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Historic Films
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NT-3304 @ 01:09:25
The Eleventh Hour - Show # Title: Drugs and Racism Guests: Andrew Cooper, Publisher The City Sun; Stanley Crouch, Writer; Les Payne, Managing Editor; Sterling Johnson, NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Description: The Eleventh Hour reviews with special guests, the disproportionate black drug arrests vs their population and illegal drug usage numbers. Original Broadcast Date: 2-20-90
INTERVIEW Rober Lipsyte: Andrew Cooper, some people say it's self evident some people say as paranoia. Is there a clear responsibility for drugs in the black community right now? Stanley Crouch 9:36 Well, I think that you have a I believe a lot of things at work at the same time, every one of them is that you have you have an overworked police force, you have a very long and complex antipathy that exists between the police and the black community that has had often to do with very badly handled police work, which means that that the community which should be the major agent of assistance, to the to the police has not always been had a greater confidence in the police. So for for a number of years, black criminals have actually been able to use the the the, as the cliche goes the downside of community police relations to justify their position saying that there's some kind of rebel against white authority et cetera to resist the white man is these people coming in afterwards because then that's putting up with this, they're not going to accept the failure that the white society is imposing on them and cetera. And and for a while that worked. But I think that it has now become such an incredibly terrible problem that people have to look at something like what Jesse Jackson was saying, which when he was on the campaign in 1988, and always got an incredible response from the community was he said, Look, we have to face something, we now use one of his rhymed homilies, we now face more deaths from Northern dope than we ever did from Southern rope. And he went on to say that the the, the community was gonna have to demand decency, it was gonna have to essentially community people were gonna have to take back their community. Robert Lipsyte 11:08 Look, let's step back for a moment. Les I mean, Southern southern rope was was policy was northern dope policy. I mean, was there an imposition of dope on the black community from the white establishment Les Payne 11:23 Andy Cooper raised that point. And I think that it's a good one to raise because I think we need to keep in mind with the history of some of these things were. And as you mentioned, I did in fact, work on a drug series, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1974, which is also in book form a thing called the heroin trail. And what we did essentially, is that we went to Turkey, we went to France, we went to Germany went to all along each step of the trail. And one of the interesting things that I found is that all along the way, people would say, when they were asked, Why are you contributing to this great drug menace that at that point, this is 1972, was wrecking the lives of youngsters in Harlem? And they would say, it's not our problem. It's an American problem. We don't have a drug problem in Istanbul, we don't have a drug problem in Munich. We don't have a drug problem in Motzei. And therefore, it's your problem. And what similarly was happening in this country is that the white community did not have a drug problem. So I think there's something into what and what Andy Cooper was saying. I think also what he said was that the dominant society, which is a law enforcement in cahoots with underworld type did not inhibit, I think it is true that they did not inhibit I would go a little half step beyond that and say that there was evidence circumstantial, though it is that not only did it not inhibited, but it profited from every level. If you read the Knapp Commission report, and you go back and find that police. Narco units, by the way, were taken money from drug pushers along with pimps, etc. So there was at least a juxtaposition of law enforcement people profiting from what the mafia up until a certain point was doing. And one last point I would like to make because it's often talked about these days people say that quote that Andy Cooper mentioned, was from Puzo's book fiction in the movie, The Godfather, total fiction, if I may I rent I'd like to read up just a short piece from from from our findings. There was a meeting in August 1972 of the cosa nostra leaders who met on Staten Island, the home of a man named Johnny Johnny Dalessio. It was the Don Carlo Gambino was there as well and this is not fiction. The thrust of the discussion reportedly was that they should take baby in the cosa nostra should take control of narcotics both to provide income for younger not wealthy family members, and also to take drugs out of the suburbs and confine them to the ghetto. When they ran it for 30 years. This is one federal law enforcement sources told us quote when they ran it, because an officer for 30 years it never got sold near a school or in the suburbs. You want to listen to them on wiretaps. He said they say what are they doing to our boys in Vietnam selling them heroin and and this is a quote that is precisely what Puzo was alluded to accept this as fact, it was picked up by the Federal wiretap the stuff belongs in the ghetto that was the position of the Cosa Nostra
1990s NEWS