Letter: Reader comments on Waddington column

Lynda Waddington in her July 9 column asks us to “ferret out root causes of (the) opioid epidemic.” Using the metrics of past drug wars, we should ask the standard questions. Why are white people prone to drug addiction? Is it some inherent racial genetic defect? Are they just lazy and unwilling to work for a living? Like taking those readily available jobs in packing plants, etc.? Why are so many whites on disability? (Also known as “white welfare”.)

Painful questions? Yes, they are. But these were the same (and bogus) questions directed at minorities in our recent past.

Waddington does finish her column by noting “there is no mistake that social conditions — unemployment, disability, poverty — all contribute to the opioid epidemic.” Yes, and that’s been true in disadvantaged communities for decades.

Many in the white working class thought — consciously, or otherwise — that they were protected by their white-skin privilege from the worst depredations of the capitalist system. The reality is that the 1 percent want it all.

Jim Walters

Iowa City

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