Jay Z Declares America’s War On Drugs To Be An ‘Epic Fail’ In Gripping New York Times Op-Ed Video
Jay Z has called America’s War on Drugs an “epic fail” in a compelling New York Times op-ed video. The piece shines a spotlight on the seemingly biased laws that may questionably ensnare a higher proportion of minorities and then lock them up in an overcrowded prison system that is largest in the world. The video asks the question, “Why are white men poised to get rich doing the same thing African-Americans have been going to prison for?”
Shawn Carter narrates the hard-hitting video and the artwork was done by artist Molly Crabapple. The video begins in the year 1986, when jay Z was coming of age and starting selling drugs in the Marcy Projects. It is also around the same time that President Ronald Reagan took Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs to new and extreme heights.
“Young men like me who hustled became the sole villain and drug addicts lacked moral fortitude,” the rapper says in the op-ed. “In the 1990s, incarceration rates in the U.S. blew up. Today, we imprison more people than any other country in the world: China, Russia, Iran, Cuba — all countries we consider autocratic and oppressive.”
Jay explains how drugs and drug dealers were solely blamed for the problems of inner cities instead of looking at issues such as severely underfunded schools and a lack of jobs.
The video highlights hypocrisies such as higher sentences for those caught with crack cocaine (Usually poor people) than those with powder cocaine, which was mostly used by wealthy individuals. Another issue is the legalization of marijuana has brought billions into the states that have approved it. However, large companies and venture capitalists with deep pockets are quickly taking over an industry that sent millions to jail and still is sending millions to jail.
“Rates of drug use are as high as they were when Nixon declared the so-called ‘war’ in 1971,” Jay Z concluded. “Forty-five years later, it’s time to rethink out policies and laws. The War on Drugs is an epic fail.”