Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, America was confronted with Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign. The “War on Drugs” was in full swing as President Ronald Reagan vowed to end the illegal drug trade with the aid of the United States’ federal government and military. Its effects are still felt today, as the “War On Drugs” campaign was responsible for the incarceration of people who were imprisoned for oftentimes minor amounts out illegal substances. In prison reform and intellectual circles, the “War on Drugs” is commonly attributed to being a campaign that targeted low-income communities of color with drug trafficking being just an afterthought. That is a debatable argument that is regularly discussed among scholars and those impacted by the campaign, alike.
Ronald Reagan Presidental Library/Getty Images
The former First Lady’s “Just Say No” campaign was created to dissuade children and youth from engaging in drug use. It was hailed as being Nancy’s concept, but in a recent interview with his friend D.L. Hughley, singer Bobby Brown revealed the entire thing was inspired by him and his former bandmates. “She got that from me,” Bobby stated. “She got that from New Edition.” Hughley couldn’t believe it and joked, “Nancy Reagan was in the same room with Bobby Brown and nobody went to jail? That’s amazing to me.”
After a bit of laughter, Bobby added, “She basically asked us what do we say when we’re offered drugs. We were young, we was 15, 14-years-old, and we just said, ‘We just say no.’ The campaign just flew from there. The ‘Just Say No’ campaign. We didn’t get no credit but—,’ before Bobby could finish, Hughley chimed in. “It’s because you didn’t say no later on!” he said while laughing.
Bobby added, “Well, later on in life I didn’t say no. I say no now!” Check out the clip of Bobby on The D.L. Hughley Show below.