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Sat Oct 20, 2012, 08:16 PM

The War on Drugs is really just a war on Black People



http://www.publiceye.org/defendingjustice/pdfs/factsheets/10-Fact%20Sheet%20-%20System%20as%20Racist.pdf

http://cwsl.edu/content/benner/aaRacialDisparityinNarcoticsSearchWarrants.pdf

http://fcnl.org/resources/newsletter/feb00/drug_trafficking_prejudiced_assumptions/

Carl Williams was dismissed as superintendent of NJ’s state police after publicly defending racial profiling on the grounds that “mostly minorities” traffic in marijuana and cocaine. Williams’ remarks reflect a widely-held view. This view has been nurtured by racially-biased profiles of drug couriers, profiles developed by agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Agency. The view has been reinforced by police practices which disproportionately target black and Latino communities for drug busts and then use the arrests made in these raids as “evidence” that drug use and trafficking is predominantly a “minority” problem.

What are the facts about drug use in the U.S.?

Of an estimated 13.3 million illicit drug users, nearly ten million (72%) are white. Only two million drug users are black. Among blacks, illicit drug use is slightly higher (8.2% of the population aged 12 and older uses drugs) than it is among whites (6.1%) and Hispanics (6.1%).

Marijuana/hashish is the most common illicit drug used and accounts for more than 80% of illicit drug use. The racial/ethnic breakdown of marijuana/ hashish users is comparable to the breakdown for overall illicit drug use.

Less than 2 million persons in the U.S. use cocaine (less than 1% of the 12 and over population). Rates of cocaine use among blacks (1.3%) and Hispanics (1.3%) are higher than for whites (0.7%) in the 12 and over population. However, the actual number of white cocaine users is 3.5 times as great as the number of black cocaine users (1.13 million vs. 0.32 million).

Racial inequities in arrest and prosecution of drug offenders

Racial profiling and racial inequities in the prosecution and sentencing of persons for drug offenses has had a dramatic and negative impact on the black community in the U.S.

U.S. population: 13% are black
Drug users: 13% are black
Those arrested on drug charges: 37% are black
Those convicted of drug offenses: 55% are black
Those sentenced for drug offenses: 74% are black

The above data show that blacks are not disproportionately represented in the population of drug users. However, they are disproportionately represented in the arrest process and the disproportion increases at each stage thereafter.


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Reply The War on Drugs is really just a war on Black People (Original post)
MrScorpio Oct 2012 OP
porphyrian Oct 2012 #1
dchill Oct 2012 #2
Iris Oct 2012 #3
limpyhobbler Oct 2012 #4
theinquisitivechad Oct 2012 #5
Fumesucker Oct 2012 #9
Igel Oct 2012 #11
msongs Oct 2012 #6
porphyrian Oct 2012 #10
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #13
porphyrian Oct 2012 #14
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #16
porphyrian Oct 2012 #20
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #24
porphyrian Oct 2012 #27
rurallib Oct 2012 #19
truebluegreen Oct 2012 #25
uponit7771 Oct 2012 #18
vaberella Oct 2012 #31
Lionessa Oct 2012 #7
vaberella Oct 2012 #32
former-republican Oct 2012 #8
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #12
Aerows Oct 2012 #15
ismnotwasm Oct 2012 #17
quinnox Oct 2012 #21
Tanuki Oct 2012 #22
porphyrian Oct 2012 #23
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 #29
porphyrian Oct 2012 #30
ananda Oct 2012 #26
porphyrian Oct 2012 #28

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 08:19 PM

1. Let's end it. n/t

 

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 08:21 PM

2. K & R

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 08:25 PM

3. Yep.

You don't have to convince me.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 08:28 PM

4. k/r...I would say a war on the poor, but yeah it hits black people disproportionately.

Last edited Sun Oct 21, 2012, 02:16 AM - Edit history (1)

The drug war is racist.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 09:07 PM

5. I definitely agree however

I think, because drug USERS and drug PURVEYORS are treated differently by the legal system (personal use may get off scot-free vs. intent to distribute which can put you in the clink), there may be some additional conclusions to be drawn regarding racial makeup of those buckets. I'm not saying the drug war isn't racist - anything that has such a disproportionate effect on people of color is clearly racist - but I think there are more complexities to be teased out here.

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Response to theinquisitivechad (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 09:44 PM

9. If you pass a joint to someone you are technically a "purveyor"..

And the races tend to be pretty separate in drug transactions, for the most part whites buy from other whites and blacks from other blacks.

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Response to theinquisitivechad (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 09:54 PM

11. There are.

5 minute with Google points out some of them.

You're more likely to be arrested if you use more frequently. Frequency has a racial skew, it's claimed--it's not use "use vs not use" but "use often vs use occasionally vs not use".

You're more likely to be arrested if you use publicly. This also, it's claimed, has a racial skew.

Some drugs are "racialized" in that they're associated with minorities and penalties are higher. Sometimes this is just outside perception; sometimes those "inside" the community agree or even advocate for the increased penalties, even if they later wish they hadn't.

Location matters. You're probably more likely to be caught in urban areas than suburban areas or rural areas. There's a racial skew to urbanization in the US.

Juries aren't race-free. When they look at a defendant they judge him in many ways. Will he reform? How serious was his crime, anyway? Etc.

Legal representation matters, as well as susceptibility to plea-bargaining pressure. Do you have your own lawyer? Is the public defender just trying to get through his case load so he pushes for you to plea bargain instead of fight it in court?

Instead we're left with post-hoc reasoning. "Look, a correlation. That proves causality." We have a racial skew in the outcome, it suggests that race matters at some point in the process and it could in a lot of ways. Finding out how is a matter of ongoing research and would be quite interesting to look at. (Not this year, though.)

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 09:10 PM

6. obama's drug war is racist? hmmm nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 09:48 PM

10. President Obama didn't start it.

 

I think Reagan named it, but prohibition has a long history in America, like racism.

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Response to porphyrian (Reply #10)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:01 PM

13. nixon. 1971.

 

July 14, 1969: In a special message to Congress, President Richard Nixon identifies drug abuse as "a serious national threat." Citing a dramatic jump in drug-related juvenile arrests and street crime between 1960 and 1967, Nixon calls for a national anti-drug policy at the state and federal level.

June 1971: Nixon officially declares a "war on drugs," identifying drug abuse as "public enemy No. 1."

July 1973: Nixon creates the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to coordinate the efforts of all other agencies.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9252490

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:02 PM

14. There we go. He wanted to fight the hippies. n/t

 

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Response to porphyrian (Reply #14)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:17 PM

16. no. the 'hippies' got their drugs without many serious repercussions, and were fading by 1971

 

Last edited Sat Oct 20, 2012, 11:09 PM - Edit history (1)

anyway.

he (they) wanted to fight the black power movement. that was the community that was immediately targeted, both for drugs and for prison.


Watts Riots
August 11, 1965

A police officer pulls over 21-year-old Watts resident Marquette Frye on suspicion of drunk driving. Frye, his mother, and his brother are all taken into police custody, and with long-simmering frustrations over police brutality, the neighborhood erupts in violence...

Black Power
1965 to 1970

Following the Watts Riots, black street clubs in South L.A. begin to unite and organize politically against police brutality. The Black Power Movement gains strength nationally, and violent gang activity decreases in L.A., as former members of gangs like the Slausons join up with the Black Panther Party (BPP), the US Organization and other socially conscious groups.

The FBI, working with the Los Angeles Police Department, feels threatened by the strength and numbers of Black Nationalist groups and intimidates, incarcerates and assassinates many of the movement’s leaders. The FBI’s COINTELPRO program incites violence between US and the BPP, resulting in the murders of two of L.A. BPP leaders in 1969.


South Central Declines
The 1970s
As America’s economy shifts from an industrial and manufacturing base to the service sector, factories start to leave L.A. and job opportunities decline for African American workers...


The Crips
1971 to 1972

With many black political leaders now imprisoned or marginalized, African American youth in South Central are left without role models in the community, and the number of street gangs increases. A gang called the Baby Avenues is started by 15-year-old Raymond Washington...the gang becomes known as the Avenue Cribs, which later morphs into “Crips.”


The Bloods
1972 to 1975

Violence grows in South Central between the Crips and other gangs, and fist fighting gives way to guns. The Piru Street Boys in Compton meet with several other non-Crip gangs and form a new alliance that becomes known as the Bloods.

In 1972, there are 10 more gangs in South Central, and a then-unprecedented 29 gang-related murders in the city...


Crack Cocaine
1981

Crack cocaine is introduced to South Central, eventually devastating a community that is already in crisis. Over the next decade, the Bloods and the Crips will become more and more involved in the drug’s production and trade, leading to more violence and decimating the neighborhood. The gangs’ reach and power will extend to other urban areas as well...

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/cripsandbloods/timeline.html


...three retired drug warriors discuss The War on Drugs and its failure. But they reveal how it goes beyond a simple failure to a dangerous and harmful policy. For instance, former LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing relates how the infamous Crips and Bloods gangs were very small before President Nixon started The War on Drugs and how rising drug prices from increased prohibition fueled the incredible growth of the gangs.

http://the420times.com/2012/03/three-retired-drug-warriors-discuss-how-the-drug-war-created-the-crips-bloods-and-others/


The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades—they are currently at historical lows—but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs. Drug offenses alone account for about two-thirds of the increase in the federal inmate population and more than half of the increase in the state prison population.

The drug war has been brutal—complete with SWAT teams, tanks, bazookas, grenade launchers, and sweeps of entire neighborhoods—but those who live in white communities have little clue to the devastation wrought. This war has been waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color, even though studies consistently show that people of all colors use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates.

http://urbanhabitat.org/20years/alexander


Thousands of young Black men are serving long prison sentences for selling cocaine -- a drug that was virtually unobtainable in Black neighborhoods before members of the CIA's army started bring it into South Central in the 1980s at bargain basement prices," wrote Mercury News reporter Gary Webb, in the first installment of the shocking series of reports.

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/Secret_ties_between_CIA_drugs_revealed_2625.shtml


CIA protection of drug pipelines - Narco-colonialism in the 20th Century

http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/analysis.html


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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:20 PM

20. Ahh, so it was racist from the time the term was coined.

 

I think I saw a documentary that said that marijuana was first made illegal in America because Mexicans were doing it, but I'm not sure how accurate that is, either.

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Response to porphyrian (Reply #20)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:44 PM

24. pretty much. but just 'racist' doesn't cover it.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #24)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:39 AM

27. True. It's racist, classist (given that it disproportionately affects the poor) and...

 

...predatory capitalist, since it is just another way to redistribute tax money into the pockets of private corporations. Organized crime syndicates do the same thing.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:20 PM

19. Always referred to it as "Nixon's Revenge"

he set up this insanity and posed it in such a way that any politician that dare oppose it will be bludgeoned out of office with the club of righteousness on drugs.
Huge waste of money, lives and freedoms.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 10:31 AM

25. It dovetailed very neatly with Nixon's Southern Strategy.

Damn but I'm tired of this country learning nothing from its mistakes, just perpetuating them. We already knew Prohibition didn't work...


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Response to msongs (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:19 PM

18. You know damn well Obama didn't start that war....either....good try though

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Response to msongs (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 02:08 PM

31. + Just for being one of the stupidest comments and a strawman. n/t

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 09:22 PM

7. I would say people of color, seems latinos get quite a bit of it particularly

 

in and near AZ, TX, and CA.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #7)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 02:08 PM

32. Yup yup yup...Just brown and darker. n/t

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 09:26 PM

8. It's a war on personal freedom

 

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 09:58 PM

12. kr

 

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:10 PM

15. I don't use drugs

but marijuana possession and use putting people in jail is pure horseshit.

I grow basil and dill. Should I get thrown in jail for enjoying an herb I grow in the yard and put in spaghetti? I don't like marijuana - but that doesn't mean I want to throw people in jail because they do. It's silly.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:19 PM

17. Yup

That is a truth.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:20 PM

21. careful, you might start to sound like a libertarian

 

And we can't have that.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:25 PM

22. Criminalizing drug use was also a means of selective disenfranchisement.

If you're in jail, you can't vote.

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #22)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:30 PM

23. With "racialized" drugs, as mentioned above, such as crack in the 80's, combined with...

 

...mandatory minimum sentences, presuming a racial bias in political party membership, they could eliminate a whole swath of potential Democratic voters for decades. Which, it appears, they did.

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Response to porphyrian (Reply #23)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 12:36 PM

29. And Democrats went along with it.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #29)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 12:48 PM

30. This isn't really a partisan issue so much as a racist/classist one.

 

The law has not yet been changed because lawmakers in both parties have refused to change it.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 10:39 AM

26. The whole criminal justice system and prison industry..

.. serves to abuse the poor and minorities, make millions off their
incarceration, and conveniently for the rich and the Reeps
disenfranchises those same millilons.

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Response to ananda (Reply #26)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 12:09 PM

28. In a nutshell. That's why we have to fight for-profit prisons, too. n/t

 

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