Did the crack epidemic destroy black families?


The crack epidemic has put a hold on the advancement of the black community arguably more than any other obstacles blacks have faced in this country. The drug, crack cocaine, was introduced within the United States in the 1980s. The main reason for it becoming the main drug for blacks was because of its cheap price compared to cocaine which Caucasians mostly used at the time. The effects of crack are still something that blacks deal with currently. Crack caused many parents in the 80s to become addicts. They became so addicted to the drug that they destroyed the foundation of their family and ruined their financial stability. The parents abandoned their children, which in turn left the children with no guidance, which ultimately lead to children gravitating to the streets turning them into crack dealers which inevitably led to a destructive unbreakable cycle.

According to www.britannica.com, “The initiation of crack cocaine into socially eroded communities took place during President Ronald Reagan’s term in office, when there was a structural shift that caused huge manufacturing industries to move outside of major metropolitan cities. Their relocation created workforce competitions that further widened the gap between social and economic segments in the inner cities of America.”

Not only did the addiction of crack destroy black families but the after effects such as the 1994 Crime Bill contributed to the downfall as well. The Crime Bill was signed by President Bill Clinton, which brought harder and longer sentences for individuals that used and sold crack which mostly were African Americans.

According to www.theguardian.com, “The Sentencing Commission duly recommended that the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity be abolished, largely because (as their lengthy report on the subject put it) “The 100-to-1 crack cocaine to powder cocaine quantity ratio is a primary cause of the growing disparity between sentences for black and white federal defendants.” By the time their report was released, however, Republicans had gained control of Congress, and they passed a bill explicitly overturning the decision of the Sentencing Commission.” So not only did crack create addiction but it created a stipulation for those who indulged in it to be extremely punished.

Many things have systematically been put into place to contribute to the plight of African Americans in the United States, but crack must be one of the most destructive ones.