From Frugivore — On the first day of Spring, there was a scientific study that made its way through all the major news outlets concerning the behavioral issues of children born to mothers addicted to methamphetamine. In a nutshell, the story reads in a predictable fashion: children born to meth-addicted mothers exhibited behavioral problems, which were exacerbated by poverty and the lack of a man in the household.

That’s pretty standard reporting considering this was the first study of its kind and most researchers don’t want to jump to conclusions, which are always subject to change. But there was something missing from the coverage that would normally accompany drug research findings.  Luckily, Jezebel hinted at the void with its headline “Meth Babies Are the New Crack Babies.”

So what was missing from all the coverage?

Fear … Hysteria … A Presidential, Oval Office, Fireside chat with Americans about how tough we need to be on meth users and sellers, complete with a full scale ratcheting up of the “War on Drugs” and new mandatory minimum prison sentences for these “soulless creatures” ripping away at the fabric of small, rural middle-America, people who Sarah Palin coined “Real America.”

Jezebel’s headline is still relevant to its primarily white audience if you peruse the comment section. Because of its very real moral significance to America’s narrative, evoking the ghosts of crack babies is clever but is it a fair comparison?

Bearing in mind blacks for the most part are still enduring, suffering, and surviving in rural poverty or crack and other illicit drug-infested inner cities — arguably the only robust black communities left after “integration” — the black children born to crack mothers seem to fill the role of test subjects — yoked, branded, and monitored in projects as representations of a time when black life was patently evil and destructive yet seductively commodifiable, a time only glorified in Hollywood.

In comparison, the behavioral issues seemingly inherent in meth babies will probably be used to explain some isolated violent incident in Montana or Fresno, California but it will not come to define a generation of whites as opposed to how crack did to blacks. There will be no hyperbolic headlines like “Babies Offer Reminder Of Crack’s Cruel Legacy; Congressmen Get Close Look at Suffering,” or “Sex, Crack, and Infant Deaths.”

The coverage of meth will be treated as a news story with the common dramatic story lines that engage any audience. But unlike crack babies of the 1980s and 90s, the contrast lies within the humanization of white sellers and users, both rogue players who will never define whiteness or white people.

Even though we live in a 24-hour news cycle, whole white communities have not had the intense media spotlight placed on them like the wall-to-wall, salacious coverage of crack-infested black communities.

Granted the crystal meth issue in America is not as widespread or concentrated as the so-called crack epidemic, which spread quickly throughout America’s major cities, but American meth labs also didn’t have the unabashed support of the Central Intelligence Agency to help the toxic substance permeate middle-America.

Interestingly, methamphetamine production doesn’t receive the media’s vitriolic outbursts over its impact on the surrounding environment. Crack became synonymous with the deterioration of black communities, producing some of the highest murder rates in outside of war zones, with countless stories spelling out doom for not just inner cities but for the nation as a whole. Conversely, meth is a highly toxic, chemically hazardous, drug, which contaminates and destroys all life in its path. For every pound of meth produced, between five and six pounds of highly toxic waste is generated.

(Read the rest at Frugivore)

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  • CurlySue

    I think you already answered your question as to why meth babies won’t receive the same attention: 1. The problem is not as widespread 2. Many meth havens are small, rural towns not the inner-city, so not as much attention will be paid. 3. Users of meth belong, predominantly, to the white majority. So, when you compare the small amount of meth users to a very large white population, it looks less startling or urgent than comparing the crack users/sellers to a much smaller overall black population.

    • Tonton Michel

      4- People in general are exhausted and desensitized to drug epidemics because of the war on drugs. Last time people went ape about drugs, it was when Ecstasy hit the news and that fizzled out less than a year and that drug is still going on strong.

    • CurlySue

      Very true. Frankly, people are just over caring about drug addicts.

  • mamareese

    Same reason why there are not speed and cocaine babies. Crack has been a more mainsteam and more accessible drug. No matter what drug it is you are putting a baby in danger by even doing the mess.

  • carla campbell

    Ditto. I have been thinking about exactly that recently, and I am pleased that it is being addressed here. I hope the larger media outlets will address this also. We as a group cannot overestimate the level of damage that was done to the overall image of Blacks as a result. of the so call “crack epidemic” . If you recall there was widespread generalization and criminalization of Black mothers instead of drug treatment programs for addiction to crack cocaine or social programs that provide interventions to under serve communities.

    Today, however, the crystal meth epidemic is widely out of control among a similar demographics; poor, single mothers, mostly young teen moms and women in their twenties with predatory boyfriends. The one glaring difference is race. I would like to see other media outlets pick-up on this story because it is one worth telling.

  • The 5 Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S. are all BLACK, BLIGHTED and CRACK INFESTED!

    Even though economic woes are up, violent crime is down in the United States. Getty Images
    Every year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) releases its annual Uniform Crime Report. From this report, we can list (statistically) America’s most dangerous cities. Some might surprise you; others not so much. Regardless, all are selected based on hard data compiled by the bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) unit.
    Don’t let this list get you down, though. The overall picture is actually much sunnier: Even though economic woes are up, crime (particularly violent crime) is down in the United States, and it’s been trending downward for the last five years. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon common sense wherever and whenever you travel. In general, avoid deserted areas, particularly at night, leave your valuables at home, and park in well-lighted areas. Finally, keep in mind that statistics only tell a small part of the story; talk to locals for a fuller picture.
    1. Flint, Michigan
    The birthplace of General Motors went into a tailspin when the auto industry collapsed and its workforce went from 80,000 to around 8,000. Michael Moore, a Flint native, documented the decline in his 1989 film Roger & Me, which memorably showed laid-off workers being evicted from their homes on Christmas Eve. With a median income of $27,049 — a whopping 46 percent below the national average — and 36 percent of its population living below the poverty line, gang activity and drugs have hit Flint hard. But police Chief Alvern Lock is stepping up community policing with such federally funded programs as the Blue Badge Volunteer Corps and by cementing partnerships with state police and area task forces. Early 2011 FBI statistics show that something is clearly working: The violent crime rate was down in nearly all categories.
    2. Detroit, Michigan

    A) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgymB3CfR5Y&feature=player_detailpage

    B) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgymB3CfR5Y&feature=player_detailpage#t=25

    C) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgymB3CfR5Y

    Few cities have had as precipitous a decline as Detroit. The bankrupt auto industry, the collapse of the housing bubble and the flight from the inner city — all have had a hand in Detroit’s Shakespearean fall from vital Midwestern hub to urban wasteland. But hopeful signs are everywhere. FBI statistics for the first half of 2011 indicate that violent crime is down 24 percent compared with the same period in 2010. Revitalization projects have pumped $1.5 billion into the city and have included a spiffed-up riverfront with the RiverWalk and green spaces. The Detroit Tigers (MLB) and Lions (NFL) both had stellar 2011 seasons. Urban farming is another proposal on the table, with 30,000 acres of vacant land ripe for crops.
    3. St. Louis, Missouri
    4. New Haven, Connecticut
    5. Memphis, Tennessee

    NAAWP CRIME NEWS: http://travel.aarp.org/articles-tips/articles/info-10-2013/most-dangerous-american-cities.page.2.html

    “AMERICA is at WAR in 2014 whether we LIKE it or NOT, to PRETEND to otherwise is a LILY WHITE LIBERAL LIE!” (TRAINAISM)