A related consequence of these events resulted in what became an immensely important footnote to the long and winding history of hip-hop music in the United States, one that remains controversial and relatively unexplored in popular culture studies. Investigations by the U.S. Congress and the Department of Justice have concluded that private airplanes used to ferry supplies to the Nicaraguan rebels were also being used to ship cocaine back into the United States, raising millions more in illegal funds for the resistance movement. These drug shipments were distributed to black inner-city drug lords on both coasts, establishing a link between these clandestine U.S. operations, the conflict in Nicaragua, Colombia drug cartels, and inner-city street gangs, all of which contributed to the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s.
Music therapy across the globe is situated within a complex sociopolitical context. Although often narrated as a small but growing profession, even marginalized in comparison to traditional healthcare approaches, music therapy holds the vestiges of White European settler colonialism and is founded upon prevailing cultural values and ideals that support its existence, and that simultaneously benefit and harm client communities. As the field attempts to increase professional legitimacy within research and reimbursement-driven healthcare systems, practice based on empirical data has become a growing priority, and of lesser concern are the peoples at the margins that have been decentered in our collective work. The dominant cultural narratives that permeate our general assumptions of music, health, personhood, relationship, community, and culture serve to 1) expand territorial and ideological empires; 2) uphold structural and institutional dominance over indigenous or marginalized worldviews and music and health practices; and 3) uphold and reinforce oppressive healthcare systems (A. Crooke, personal communication, May 28, 2020). Furthermore, in many ways, music therapy superimposes a subordinate nature of minoritized therapists within education, clinical, therapeutic, and research practice. Marginalized music therapists, like me, often navigate a barren disciplinary landscape with little to no scholarly distinction of the socio-political, socio-cultural, and socio-structural realities that mark both our own and our clients' existence. While dominant groups comparatively draw from the same culturally narrow literary canon that too often takes an etic, one-size-fits-all, approach to cultural realities, the potential risk for therapeutic harm to minority clients steadily increases in the lack of culturally relevant theoretical frameworks, community-engaged models, and community-centered research. Marginalized music therapists often seek and cherish marginalized music therapists, author-activists, and community leaders of our field, whose voices have been suppressed and who have worked to gather and create new embodied, intellectual, community-oriented spaces as a professional and personal necessity. 153554b96e