The Root, the Washington Post‘s new-ish black culture site, recently posted a provocatively titled story called “5 Things You Should Know About Crack.” As is common on the Washington Post‘s white culture site, Slate, clicking on the headline leads you to something that is not as provocative as advertised: The Root’s story isn’t really about crack, per se, but rather about how the government’s failing War on Drugs disproportionately targets African-Americans. (Did you know that federal law counts one gram of crack cocaine as the legal equivalent of 100 grams of powder? Of course you did. It’s why all your coke-snorting bourgeois hipster friends aren’t in jail.)
One thing about crack we did not know but now do: Crack babies, that is, babies born physically addicted to cocaine (you may have read a tear-jerking account of them in some white publication like, say, the New York Times) don’t actually exist! “No research ever established that any type of cocaine use, crack, or powder, causes fetal damage,” writes Kai Wright.
For other actually interesting facts about crack, like where to buy it and how to smoke it and the scary people you maybe have to sleep with to get it, go rent Traffic.