Pubdate: 16 Mar 1999
Source: Standard-Times (MA)
Copyright: 1999 The Standard-Times
Author: Larry A. Stevens, Springfield, IL


You quoted a New Bedford resident likening neighborhood drug dealers to
"cockroaches." I suppose it's still considered OK to hate drug dealers even
though we know how unproductive hatred is. The person quoted in the story
should know that there are many, many places in this country where he
himself would be likened to a cockroach merely because of his Latino name.

Hatred drives the war on drugs, and the prohibition of drugs drives the
very markets that negatively impact our communities. The raid that was
supposed to end the drug-dealing merely created an opportunity for other
drug dealers. I believe we could get a lot further on this problem if we
could remind ourselves that drug dealers, hard-core addicts and others whom
we don't approve of are human beings and fellow citizens in need of help
and education, and not cockroaches to be exterminated.

LARRY A. STEVENS, Springfield, IL 
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