Heroin use in the United States increased by nearly 80 percent between 2007 and 2012 alone, and The New York Times' main reaction to this depressing fact is to be overjoyed that the new addicts are mostly white.
The important point is not that ragingly addictive drugs are sweeping small-town America, young lives are being cut short, or that we lost one of the most talented actors of his generation to a heroin overdose. What matters is that that the drug epidemic is not having a disparate impact.
Excitedly reporting that "nearly 90 percent of those who tried heroin for the first time in the last decade were white" -- yay! -- the Times claimed that, with white kids dying from heroin overdoses, their parents are taking a "more forgiving approach" to heroin addiction.
Assuming that's even true, are grieving parents the best source of public policy recommendations? If we're basing our drug policies on the feelings of parents whose kids overdosed on drugs, how about having the parents of kids who have been raped and murdered write our death penalty laws?
Columbia professor Kimberle Williams Crenshaw lamented that if only whites had been dying of heroin overdoses sooner, "the devastating impact of mass incarceration upon entire communities would never have happened."
The implication that black people have always had a more "forgiving" approach to drugs -- and whites are finally catching up -- is insane. Black leaders have been begging for more aggressive drug laws forever.
In the '90s, members of the Congressional Black Caucus repeatedly held hearings on the crack epidemic, crime and drugs. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., called drug traffickers "a greater threat to our national security than communists." Jesse Jackson demanded "a comprehensive war on drugs." Lee Brown, Clinton's African-American director of national drug control policy, said that "that the legalization of illegal drugs would be the moral equivalent to genocide."
Nor did black citizens take a particularly "forgiving" approach to their children's drug addictions. In March 1987, The Miami Herald told the story of an African-American woman who called the police on her own son, telling them to arrest him, when his drug habit led him to burglarize homes in their neighborhood.
By contrast, the Times' big ideas for reducing heroin addiction in America are: (1) stop stigmatizing drug use; (2) stop imprisoning drug offenders; and (3) make a heroin antidote, naloxone, widely available, so Americans are prepared when their friends and relatives overdose.
The Times objects to stigmatizing behavior only when it doesn't really mind the behavior. It never advocates a "forgiving approach" toward things the Times dislikes. There will be no "forgiving approach" to abortion-doctor killers, Catholic priests who molest children or corporate polluters -- though those behaviors may also result from a "disease."
Instead of trying to prevent abortionists from being shot, why not give them bulletproof vests?
Rather than stigmatize priests who molest kids, shouldn't we put them in "diversion" programs, and have STD antidotes available for the molested children? And do we have to use such loaded term as "molest"?
How about "compassionate counseling" for socially irresponsible corporate conglomerates? Lets try recasting them in a less stigmatizing light -- avoiding words like "polluter" or "contaminate," and instead using terms that convey a chronic condition, like "rent seekers"?
If the Times had any genuine interest in reducing drug addiction, I suspect the paper would prefer the "stigmatizing" approach. It might even advocate policies to stop drug addiction, rather than policies to treat it.
As Rangel said in a 1992 speech to the National Press Club: "We all know that the availability of heroin and cocaine on our streets is because our borders are a sieve. I would like to believe that if the communists were still alive and well, and they were pushing bombs into communities that could cause the havoc, the pain and the cost that drugs are, that somehow the secretary of state ... would be involved."
Rangel is right. The drug problem exploded in the U.S. after we opened our southern border to one of the world's major drug-supplying countries: Mexico. The vast majority of all drugs in America -- heroin, cocaine, marijuana and, increasingly, methamphetamine -- are brought in by the people of Mexico, who make our country a more diverse tapestry of cultural richness.
In 2010, 38,329 people died from drug overdoses, twice the number a decade earlier. More people died of drug overdoses than from automobile accidents (30,196), murders (13,000) or gun accidents (700).
About 90 percent of heroin in the U.S. is brought in by Mexicans. In 2013, U.S. authorities seized 2,162 kilograms of heroin coming across our southern border -- compared to 367 kilos in 2007. The government has estimated that 660,000 Americans are using heroin and more than 3,000 are dying of it every year -- because Mexico is boosting the supply.
And yet in a major front-page article about America's "heroin crisis" last weekend, the Times never mentioned Mexico.
Even when Mexicans dump illegal drugs on our country, it's America's fault. As the Times explained in an Aug. 30, 2015, article, Mexico increased opium production by 50 percent in 2014, "the result of a voracious American appetite."
In what other circumstances do we absolve the seller of a dangerous product because a buyer exists? It's not the hit-man's fault -- that lady wanted her husband dead.
In any event, the "appetite" argument may work for pot, but America did not place an order for black tar heroin. According to a DEA agent quoted in The Washington Post, Mexican drug pushers stand outside American methadone clinics, selling their wares. Hey, senor, have you heard of this?
Despite the Times' neurotic obsession with the racial breakdown of heroin users, it seems sublimely uninterested in the ethnic composition of heroin pushers. This is more than the left's usual affection for criminals.
Contrary to the cliches, most drug dealers aren't black: They're Hispanic. In 2013, 48 percent of drug offenders in federal prison were Hispanic. Only 27 percent were black and 22 percent white.
All the left's blather about drug laws being used to lock up "black bodies" is a lie. Once again, the left is using African-Americans as a false flag to push policies that help Democrats, but hurt black people.
The Times doesn't mind black neighborhoods being seized by Mexican drug cartels. It doesn't mind if more white people die from heroin overdoses. The Times just wants to increase the number of Hispanics out of prison, on their way to citizenship, so they can start voting for the Democrats.