Harry's Freedom Foxhole - Drug Dealers Are Nice People
"Wow, he sold drugs! And he seemed like such a nice guy!" shows you just how fucked our thoughts on drugs have gotten.
There's this guy named Sam Hurd and he's really good at playing football. He's so good at football that the Chicago Bears paid him millions of dollars to play football for them. He wasn't good enough to become a "star" or have his face on billboards or anything, and he became one of those steadily employed but faceless special teams guys who is ignored by the media unless they get arrested for attempting to buy five to ten kilos of coke and 1,000 pounds of pot, which is what happened to Hurd on Wednesday.Oops.
There's a stereotype that pro athletes are a bunch of criminals constantly in conflict with the police (coughracismcough), but according to everyone who knew him in his hometown of San Antonio, Hurd wasn't that sort at all--he gets described as a Christian and a "role model." He was well-liked by his coworkers too, and I've yet to read anything about him getting arrested ever before. His only character flaw appears to be that he was a fairly major drug-dealer, or wanted to be. And by "big-time," I mean that in that Daily News article linked above, it says that if he sold as many drugs as he told the undercover cop he was selling, he might have been making more as a dealer per week than as a football player all year. (Shades of Pee Wee Kirkland?)
Predictably, Hurd's name has now been marked down in the media's scorebook as a Bad Guy. That isn't surprising—sportswriters are traditionally defenders of every facet of conventional morality—but it's annoying when columnist Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times compares Hurd to drunk-driving cop-brawler Tank Johnson and links him to violent Mexican drug cartels, painting him as a twisted criminal lunatic. Because drugs are bad, and dealing drugs is super duper bad, mmmkay?
As of this moment, no one has said that Hurd hurt anybody. He bought a commodity at wholesale prices to sell at retail prices, just like literally every businessman in history. The problem was that the commodity in question is illegal--but if, like me, you think it shouldn't be, you're forced to conclude that the only thing he did wrong was he got caught. A guy who is by all accounts an upstanding member of society is facing up to 40 years in prison—a life-ruining punishment—for a nonviolent crime, and it seems to me that instead of tut-tutting and publicly shaming him, everyone should be yelling, "WHAT THE FUCK? WHY ARE THESE LAWS IN PLACE THAT DESTROY PEOPLE'S LIVES BECAUSE THEY SOLD SOMETHING SOME PEOPLE DON'T LIKE?"
The response of, "Wow, he sold drugs! And he seemed like such a nice guy!" shows you just how fucked our thoughts on drugs have gotten. There are a bunch of drug dealers who do all sorts of horrible things and kill people, but I suspect a lot of that is because the only way to become a really serious dealer involves being able to defend your business through extra-legal and usually brutal means, since you can't report it to the cops if your heroin-selling operation is jacked. And anyway, don't businessmen and companies do all sorts of horrible things and kill people even when they don't sell drugs? I'm pretty sure I heard that somewhere.
There are also a lot of good, nice, friendly, lovable people who sell drugs. Sometimes they get forced into it because of poverty or because they are addicted to drugs themselves, sometimes they do it because they're in college and it seems like a cool way to meet chicks and get some extra cash, sometimes they figure that the money is going to be worth the danger of getting caught. Maybe we'll find out more stuff about Hurd in the future and it'll be revealed he was an awful man who killed kittens for fun, but at the moment I'm inclined to believe he was both nice and a drug dealer. And I hope whoever is on the jury at his trial knows a thing or two about jury nullification.
Previously-Cops are Dick Pig Assholes
- Vice Blog