Rapper and businessman Jay Z blasted the War on Drugs in a blistering op-ed short film for The New York Times.
Narrated by Jay Z and artist Molly Crabapple, the film goes through the history of the War on Drugs. From the Nixon administration to the Rockefeller Drug Laws and the increase of incarceration rates in the ’90s, this film was reportedly a year in the making.
Writer, filmmaker, and co-author of Jay Z’s biography Decoded, Dream Hampton approached the Drug Alliance policy about working with Revolve Impact, an organization that “combines organizing and the creative arts to drive communities to action.”
Dream wanted to challenge the issue originally raised by author Michelle Alexander in her 2014 book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, which asks the question, “Why are white men poised to get rich doing the very same thing that African-American boys and men had long been going to prison for?”
In November, Californians have the opportunity to vote Yes on Prop 64, a major marijuana legislation matter. Prop 64 would reduce and potentially eliminate criminal penalties for marijuana offenses. Perhaps the best thing about the bill is that it is retroactive, meaning people in prison for low-level drug offenses would be released and have their records expunged.
We’re happy Jay Z is using his influence to speak out on such an important matter that has affected millions of people across the U.S.
Notably missing from Jay Z’s short film is the effect of the drug policies and legislation on women of color. Melissa Harris-Perry penned an eloquent response on The Undefeated, called, The rest of the story, black women and the her story of the War on Drugs.