Jay Z has teamed up with the New York Times to deliver a scathing short film about the War on Drugs.
In the short film, Hov breaks down how the War on Drugs started, how its policies “epically” failed and how racism played a large part. Illustrated by Molly Crabapple, the film tells a story of fear and Black people being made the blame.
The film also looks at the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and their role in the War on Drugs. Nixon’s cabinet and policies deemed Blacks as the ones responsible for a heroin epidemic in the 1970s. In the 1980s crack was regarded as a Black drug, and Reagan wasted no time attempting to control it. The Iran-Contra affair revealed that the U.S. government was importing cocaine to Los Angeles and other major cities. The film also addresses the racial discrepancies in the policing in drugs.
The project was brought forth by dream hampton, filmmaker and co-author of Jay Z’s book “Decoded,” who approached the Drug Policy Alliance about linking up with Revolve Impact, an organization that connects influencers with community organizers. The goal: to illustrate the hypocrisy of white people getting rich off of the same marijuana that got Black people sent to jail for years, sometimes decades.
Watch the short film below.
History of The War on Drugs: From Prohibition to the Gold Rush
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 15, 2016