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Whether or not one ascribes to the disease theory of addiction, the fact remains that human lives – all human lives – have value and all humans deserve to live.

By Princess Harmony In America’s Rust Belt–a geographical area hit hardest first by poverty and then by the heroin and fentanyl epidemics–a city councilman proposed an idea so cruel that it feels like it could have come out of a bad parody of America. To save money on ambulances and other emergency services, Middletown, Ohio City councilman Dan Picard, proposed a Narcan three-strikes rule. Narcan is a medicine used to reverse the effects of opiate/opioid overdoses. This proposal, he claimed, would save the city money by abandoning people who “didn’t care about their own lives”. In other words, if you overdosed on heroin, fentanyl, or similar drugs, you’d only have Narcan administered to you twice. The third time, you’d be left to die if you didn’t have anyone around you who could administer it to you.

For BIPOC, the 4th of July is a grim reminder of the ways in which America has lied to us again and again.

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, may be a time of celebration, fireworks, and picnics for white Americans, but for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), this day often evokes more complicated feelings. There is a certain irony to the fact of a global empire – built from the ground up on slave labor and Indigenous genocide – celebrating “freedom” from its former colonial status, without acknowledging the profound unfreedoms it has inflicted on the rest of the world’s people in order to achieve it. Most BIPOC know that the Declaration of Independence, supposedly signed on July 4th, 1776 (though historians agree that this was not the actual day of the signing), is a sham. The famous words of the Declaration, which most of us are taught in school – “all men are created equal” – echoes back in the contemporary conservative slogan “all lives matter.”

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