10
Jan
08

Crack: The Elephant in the Closet in Poorest America

There was a news story today buried deep beneath the multitude of political ones dealing with a bazaar event in southern Mobile County, Alabama.  In case you couldn’t find this very important story, here is the link to it:

                http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080110/ap_on_re_us/children_bridge_deaths

This story is extremely important not because it takes place in an area I highlighted awhile back on the post: Tri Coastal Community Outreach: A Rare Disaster Relief Group Success Story—but because of the absolute ugliness of what took place.  Unless people in this country wake up and begin to take note of what is happening in the obscure places no politician ever visits; they will never know the pulse of the real America.

We have several different issues vying for the top position in this story.  We have the whole immigration issue.  We have the immense drug, and especially crack problem as a major issue.  We have the whole socio-economic fabric of that part of the country that is an issue.  And of course far and away, the biggest issues deal with how a father could do such a thing to his children. 

There is absolutely no way this case will ever receive the attention similar cases dealing with mothers killing their children receive.  Besides the obvious problem with nationality, there are too many things in this story that arouse anger toward the nation, the local authorities and social services to generate the national outpouring of emotion seen when mothers suffering from depression drowned or killed their “babies”.  There is no one to victimize here except the same drug addicted minorities people get so tired of hearing about on the evening news.

I have been to this area many times.  I have seen this bridge.  I have met many of the local Vietnamese community.  This story hits close to home for I know what is going on in the area.  I know the elephant in the closet is the same as in countless communities, towns and cities across America.  The underlying problem is “crack”.  If one were to go to this area in Alabama and stay awhile, it wouldn’t take long to see that the underlying reason for the poverty and crime in the area is the overwhelming amount of drugs being used and needed.

Just as in the ghettos of huge cities, there are hundreds and hundreds of predominantly unemployed men addicted to crack.  These people are like desperate animals.  They will beg, borrow, steal and kill to support their habit.  One of the most revealing lines in the Yahoo story was:  “The family initially feared he had traded the children to support his drug habit.”   Ladies and gentlemen, have we really come to the place in America where fathers would trade their children for crack?  Yes we have.

What is the value of four young children?  Considering many middle class Americans spend well over $10,000 to adopt one child from China and other countries; how much could four children under the age of four be worth on the black market?  If it isn’t happening, why was it the initial fear of the family?  It is happening and it’s only going to get worse.

Hard core drunks can live under a bridge in a cardboard box and be content to find cheap bottles of wine because their addiction allows it.  Hard core crack addicts do not have it so easy.  You never find them living in boxes or in dumpsters.  No, they live at home, many times appearing to be normal people.  They may be normal until the monster rears its ugly head and demands to be fed.  Unless one has been addicted or worked with addicts; there is no way to comprehend what happens when a person HAS TO GET THEIR FIX.

As time goes by, we will eventually learn the details about this tragedy in Alabama.  Until then, we must lift our heads out of the sand and honestly take stock of what is going on behind the scenes in economically depressed areas.  Much of the oppression and depression is caused by the never ending need for and then the effects of taking crack.  There never was much of a war on drugs, and now there is NONE.  Authorities have basically given up trying to deal with the problem in many places because there is no way to deal with it. 

I leave you with a very numbing possibility.  What if someone becomes desperate for their next fix, they steal YOUR kids and trade them for drugs?  Would the problem suddenly become more than an obscure nuisance found only in the ghetto?  If your children were thrown off a bridge by a drug addict whose mind was fried and whose conscience was seared; do you think this story would suddenly become a bit more important?

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