“[President Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this without appearing to.”
-H.R. Haldeman (top Nixon advisor) to his diary.
“Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn’t resist it.”
- John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.
So they cranked up the “War on Some Drugs”. Racist Americans have always looked for “reasons” or scapegoats that could be used to gain political support for the exploitation, marginalization, and brutalization of people of color. (Please note: the 13th amendment did not abolish slavery; slavery is fine if you are creative enough to convict people of a “crime”.)
“Drug warfare” provides the realization of the racist’s wildest dreams. Every form of drug prohibition in the USA was birthed by racism. It is “bigot nirvana”; the way that modern racism is done! Cops only have to enforce drug laws against people they don’t like, and our society doesn’t need.
Opium was outlawed because of the “yellow peril” of “degenerate Chinese” on the west coast. Cocaine supposedly made blacks wild and crazy; likely to harm or rape white women. “Cocomania” was said to give blacks superhuman strength, so that bullets could hardly stop them. The scary new Mexican drug “marijuana” made Mexicans, blacks, and degenerate whites become insane and do horrible things.
Federal Bureau of Narcotics chief Harry Anslinger detested the “lower” races and classes. He told Congress that “ fifty percent of the violent crimes committed in districts occupied by Mexicans, Turks, Filipinos, Greeks, Spaniards, Latin Americans and Negroes, may be traced to the abuse of Marijuana”. (He had zero data.)
Abel (1980) notes “Marijuana became the pretext for vexing the Mexicans, just as opium had been the pretext for vexing the Chinese years before.
Anslinger was upset that “colored” jazz musicians could play better when they smoked pot. Since cannabis “lengthened the sense of time” musicians “could get more ‘grace beats’ into their music...”.
American blacks became a threat in the 1960s, as city after city burned. Drug war became the perfect strategy to divide, neutralize, and destroy the black community by dividing it against itself. Top Black leaders were blind to the racism of drug war. By 1990 the Sentencing Project reported that “America has more black men in prison than in college”. Black Muslim minister Louis Farrakhan saw that “There is a war being planned against Black youth by the government of the United States under the guise of a war against drugs”.
We have now reached the point where it is “legal” for police to stop black people, search them for cash, and simply take the cash. Black and white women use drugs at the same rate... but Black women are ten times as likely as whites to be turned in to authorities while giving birth in a hospital, (and possibly have their babies taken).
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asserts that Racial profiling is part of a larger system of racial subjugation and separation called drug prohibition.
• Thirteen percent of Americans are African-American, as are about 13% of monthly “drug users”. However, 35% of those arrested for drug possession are African American. 55% of those convicted of drug possession are African American and 74% of those imprisoned are African Americans. In some states, like Illinois and Maryland, blacks and “Latins”, make up over 90% of drug prisoners.
• A 2013 ACLU report showed that blacks are about 4 times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana. These are real people and families whose lives are wrecked on purpose.
Racism and drug war spring from
the same bigoted, self righteous roots.
Ending drug war can help heal the
“American Disease” of racism;
…and pot helps bring people together.