Searching Black People for No Reason Isn't Police Work, It's Discrimination

If you don't think racial profiling is a real problem, I'd like to introduce you to some young men who beg to differ. Anyone in the black community who opposes marijuana legalization should see this video:


Is it any wonder that the consequences of our marijuana laws fall hardest on people of color? If that's who police are stopping and searching, then that's who will be arrested and stuck with a criminal record the rest of their life. The whole situation is so blatantly horrible and unfair, it's hard to believe anyone was even remotely surprised to see NAACP finally speaking out about it.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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The Drug War is the Glass Ceiling for Men

They ought to also call it GenderLines.com  Overwhelming number of them are men, as in breadwinners and fathers, we are locking up.  In low-income communities, those kids will be getting into plenty of trouble while mother now has to work overtime and father is locked up on drug charges.  Not to mention, how many men are denied college education, or don't bother applying, because they have a drug offense record.  So now the father can't get a good job or education and to cope with it all he turns to alcohol rather than pot because he is regularly drug-tested by his probation officer, resulting in more street violence, domestic violence, drunk driving and child abuse in our communities.  This country is really shooting itself in the foot.

ConcernedDad

It's obviously a make work program for cops and prison guards, deliberate, a guarantee that both "professions" will always have work (and pay).  Pretty sad commentary on our society, isn't it?

it's not just racism

selective enforcement of our laws, particularly our drug laws, is extremely prevalent, but it's not just about racism. there's also a strong element of classism and conformism (anti-anti-conformism, actually) involved. it's a way to keep poor working class folks in their place, and it's a way to selectively target any counter-culture which attempts to reject the orwellian authoritarianism of the establishment, as happened most prominently in/around the 1960's. as nixon infamously said on tape (paraphrasing loosely here) "everyone knows those hippie war protesters smoke dope!"

prohibition isn't going down easy, because it's about so much more than meets the eye.

Richard M. Nixon—Prohibitionism Redux

"[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 [marijuana prohibition]that recognizes this while not appearing to."

                              —H R Haldeman to his diary

***

From the  Nixon Tapes:

President Nixon: And I got to hit the marijuana thing.

Haldeman: Got marijuana loud and clear.

President Nixon: [Unclear] agree with that. In other words, we've just got to say a few more things that agree with folks.

Haldeman: We just got a call from the wife of the president of Tuskeegee Institute. She says she was particularly impressed with the attitude on drugs. The black--”

President Nixon: And they had all the questions about the blacks [unclear], but these bastards are only interested in something that will needle you. They're a pretty sad bunch of people.

Haldeman: Yes, they really are. They really are. But I think it worked to your advantage to get all those questions on May Day because you've got your law and order--”

President Nixon: I think May Day really gets them, the law and order crowd.

Haldeman: That's right.

***

From the New York Review of Books:

Nixon had a familiar collection of phobias. He believed that whites and blacks should not mix. In 1970, he wanted Haldeman to tell the staff that he “does not believe in integration, will carry out the law, nothing more.” In that same year, he said that it was not really possible to communicate with blacks, “except with Uncle Toms and we should work on them and forget militants.” In 1972, he “decided to take the hard line against integration.” He did not want to have black servants at White House functions and moved to “shift away from all black waiters.

***

From Edward Jay Epstein, Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America (1977), p. 140)

An assistant to Egil Krogh, a member of President Richard Nixon’s administration imprisoned in the Watergate scandal, explained, ‘If we hyped the drug problem into a national crisis, we knew that Congress would give us anything we asked for.’”

***

Giordano

Ehrlichman

 

“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 for the Nixon White House that we couldn’t resist it.” -John Ehrlichman

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