As fentanyl poses an increasing threat across the country, a San Francisco Board of Supervisors member is under fire for publicly declaring that the safety concerns are only being brought into public conversation because some victims are White.
“People are going crazy over fentanyl because we’re starting to see more White people dying over these drugs. But where the hell where people when my mothers and my grandmothers were on crack?” Shamann Walton said in a speech posted to Twitter Tuesday. “There’s been a drug issue in this country for a very long time, but there’s no way we’re going to stand by and allow people to say that one race or immigrants are responsible for these fentanyl deaths.”
Tanya Tilghman, a San Francisco resident and mother of a fentanyl addict, called Walton’s comments “appalling.”
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On “Fox & Friends First” Friday, Tilghman said she was deeply offended by Walton’s apparent attempt to make the fentanyl crisis a “race issue.”
“This is a human issue,” she told host Ashley Strohmier, noting that people of all races are being impacted.
“And so what? We’re not supposed to do anything about it because nobody was there to save our Black brothers and sisters, but yet, what, we should let White people die from it and not do anything about this?” she asked. “I don’t think this is really fair of what he’s saying.”
The drug, which is fatal in even small doses, has been at the heart of the opioid crisis that has killed tens of thousands of Americans each year. The drug is 50-100 times stronger than morphine and is often cut with other drugs, meaning that the user doesn’t know they are ingesting fentanyl.
Border Patrol agents have now seized more than 800 pounds of fentanyl between ports of entry this fiscal year, a federal source told Fox News.
Tilghman said her son began experimenting with drugs at a young age but was not educated on the increasing threat posed by today’s more potent substances.
Her son then developed a drug addiction and began using fentanyl.
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“It led him to become homeless and on the streets. He almost lost his life a few times,” Tilghman said.
Tilghman’s son eventually expressed fear about his fentanyl addiction.
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“He was absolutely scared,” she said. “Matter of fact, he overdosed a few times and ended up in the hospital. There were times that we thought that he wouldn’t even be able to make it.”
Tilghman said her son made many attempts to get off fentanyl and served a brief stint in jail as a result of psychosis from drug use, but he is now receiving treatment.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Bill Melugin contributed to this report.