Say No to Cocaine Shaming

Here on Expat Chronicles I’ve mostly subjected right-wing psychos to dog abuse in recent years. But sometimes a self-righteous, social-justice crusader deserves a reaming, and now is one of those times.

The target is a particularly eye-rolling piece, a 500-word pile of steaming horseshit titled Here in Colombia, the hypocrisy of western cocaine users is laid bare. Highlights:

There’s a wilful disconnect that people seem to be able to make between their actions and the bigger picture, and it’s pretty inexcusable coming from well-off, well-educated westerners who can’t really claim ignorance. I witnessed first-hand the effects of the drug war in Colombia, the legacy of corruption that the cocaine market financed, and the severe impact that it has had on the lives of people who want nothing to do with it. When I see people I know casually contributing to that I find it infuriating. But when I have raised my concerns, just about everyone I have spoken to dismisses the connection…

Civilians are caught in the crossfire in the war on drugs, and the demand is fuelled by white, middle-class drug users in North America and Europe…

It’s clear that western cocaine users have to accept they are contributing to violent crime that has left hundreds of thousands dead in Latin America over the past decades, and is spilling on to British streets…

Perhaps the carnage in Latin America is a comfortable distance away from those snorting coke at weekend parties across the UK. If your money funds the market, you are complicit in the consequences.

First I’m going to rebut the most cringe-worthy statements with some hard realities which the over-educated may miss from their academic clouds. Then I’m going to apply some of the lessons we’ve learned about the intolerance and insensitivity of fat-shaming to cocaine-shaming. Lastly, I’ll highlight cocaine’s benefits to society.

So without any further ado, let’s get on with my, ahem, dressing down of author Iman Amrani, who you should know is NOT WHITE.

Despite the stereotypes about Colombia, cocaine was nowhere near as prevalent as people may think.

That’s beyond inept, aloof, fake news and alternative facts. It’s BULLSHIT ridiculous. Expats in Colombia just fell from their chairs laughing. I could’ve taken Iman to bars where you do it right there on the table! Of course not everybody uses cocaine, and if you try you can carve out a bubble to live in where you never see it.

From the archive: Kingdom of Thieves in Bogota

But no matter how you carve your bubble, how the fuck do you not see the Walking Dead zombie crackheads prowling the city with their cardboard and other recyclables? Bogota has an addict population unlike any other city I’ve seen in the world.

How the fuck do you miss that? Are you so tunnel-visioned in on middle-class white people that you can’t see crackheads? Because some of them are quite aggressive, hard to miss. You could be blind and still notice it, if you know what crack smoke smells like, because it’s strong enough on some streets you can even smell it.

Or is Iman just lying?

I’ll give Iman the benefit of the doubt. Not a liar, just a clueless babe in the woods.

I witnessed first-hand the effects of the drug war in Colombia, …

Yes, that year abroad to tick off the third-world shithole requirement on your resume definitely provides an in-depth look at the consequences of the drug war. As would the years you spent BEFORE the drug war, when Colombia was a harmonious place. There was little to no violence before the imperialist war on drugs led by the big, bad United States.

Before the war on drugs by Botero

If only Colombia could go back to the days before American meddling…

the legacy of corruption that the cocaine market financed, and the severe impact that it has had on the lives of people who want nothing to do with it.

Corruption started with the gringo demand for cocaine. Before cocaine, no corruption. Public servants in Colombia and throughout Latin America chose their callings because they wanted to make a difference. They knew that life in politics meant they’d never be rich. Only once the gringos started buying cocaine, the superb governance in the region started to deteriorate with politicians looking to line their pockets.

Civilians are caught in the crossfire in the war on drugs, and the demand is fuelled by white, middle-class drug users in North America and Europe…

I don’t know Europe too well, but I definitely know North America, by which I assume she means the United States and maybe Canada, and not the other countries of North America. And to say the demand for cocaine is fueled by white, middle-class people in the United States is like saying the demand for bananas is fueled by white, middle-class people. Or the demand for plastic is fueled by white, middle-class people.

Sure, lots of white, middle-class people use cocaine in the United States. They may even consume the majority of the cocaine. But that’s because white, middle-class people are a huge demographic. But it’s worth pointing out that a hell of a lot of lower- and upper-class white people as well as black and brown people also use cocaine.

Coming from St. Louis there wasn’t a huge Latin scene when I was growing up, but I can tell you from personal experience that the African-American community consumes a hell of a lot of cocaine. All the colors of the rainbow do. Snorting it, smoking it, you name it. From the surveys I’ve seen, black Americans are more likely to smoke it. And those who smoke it account for a LOT of the total, because smokers smoke daily.

We don’t know have data on how much cocaine each race uses. All the data comes from surveys, and they don’t quantify use. So your standard party animal who accepts a bump once a month is categorized the same (“user”) as the guy who goes through an eightball every day.

I know we’re in the era of white nationalism and we need to push back, but let’s keep it real. Cut the bullshit. Say no to fake news! You’d think The Guardian’s editorial staff would catch alternative facts and wild speculation like that, but then again The Guardian’s opinion pieces aren’t known for being based in reality.

It’s clear that western cocaine users have to accept they are contributing to violent crime that has left hundreds of thousands dead in Latin America over the past decades, and is spilling on to British streets…

Perhaps the carnage in Latin America is a comfortable distance away from those snorting coke at weekend parties across the UK. If your money funds the market, you are complicit in the consequences.

Did you travel to Colombia by plane? Take a taxi around the city? You’re contributing to climate change. Eat beef? Cows release a hell of a lot of carbon dioxide. You are complicit!

Did you go to college? You’re inflating the education bubble. A fancy private school? Even worse.

Do you drink bottled water? That’s plastic, yo. Think about the oceans.

Did you watch Fahrenheit 9/11? You gave money to Harvey Weinstein. As if that weren’t bad enough, Weinstein uses his money to make more Quentin Tarantino movies.

Have a 401K or own shares in a mutual fund? You’re financing the gun industry.

Who gives a shit? Taking a bump at the bar has as much impact on the cocaine industry as booking a flight has on sea levels, or watching Shakespeare in Love has on financing the next Kill Bill. Which is to say, none at all.

There are many different drugs produced all around the world. Do you want to know why the word “narcoterrorism” exclusively refers to cocaine cartels? Because cocaine is produced and distributed by Colombians and Mexicans … cultures which share a Latin heritage, the Spanish legacy.

The Aztec religion of peace

What’s not from the Spanish legacy is the pre-Columbian history. And in Spanish America, that means human sacrifice. From the Aztecs to the Incas, they were sacrificing virgins and even babies as offerings. Mix that with the Spanish and you have Latin America. They’re bloody cultures, and they were killing each other long before cocaine. It’s not gringos’ fault.

Bottom line: Latin America is not going to lose its dominance of the world’s most dangerous cities once designer drugs replace cocaine.

Say No to Cocaine Shaming

Leading psychologists have criticized the fat-shaming phenomenon, also known as body shaming. The intolerance and cruelty towards cocaine users is no better than that against fat people. We can learn the same lessons, and cocaine shaming has many of the same harmful effects.

Cocaine shaming does NOT motivate people, but makes them feel terrible about themselves and may cause them to snort or smoke more cocaine. Cocaine shaming is linked to reduced self-esteem, so people who are discriminated against due to cocaine use are at higher risk of depression and other mental issues.

Whilst bullying and negative portrayals of cocaine-using people are often overlooked or implicitly condoned on the grounds that “it might help,” you probably need only look back to your school days for examples of bullying crushing confidence and isolating people.

It is clear that pressure to conform to some notion of desirability is present from a young age and to not fit into that can cause serious mental health problems. Victimization and discrimination against people who use cocaine isn’t a motivator.

Instead of an overwhelmingly negative approach to the issue, which would seem to do more harm than good, encouraging lifestyle change on the basis that it is better to be healthy than unhealthy appears to be the key, regardless of how much cocaine someone may use.

The idea that only one possible body type or degree of cocaine use is acceptable is rapidly proving to be a myth.

Societal Benefits of Cocaine

  1. Cocaine is not heroin
  2. Cocaine is good for the economy
  3. Cocaine enhances culture

Cocaine is not heroin

It’s called the opioid epidemic, not the cocaine epidemic. Tens of thousands are dying from heroin overdoses and their derivatives, not cocaine. Take away people’s cocaine, and they may switch to heroin.

See the source for more faces of meth.

If they don’t switch to heroin, they may switch to something else still worse than cocaine. Something like meth. And if you think crack addicts are annoying, you don’t know tweakers.

That’s what they’ll switch to in the United States. But in Colombia,the aforementioned zombie crackheads who prowl the streets day and night are going to do GLUE, as many of them already do. Recognize any of those images? Did you know what that was? Paper bags are more common. They care about the oceans.

Glue can cause respiratory failure, brain damage and death. With a comparatively low level of overdoses, cocaine is actually a safer alternative compared to heroin, meth and glue. Hence, cocaine is a safer alternative for hard drugs.

Cocaine is good for the economy

https://giphy.com/embed/L4TYWQn8rALRu

While cocaine’s illicit nature has a corrosive effect on the political systems of countries like Colombia, Peru and Mexico, it has inarguably been a boon for their economies. Colombia’s cocaine industry is estimated at $10 billion per year, which I was surprised to learn is worth almost the same as all of its oil exports and almost twice coal exports. And that’s 2018, rich AF numbers. Back in the 1980s cocaine accounted for as much as 70% of total exports, which fell to a still whopping 25% in the 1990s.

Think about that the next time you enjoy the view of the Medellin skyline, or stroll Bogota’s Parque Virrey or Lima’s Malecon. Gleaming beauty and modernity, pretty convenient places to do your year abroad, huh? Think about what those areas would look like if there weren’t foreign demand for cocaine. Less than half the development and modernity. Without cocaine, producers like Colombia and Peru wouldn’t be partial shitholes. They’d be full shitholes. Nicaragua and Paraguay shitholes.

In theory, I agree with Iman that the drug war is futile. But it hasn’t been all bad. Here in Peru, unlike Colombia, there was no coffee or chocolate culture 20 years ago. But in its attempts to get coca farmers to grow something else, the United States spent billions of dollars via USAID to develop substitution crops. Today Peru has chocolate and coffee producers in the VRAEM exporting to Gringolandia.

Think about the people working in the cocaine business back in Gringolandia. The middle-class, white devils can fuck off and do something else, but what about Iman’s beloved (and fellow) non-white people? What are they going to do without cocaine sales? The narrative goes that they’re selling cocaine specifically because they don’t have any other opportunities. Why deprive them of the one they have?

Maybe they get “real jobs,” maybe not. Maybe they’ll move into the drug their customers switch to: heroin and meth. Or maybe they move into something violent … like armed robbery. Maybe they just go on the dole.

While heroin and meth have a reductive impact on the economy, cocaine probably increases economic activity on the demand side as well, because cocaine helps people drink more alcohol. That’s what led me to indulge during my brief cocaine-consuming career. I’m not allowed to any more per the wife’s orders.

Not that she’s the boss or anything like that. No, I’m the top dog who wears the pants around here. However she occasionally makes suggestions which I, as king of the castle, graciously accept. So she merely suggested that I not snort coke ever again, and I benevolently oblige. And she comes up to hug me and says, “Thank you, Daddy.” And the children come swarming in and each grab a leg shouting, “Thank you, Daddy!”

But back to the point, cocaine helps you drink more. When I was single and partying at 30 years old or so, I would want to crash out around 1 a.m. Maybe 2 a.m. at the latest. I was just too much a grown-ass man to keep the party going after that. Despite wanting to in my mind, my body would say no. That’s where cocaine comes in. Take a little bump when you start getting tired and BOOM, order another bottle of guaro. You can drink until lunchtime if you have enough candy.

That means more beer, wine and spirits sold at bars and off-premise retailers. You wouldn’t think of those kinds of businesses being affected by the cocaine trade, but see what happens if you take it away!

By staying up to party later with the help of cocaine, there are more singles hooking up. That means more hotel business to accommodate sex. And probably more babies, which means more healthcare services and ultimately a living breathing consumer which creates more economic activity every day.

Cocaine enhances culture

https://giphy.com/embed/EyAiUnM8fdvLq

While heroin probably makes the best music, cocaine has inspired some great stuff to, from DMX to Skynyrd.

And I’m not sure what goes on behind the scenes of pornography, but given how easily cocaine leads to orgies I gotta believe that cocaine is involved before the fluffing and hardcore action get started.

There is plenty of cocaine-trafficking music on old posts. I could leave you with a list (Three 6, Buckcherry) for consuming. But just in case Iman is reading, I’m going to leave just one video. The handsome and eloquent Dirt Nasty may be just the guy to change her mind about middle-class white men. A nice Jewish boy to boot!

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8 comments

  1. Colin, do you know if this cunt is muslim? She looks like one of those Iranian reformed muslim women. If so, then her hypocrisy is the biggest of them all. That is the hypocrisy of muslims who wants to enjoy the Western culture by living in non-muslim first world countries while supporting a religion that wants to destroy that culture.

    Like

  2. Hey Colin. Long time no speak.

    Epic piece! I love this shit.

    I need to get my ass to Lima and drink some beer with you.

    Cheers, Anders

    Like

  3. Steve: you must be Australian.

    Colin: do you not realise you lose any credibility by indulging Steve’s incredibly racist and misogynist attitude?
    The guy is very clearly a white supremacist. Right after you’d written that we’re in an era of white nationalism and we need to push back.

    Liked by 1 person

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