1. There was a time in the ’80s and ’90s when The Partnership for Drug-Free America (now known as the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) would do anything to keep kids away from drugs.
Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign in the ’80s kickstarted tons of dark anti-drug PSAs that would appear during Saturday morning cartoons. Some were sad, some were silly, and others were damn horrifying.
2. In the midst of this barrage of PSAs, the Partnership did a PSA that was geared toward African-Americans. And it got… well… a little racist:
3. We begin in Africa (yeah…):
We know this because we see a giant image of the continent of Africa.
4. The narrator reads: “Almost 400 years ago, African-Americans were brought to this continent in chains…”
FYI, the scary white dude is holding up a chain.
5. “…Stripped of their dignity.”
You may not be able to tell from this screenshot, but the white dude is pulling this man by the neck with a collar.
6. “They never surrendered, until they were free.”
A black man holding a candle, in what I can only assume is a symbol of hope.
7. We then cut to a black man holding a lighter, getting ready to light up a crack pipe…
8. The narrator continues: “Don’t dishonor them by becoming a slave to heroin, cocaine, and crack. Make no mistake, drug abuse…”
9. “…is the new slavery.”
Yes. Those would be collar straps that magically appear around their necks. Oh, and the background music for the entire spot is very… jungle themed.