In 1986 when the Act was enacted, there were twenty-one African-American members of Congress. Of those twenty-one, eleven voted in favor of the Act. Although, as Kennedy mentions, we cannot understand the reasoning behind the votes because “a representative might be against certain portions of a bill but favor others sufficiently to support the legislation overall” (Kennedy, 1997, pg 370). As Kennedy states, we cannot come to understand the reasoning for voting for the Act, but is clear that prior to voting not one of the African-American Congressmen claimed that the bill was racial biased. However, before the Act was even introduced to Congress, the idea behind the crack epidemic was brought before them.
Charles Rangel, an African-America...
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...ill made much of the Congress bypassing routine procedure in its haste to legislate. But…there is nothing that compels Congress to follow any set course” (Kennedy, 1997, pg 374). Congress could pass an Act as rapidly as it sees fit. It does not need to fully listen to each side’s arguments before determining whether or not to vote on the act. I feel that the ratio may be significantly large and perhaps it could be lowered, but Congress did not act in a racist manner in passing the Act. On the contrary, Congress was looking out for the well-being of the African-American communities who were being devastated by crack.
Kennedy, R. (1997). Race, crime, and the law. New York: Vintage Books.
Brown, D.K. (2004). Anti-Drug Abuse Act (1986). Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved November 30, 2010, from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3407400021.html
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