The analogy tries to simplify the very complex set of inter-relating circumstances about illegal drug use in general, and the challenges that face Black communities in particular. These circumstances are that illegal drug use is increaseing despite the much vaunted attempts by local, national and international policing agencies to stop it. The drug money created is in the billions, and corrupts agencies, and governments. However, its most obvious victims are among the poorest and most dispossessed.
Black communities are among those that are saddled with the challenge of finding not formulas, but solutions. But while solutions are attainable, they are also improbable. They are as easy as allowing the Black community equality in decision making for one week, only of the following institutions: the churches, the schools, the cinemas, and the employment agencies.
In the churches for this week, Black kids, who attend more churches than children of any other race could finally see portraits of ethnic Jesus as the coloured offspring of Solomon who sang, "I am Black and comely"; and not the prominently displayed white Jesus painted by Renaissance Michaelangelo.
During this one week in the schools, we would halt the streaming process that destroys the self-esteem of black kids, and we would ensure that the curriculum portrayed all people, and their histories realistically. In the cinemas would be seen movies that did not reinforce negative stereotypes of black people as whores and pimps, as well as movies that challenge myths of white supremacy.
In this vein, a movie to make and show would be one of an injured doctor who dies from lack of blood outside a white-controlled hospital in America. He is denied treatment because he is black, though he is none other than Dr Charles Drew, pioneer of the process of blood transfusion.
Another movie could be the true Quest for Fire. This would show that Africa's gift to the world was homo sapiens and civilization, not AIDS! Another movie could show how judgement came for a New York that in the early 1950's could have addressed the drug problems in the poor communities. These were ignored by those with the power to change, and change when it came was incremental, short-term and post-crisis. Paralleling this cynicism would be the optimism and self-lessness of community activists with meagre resources trying to build livable communities.
For one week, only, given decision-making opportunities now monopolised by white society, we could stop the soul-destroying effects of KracK Kocaine. For Sure!!! We are the descendants of similar Black communities who had the equally historic task of destroying another slavery. Of course, everyone knows that after this week, nothing would ever be the same, and that is why, even though the solutions are cost-effective, and relatively easy, they are so improbable, and remain so deliberately illusive.
Consequently, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!!
1991 07 16
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