Addiction, Race, & Justice
God Requires Justice
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” —Isaiah 58:10
“Black people are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession even though black and white people use marijuana at comparable rates.” –ACLU
Communities of color are being decimated by outdated drug policies that not only unfairly target them, but contribute to a mass incarceration system that destroys lives forever. Many people who are convicted of drug possession are imprisoned for disproportionately harsh sentences – and when and if they get out, they often lose the right to vote forever.
Our drug policies, laws, and practices play a major factor in the stigma and injustice of how people of differing races are viewed and treated. Laws and policies have been used as tools to target immigrants and people of color. Racialized drug policies expose great disparities among minorities and the disadvantaged.
If we cannot address inherent issues of racism and addiction, we will never see the end of the institutional violence, social inequities, and health disparities caused by The War on Drugs. Real change requires faith, difficult conversations, prayer, patience, openness, humility, and a willingness to change. It may involve conflict, but conflict can bring change and growth.
We have a lot of work to do.
“Addiction and Trauma in the Black Community”
Sam Simmons was a keynote speaker at the 2019 Addiction & Faith Conference, and lectured on the history of trauma in the black community and how that trauma has a direct impact on addiction issues. Please take the time to listen to what he has to say, and deepen your understanding of our human struggle toward justice.