Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Nov 28, 2010


A Guest Post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

Treating celebrities as if they do not deserve the same punishment for drug crimes committed by poor blacks and other regular Joes, the justice system and the media create a special class that justifies if not contributes to the murder and mayhem south of our border.

Some human beings crave illegal drugs as much as others want food and water. Heroin from Afghanistan, cocaine from Columbia, marijuana from Mexico, meth from small town labs scattered across the United States, all find their markets in every country around the world. In Mexico, the transfer point for all types of drugs into the United States, drug wars are fought for control of this multi-billion dollar industry. Illegal drug use tears the social fabric of society asunder. No one is really taking this matter seriously, and the media treat the subject and its cast of characters like celebrities.

American news is filled with stories about another celebrity who had a wild, allegedly drug-fueled assignation in a fancy New York hotel, and supposedly violently attacked a woman escort. Drugs, prostitution, and violence seem to go hand-in-hand. The media, and even the courts, treat these celebrities like appealing and attractive “bad boys” and “bad girls.” The hotel has said it will not prosecute the celebrity for the major damage to his room, and the District Attorney seems to have told the t.v. star to get out of town fast. He went right back to filming his series at two million dollars per episode. But in Mexico, a young reporter was shot to death for reporting how the drugs gets from crop to nose, and the police, his family, and bosses are cower in the wake of his murder afraid for their own lives.

The insatiable thirst for illegal drugs may not have caused the murders of Luis Carlos Santiago and the other innocents of Mexico, but we are no less responsible than is second hand smoke for cancer. Letting celebrities walk into rehab instead of jail after repeated arrests for drug possession and their associated criminal acts, contributes to a rage among poor people and people of color that celebrities are treated different by the law and the media. The gentlemanly, compassionate treatment of celebrities and the children of the rich caught possessing and using illegal drugs tell the rest of us it is an ok behavior. We all have a hand in the murders and violence south of the border.
I have hardly heard a news commentator call for the arrest of one major celebrity for his cocaine and alcohol induced rant, even though he allegedly was high on cocaine and alcohol, smashed hotel furniture, and threatened his female companion who feared for her safety and called security. This news-making instigator was allowed to leave the hotel, board a plane, and fly home without ever being charged with any crime let alone drug possession. What if he was a black man from Harlem? Do you think he would be treated the same?

The judges adjudicating their cases, the prosecutors cutting deals with their defense lawyers, and the celebrity swooning media, are guilty by collaboration in the failed war on drugs if not first hand association with the cartels. They all are answerable if not accountable in the murder last September of Santiago, a 21 years old photojournalist who worked for

El Diario newspaper. His newspaper and others in Mexico merely report the drug trade and cartel murders, but now they have become the object of murderous dealers who do not want the publicity. Not only is reporting being stymied, but democracy is being killed by the violence in the drug trade. It is already spilling over the border into the U.S. How long before our democracy is threatened by this violence? The U.S. Federal government seems, at best, inept, and at worst complicit, in this war.

Bring it down to scale; the cartels are at war over who is going to supply Hollywood celebrities and twenty million other drug using Americans with a hot, in demand product, just like Target and Wal-Mart do without the shootings. Only this costs America $200 billion a year and people die. The celebrities seem to get special treatment bouncing in and out of rehab, while poor folks go to jail. The mean Federal sentence for drug felonies is more than six years. When was the last time we can remember anyone with celebrity status receiving anywhere near this kind of sentence? Instead, they offer to go to rehabilitation treatment centers for their addiction, while people without the financial resources go to jail.

I have heard many people describe the shooters in Mexico as “animals,” “locos,” and worse. American police, politicians, and residents along the borders with Mexico blame the illegals for smuggling drugs, bringing crime, fear, and death to their once peaceful communities. No one blames the Americans for our hunger for cocaine, heroin, meth, and marijuana. Our government looks the other way at Wachovia, American Express International, Bank of America, their officers and staffs accused of financing the cartels and their activities. Instead of slapping their wrists, government could make a large statement by confiscating their corporate and personal assets like they take possession of homes and cars of small fry caught with drugs.
Government could show it is serious about wiping out drug possession and use by expanding treatment programs, but at the same time by seriously punishing our icons and trend-setters, fashion arbiters, and stars; i.e., punish the glamorous for their drug buys, distribution, and personal use. These people are not cute. Advertising agencies hire them as spokespeople to sell products, because they can get Americans to buy the products. Show them being punished instead of glorified for drug use, and may be it will have a deterrent effect on some young person.

The media report the arrests of celebrities for drugs like it was a red carpet night opening of a new movie. More attention is paid to their drug activities by the entertainment media than the news reporting media. It warms my heart to hear the compassion for these stars by mental health experts and analysts on t.v. talk shows who worry more about the careers of personages like Lindsay and Paris than the impact of their drug buys, possession and use on society here and in Mexico. Who cares about the careers of Black men and women who do not get to cut deals with judges and prosecutors, but fill our jails for the very crimes over and over again for which celebrities are sent to rehab, given parole, or just go free?

Sure there is a double standard. We all know that’s they way the system works. But if you think watching these rich, white, celebrities walk away again and again from serious criminal prosecution and punishment endured by the poor and minorities isn’t taking its toll on our social fabric, then visit a prison once. Go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, talk to teachers whose students come to school high, and then you will understand why they are killing each other in Mexico to sell drugs in Hollywood and New York where their use is glorified and seems socially acceptable. Oh yea, read a major bank’s cash flow statement. Then tell Luis’ mother how sorry we are he got shot to death by a bunch of animals.

Dr. Harold Goldmeier Chicago, Ill. 773-764-4357 hgoldmeier@aol.com Dr. Goldmeier was a Chicago Public School teacher, a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University earning a Doctorate in Education, and taught as an Assistant Professor at Tufts Medical School. He worked in government for three Governors, the U. S. Surgeon General, and in children and youth advocacy for nearly two decades. He recently sold his business after nearly three decades. He has been married more than forty years with children living in America and Israel, and a son who recently served with the Israel Defense Forces. He has published more than two-dozen articles in professional journals and popular magazines and newspapers. Dr. Goldmeier currently a writer, consultant to government agencies, and to small businesses on economic growth and marketing. His most recent articles appeared in The Jewish Press on terrorism, and in Haaretz of Israel and he writes a guest post for LifeinIsrael.blogspot.com., Open.Salon.com., and more.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...