By Al Owens
Let us, for the sake of discussion, suppose a foreign power has decided to
declare war on The United States.
And let us, for the sake of the same discussion, suppose that foreign power
happens to be Columbia.
Wouldn't every U.S. citizen mobilize to try to help defeat the enemy. Racial
issues would most likely be laid aside, with a potential conqueror fighting to
cross our doorsteps. Well, to some degree that war has already be declared and
the casualties are mounting daily. Yet somehow many of us have not yet made
aware that cocaine, in general and crack cocaine, specifically can be as
devastating to all of us as hundreds of planes dropping thousands of pounds of
explosives on all of us.
A bright young, civic minded African American told me the other day that his
first encounter with a newly elected public official was quite disturbing.
When the official shook his hand he told him, "I want to do all I can for you
The young man says he felt distress when he heard such words.
If you people means all you black people then, according to the young man, the
public official is in need of adjusting his way of thinking. Soon!!!
Hundreds of young Fayette Countians have become casualties of the tragic effects
of drug commerce. And as a result we're all surrounded. Public officials who
feel obliged to separate the people and problems in one community from the
people and their problems in another, aren't doing anybody
If a misguided teenager gets busted for, or gets hooked on, drugs the entire
community pays. No matter what community that child comes from, we all pay.
I've lived in a community that has determined that one group's problems are of
no real concern to members of other groups. And because of that, I believe the
City of Los Angeles is on the brink of some sort of civil war.
While living in Los Angeles I made it a sport to guess the races of suspects
before they were discovered and apprehended. I was almost always right.
I had created my own unofficial Crime by Race Index.
If a 15 year old gets busted on a corner for selling a rock of cocaine. There is
a fair chance that 15 year old is an African American.
If a 67 year old women gets clobbered with a nuisance complaint for having 150
underfed cats under her front porch. I'm pretty sure that lady is white.
If a young couple buys a couple of rocks from an undercover officer. I'm pretty
sure they're white.
A kid gets busted for lifting 50 dollars from a gas station cash register.
Black. An oil company executive gets busted for embezzling 150 million dollars.
White. A serial killer, a mad bomber, a boy scout leader with a penchant for boy
scouts. All white...A driveby shooting claims 5. Black or Latino.!
A mass suicide claims 30. White.
And the list goes on. I shared that list with you for one reason. Everyone of
those crimes belong to us all. The races of the transgressors were really
unimportant when seeking solutions to their transgressions.
A crazed man who parks a truck full of explosives in front of a government
building isn't being selective about the race of his victims. We've all been
known to stop what we were doing to watch in horror as innocent Americans had to
pay for the vicious acts like them. And most of us felt helplessness at yet
another American tragedy unfolding before our very eyes.
An American tragedy. Not "Your problem", not "Our problem". Everybody's
If our young bright sons and daughters have been misguided to the extent that
corner commerce has more value, than do morality and legality, then that too is
an American problem. Public officials who seem to think there is validity in
Crime by Race indexes, are an American problem as well. My index is for
recreation. Theirs is for keeps.