While I was mostly too young to remember the Reagans I do remember when I first learned that Ronald Reagan wasn’t going to be president forever. Prior to learning that I had little understanding that America supposedly changes its kings every four or eight years.
That said I am very fond of 1987/88. Tom Petty was all over the radio. I remember watching the Berlin Wall come down in the little TV in my bedroom that only got about 8 channels. I remember knowing even then that it was a big deal. I remember learning about America and about the Soviet Union, and about how everyone got paid the same – no matter what they did and how well they did it. I remember learning that the quality of their work was poorer because no one cared, and they get paid regardless. I think this was a very typical line us 80’s kids were taught. I remember hearing about the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. I had a huge world map on my wall which clearly marked out the where the Soviet Union was and where the United States was. I remember starring longingly night after night all over that map. Even as a child of seven or eight, I found myself wondering about all these other places that weren’t Massachusetts. I remember people tearing down that Berlin Wall, the graffiti on it, the stories of families united. It was a joyous time, an optimistic time, and for that reason I will always love Reagan. Because I was a kid and I didn’t understand corruption.
What has been no more influential on our times as the Soviet Union falling is the Drug War, which Reagan started. This is the reason why black families today grow up without fathers. Its a fatherless generation and its a crisis. You wonder why crime has gotten worse? Why respect has gone out the window? Why black unemployment is so high? I would put the sole blame for this on the drug war. You can’t have an entire generation without fathers. Kids grow up angry, confused, and are never properly parented with having the remaining parents who aren’t in jail being stretched too thin.
There are plenty of stats listing all the horrifying numbers of black to white percentage of jail occupants, that list how many more females than males there are in black neighborhoods, but by and far, the most horrifying thing is this: that Reagan’s administration sold crack to black neighborhoods. This is not myth, though its hard to believe. So the man who started the drug war also provided crack, a ‘black’ drug, to his citizens. Which were then arrested, locked up, keys thrown away. The crime and chaos we see on the streets today is a direct result of several generations of black men being taken away. So while we are remembering Reagan, lets not just remember, lets look at the direct result of how his policies still effect our country today.