Thursday, July 19, 2018

A King Without a Throne!

August 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Money, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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Mention the word drug kingpin, and most people cringe at the thought  of a person selling drugs to other individuals. So what does a  kingpin have to show for all his money and cockiness? Nothing, but the sick admiration of those lost and confused souls who long for power and will pay any price, no matter how disgusting to get it.

It never fails–each time my friend in law enforcement reads about a drug dealer being called a hero by young African-American men, he calls me and says, “Time to cue up the keyboard and tell people why the life and times of a drug lord is nothing to be proud of.” And just like I have done  the past 14 years, I try to come up with a commentary that will serve as a reminder of why idolizing drug kingpins, uproots our emotions and shatters our humanity. Therefore, in presenting “A King Without a Throne,”  I  encourage everyone to  read the editorial and draw their own conclusions. Now on to the article!

It’s a frantic Wednesday night, the first of the month when cash arrives and inserts money into the city’s weak economy. On Wexler Avenue and Sycamore Drive, scantily-clad prostitutes roam the strip in search of clients, as their pimps await the payoff. Surveying the scene, you’re struck by the people who gather here. Unknown to the outside world, they take delight in each other’s company, having convinced themselves they have to make a life for themselves, by any means necessary. And so they do!

As the thugs and gangs battle for territorial rights; a Mercedes-Benz inscribed with a gold license plate swerves to the pavement. Rolling out into the street, the driver approaches the crowd who cheer wildly as he struts toward them. Filling his hands with $100 bills, he dispenses the money. Pleased with the reaction, the man flashes a crooked smile, as people knock over each other to catch the money ricocheting in the wind.  Delighted by the display, the money thrower dressed head to toe in red, gives himself a pat on the back for creating the ruckus.

The cash benefactor’s  name is Pharaoh ‘King’ Winston, one of the leading kingpins of the drug trade. But unlike other blue-blood aristocrats, this king doesn’t have a throne. What he has is money, an expensive wardrobe, and thousands of  young  sniper rats eager to follow in his footsteps.

As King Pharaoh pushes his way into the crowd, a flurry of  high fives greet him. Grinning, he shakes hands with four teens examining his customized automobile.  “Man that’s a sweet  ride,” a boy cradling a basketball shouts. “Hey, King what’s all this equipment?”

King Pharaoh threw back his head and pointed to each gadget and pieces of equipment. “This is a $10,000 sound system,” he says motioning  to the music blaring from the state-of -the-art CD system. “King Pharaoh,” another boy yells, admiring the seat covers and fancy hubcaps. “I bet people look up to you now don’t they?” As if on cue, the smile disappears from the man’s pocked-marked face. “No, bro,” he said, his eyes cast downward. “They don’t give me my respect.  I’m a king, but they treat me like a low life from the wrong side of  the tracks.”

According to the website,, there are hundreds of thousands of King Pharaohs in major cities across the U.S., who long for the respect of the masses.  And despite their extravagant lifestyle, they are seen and judged on the basis of what they are, self – proclaimed rulers of their individual drug emporiums.

Mention the word ‘drug king pin’ and most Americans cringe, or voice their disgust over the prospect of a person selling drugs to other people. So what does a drug kingpin have to show for all his money? Nothing, but the sick admiration of those lost and confused souls who long for power and will pay any price, no matter how repulsive to get it.

From a monetary standpoint, drug dealers are swimming in money. But when they’re sitting in jail or lying dead in an alley, what good are all those dead presidents?   The real issue isn’t whether drug dealers are brutal or glamorous. We know many are, but beyond that lies questions about the most fundamental concept about men who traffic in drugs; who and what they ought to be.

Those questions become more critical as the kingpin realizes, that his kingdom is merely a makeshift house of cards that has a tendency to disintegrate, when no precautions are taken.

Staff Writer; Peggy S. Butler

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