Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gary Webb Was Right

"Gary Webb was no journalism hero, despite what 'Kill the Messenger' says," read the recent Washington Post op-ed headline. It's a sad sight, especially at a time when real journalism is shriveling and in retreat, including in the Washington Post news room.
Once again the paper has decided to focus on discrediting a fellow journalist instead of deepening the analysis of the story he highlighted.
Gary Webb put a spotlight on the CIA and the Reagan administrations unholy alliance with anti-communist guerrilla groups and their supporters who were involved in drug trafficking.
Webb's reporting uncovered the story of how tons of cocaine were shipped into San Francisco by supporters of the CIA-backed Contras and then distributed down to LA to a Nicaraguan named Danilo Blandon, who sold it to a street dealer from South Central, Freeway Rick Ross.
Through this connection Freeway Rick became a crack kingpin and also used his contacts with LA's Crips and Blood street gangs to help distribute crack to many other cities across the country.
This story, which is explored in my upcoming documentary, Freeway: Crack in the System, is absolutely key to understanding many of the issues we are struggling with today -- from the mass incarceration of men of color, to the militarization of cops and gangs, to the spread of gangsta rap music and culture, and ultimately to the fundamental corruption and hypocrisy at the core of the war on drugs.

FREEWAY Excerpt - Gary Webb from Blowback Productions on Vimeo.
Gary Webb sums up the story in his last major interview just days before his death. Video courtesy of documentary FREEWAY: CRACK IN THE SYSTEM premiering on Al Jazeera America in early 2015.

Gary Webb Was Right

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