The New York Times put together an op-ed piece on the war on drugs and shared it to the world Thursday morning. It detailed the beginnings and the effects of the War On Drugs — Richard Nixon’s initiative to try and rid America of drugs and help those addicted. But since its inception 45 years ago, its obvious critiques were its negative effects on minority communities.
The Times created a four-minute mini-documentary about the initiative, set with illustrations and narration from JAY Z.
Sean Carter linked the War On Drugs to his own life, describing how Ronald Regan “doubled-down” on the policies in 1986 — 15 years after Nixon introduced them — and labeled “drug dealers as monsters.” With a failing economy, Jay said “young men like me became the sole villain” as opposed to other social institutions and ideas like Reaganomics and defunding public schools.
Jay then detailed how the crackdown on drugs led to higher rates of people in prison and harsher sentences for petty possession crimes — both which largely impacted minority communities than it did white communities.
At the end, he properly labeled the whole initiative as an “epic fail.”
Watch the short film, with illustrations done by Molly Crabapple, below.