programs or calls for greater attention to a national health care crisis.  Quite the contrary, all the "calls" back then were for increased punishment for crack users, longer prison sentences and ramped up police enforcement to forcibly eradicate this scourge (not "public health crisis") by eradicating the uses.  Here are a few images from this era:

  Now take a look at today's headlines regarding the opioid/heroin national health crisis:

Notice anything different?  For those of you who did not live through the nation's crack cocaine epidemic, you might not get the "flavor" of the public and governmental response to the 1970's crack epidemic compared to the current public and governmental response to our "opioid/heroin" national health crisis.  If you have any Black friends who are old enough, ask them.  They'll tell you.  This time around, there are no outraged cries to increase police arrests of users, no calls for increasing prison times for crack addicts, no press panic about how crack cocaine was destroying society, no Presidential calls for tougher enforcement of drug laws, no Congressional response of new legislation to put crack users in jail for longer periods of time.  Ironically, the response to the opioid/heroin epidemic that annually kills more people than car accidents and murders combined, has been calm, rational and measured, the polar opposite of reactions to the 1970's crack epidemic.

So what gives?  Has American society so matured and advanced that today we see the real underpinnings of the opioid crises when we did not before?   Have our public officials become magically so much more compassionate and knowledgeable about public health issues?  Do we respond more thoughtfully today to national drug crises and emergencies than we did in the past?

Right.  Tell me another one.  The single reason why "we" are responding so differently to the opioid crisis than "we" did to the crack cocaine crisis, is because crack cocaine was inextricably linked in the 1970's in the public's mind to inner city Black people.  Today's opioid crisis is characterized as a crisis among suburban and rural Whites.  It's really this simple.  When an epidemic is characterized as a White problem, it is treated with reason and deference.  If a crisis is a Black problem, forget it. White America simply isn't interested and doesn't care except to call for harsher public actions against them.  

And this is why Attorney General Sessions can re-impose mandatory minimum sentences with no pushback from the press.  It's why the Justice Department can jettison DOJ consent decrees with local police departments with scant public outcry.  It's why Sessions can remove the Justice Department from Voter ID court cases and no one bats an eye.  And it's why his refocusing the Justice Department on discrimination against Whites in college and university admissions will also go unchallenged.

Racism and discrimination in America didn't magically vanish with the adoption of the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.  It didn't end with the passage of the Civil Rights Act nor did it end with the election of America's first African American President, Barack Obama.  On the contrary, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions so clearly demonstrates, racism and discrimination are very much alive and well in America today.

Remember: It's Black Lives Matter that's a terrorist organization not Breitbart and Infowars.

Have A Good Day!

 Here's a link to an Atlantic magazine article about this topic.  


PS: Wanna know why Trump hasn't fired Sessions yet?  Trump's base loves him!


Popular posts from this blog