Jay Z Calls War on Drugs an Epic Fail
"In 1986, when I was coming of age, Ronald Reagan doubled down on the war on drugs that had been started by Richard Nixon in 1971," says Jay Z at the beginning of a new animated short film on the history of said war, made by The New York Times. You can watch it above.
The short film is incredibly well done, with an illustrator drawing scenes as Hov walks us through the government cracking down on crack in the '80s. He highlights the irony of demonizing drug dealers while bigger, more fundamental issues were ignored by the media – like the ending of social safety nets and the defunding of schools.
Jay also brings up the unfair perception of drug dealers as heartless villains with "no moral fortitude," highlighting his own experience as an example of this vast mischaracterization. In addition, he discusses the mass incarceration of black men in the 1990s and the laws that exaggerated punishments for crack rock versus powder cocaine. "The NYPD raided our Brooklyn neighborhoods while Manhattan bankers openly used coke with impunity," Jay points out.
From start to finish, it's a startling explanation of how the U.S. fumbled the war on drugs, as Jay concludes the government's efforts were an "epic fail."
Peep the must-watch video above, and listen to Hov's latest song "Spiritual," which tackles the racism of today.
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