Dreams from My Father: on Drugs

Understand why youngsters want to use drugs

Junkie. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man. Except the highs hadn't been about me trying to prove what a down brother I was. Not by then, anyway. I got high for just the opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory. I had discovered that it didn't make any difference whether you smoked reefer in the white classmate's sparkling new van, or in the dorm room of some brother you'd met down at the gym, or on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school and now spent most of their time looking for an excuse to brawl. You might just be bored, or alone. Everybody was welcome into the club of disaffection. And if the high didn't solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world's ongoing folly and see through all the hypocrisy and bullshit and cheap moralism.
Source: Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama, p. 87 Aug 1, 1996

  • The above quotations are from Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, by Barack Obama, published August 1996.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
  • Click here for more quotes by Barack Obama on Drugs.
2008 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
Chmn.John Cox
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Gov.Mike Huckabee
Rep.Duncan Hunter
Sen.John McCain
Rep.Ron Paul
Gov.Mitt Romney
Sen.Fred Thompson
Sen.Hillary Clinton
Sen.John Edwards
Sen.Mike Gravel
Rep.Dennis Kucinich
Sen.Barack Obama
Third Parties:
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Mayor Mike Bloomberg
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