Where’s The Apology?
As this Florida school bus video starts to get more and more attention nationally, people are asking why this brutal ‘black on white’ attack is getting no reaction from the likes of Sharpton, Jackson, Dyson or Obama. Especially in light of how much attention they gave to the Trayvon Martin incident, and how important they considered it to the future of race relations in America.
There is a very good reason for their lack of attention. It’s because this story has NOTHING to do with race. It has everything to do with DRUGS.
The thirteen year old victim of the attack had reported to school authorities that one of the attackers had tried to sell him marijuana in the bathroom earlier that day. Following the code of ‘snitches get stitches’, the attackers jumped him on the bus as he was getting up to leave, and beat him until he was left with a broken arm and two black eyes. They could have easily killed him, and have certainly left him with permanent damage. Broken bones never completely heal.
This is the kind of violence that comes with the drug trade. It comes as a result of dealers, growers and pushers wanting to protect their turf. It’s used to try to keep people from talking to police. It’s used to intimidate unwilling participants to get involved in the business. Sometimes the victims are competing members of drug cartels in Central and South America. Sometimes, they are innocent people in Mexico that we will never know about. Sometimes, it’s a thirteen year old boy who is just trying to do the right thing.
This young man is braver than I could ever hope to be. I hope that he will bear no permanent scars, physical or emotional from this.
Twenty-five years ago, we had a First Lady in the White House who was tirelessly sending out the message to ‘Just Say No‘. Today, we have a First Lady who seems to be more concerned with making sure there are no more unsightly overweight children on the playground. I do want to hear from Obama about this incident. I want to hear him say ‘I’m sorry’. I want to hear him apologize for doing drugs for so many years. For all the money that he put into the hands of criminals who’d rather see someone get hurt or killed than give up the lifestyle that his money helped sustain. I want to hear him apologize for helping to make ‘chooming’ cool in the minds of a whole new generation of users. I want to hear him apologize for doing his part, along with millions of other Americans, to stimulate the demand for illegal drugs, and how that’s resulted in the terrible condition of Central and South America.
I want to hear the President say he was wrong, and that he is sorry. I also want to hear that from:
George W. Bush
Robert Downey, Jr.
I suspect I’ll never hear any of these politicians or celebrities apologize for their part in creating the drug culture that we deal with today. The truth is, people like to get high, and they don’t want to think about all the violence that happens in the course of getting drugs into their hands. After all, thinking about such things might harsh their buzz.