It’s no secret that President Joe Biden’s son Hunter battled a crack cocaine addiction. Dr. Boyce Watkins recently wondered in an article for LinkedIn how Hunter would have been treated if he were a Black man.
Dr. Watkins earned a Ph.D. in finance and founded the podcast, “The Dr. Boyce Breakdown.”
He’s asking the question out loud in light of the fact that the president was the author of the infamous 1994 crime bill, passed during the Clinton administration, that led to the disproportionate incarceration of Black men. High numbers of Black men were sent to prison on drug charges for slinging crack, The Washington Post reported.
Hunter has caused several scandals for his father. In 2021, it came to light that he had used the N-word in texts to his white lawyer. Texts also went public between Hunter and a cousin attempting to set him up on a date. Biden said he wanted “no yellow,” referring to not wanting to date Asian women. Thern there was his own accounts of smoking crack, which he wrote about in his book, “Beautiful Things: A Memoir,” published in early 2021.
So to some, it seems ironic that Hunter used crack with impunity and his father helped lock up Black people for possession of crack in the 1990s.
“During the War on Drugs, Biden promised long prison sentences for anyone in possession of crack, and he also said that the government then has the right to seize all of the assets of those who are convicted,” Dr. Watkins wrote on LinkedIn.
While Biden was on the 2020 presidential campaign trail, the issue of the crime bill and his “tough on crime” record came up. It has disproportionately affected Black and brown people and become a sore spot for the president.
“If you ask some criminal justice reform activists, the 1994 crime law passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton, which was meant to reverse decades of rising crime, was one of the key contributors to mass incarceration in the 1990s. They say it led to more prison sentences, more prison cells, and more aggressive policing — especially hurting Black and brown Americans, who are disproportionately likely to be incarcerated,” German Lopez wrote for Vox.
For his role in the mass incarceration of Black men, Biden should move forward on reparations for Black Americans, Watkins said.
“This is one of the reasons I believe that the government should pay #reparations to black Americans, not just for slavery, but also for the War on Drugs,” Watkins wrote.
Due to the high number of Black men incarcerated at the time, Black families were broken. Watkins said a debt is due to those families and Black America in general.
“#JoeBiden should address this in the next election cycle if he wants votes from intelligent black people. Trillions in black wealth that were stolen during the War on Drugs should be repaid to the families that lost these resources. Many of the men sentenced by Biden and Strom Thurmond are still in prison till this day,” he wrote.
He continued the argument on Twitter.
“#BlackPeople are owed TRILLIONS in #reparations for the asset seizures that took place during the War on Drugs, led by the policies of #JoeBiden. We should all get the privilege he’s extending his son Hunter. #Blackmen incarcerated for drugs should be released immediately,” he tweeted.
This set off a debate on Twitter.
“For all you people that don’t care, this was just one piece of a set of laws written by or pushed by Biden designed to directly target the Black community which resulted in the mass incarceration of our people,” Black in the Empire tweeted.
But others called out Watkins for bringing Biden’s son into the mix.
“Attacking Biden through the drug struggles of his son is low even for you. Is there evidence that Hunter was convicted of selling drugs so that he would have been subject to criminal forefeiture? It could be that Mr Biden is tough on drugs BECAUSE of his family’s struggles,” tweeted preston wigfall.
Yet others said crack dealers plagued Black neighborhoods.
“A lot of Black men that are incarcerated for drugs offenses like selling and distributing hard narcotics shouldn’t be released as they were a plague to the Black community selling drugs to people in the Black community and destroying lives in the process,” Rebel4life2020 tweeted.
Photo: Then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden appear at a Duke Georgetown NCAA college basketball game in Washington, Jan. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
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