There is a racial disproportion impact of the War on Drugs, which drove the increase of incarceration rates. Then, after incarceration, there are harsh effects on the rights of Black Americans including voting rights, serving on juries, the rights to receive
Therefore, they called for a national anti-drug policy, the policy began pushing for the involvement of the police force and military in drug prohibition efforts. The government did believe that blacks or minorities were a cause of the drug problem. They concentrated on inner city poor neighborhoods, drug related violence, they wanted to publicize the drug war which lead Congress to devote millions of dollars in additional funding to it. The war on drugs targeted and criminalized disproportionably urban minorities. There for, “War on Drugs” results in the incarceration of one million Americans ... ... middle of paper ... ...1.
Strangely enough, the “War on Drugs” should be thought of as a physical war; one that has used force and violence against certain communities, to obtain certain political purposes. Race has impacted the method in identifying the communities that have become targets of the drug war. Similarly, former President, Ronald Raegan, was accused of using racist ideals in his campaign. Alexander (2012) quotes President Raegan, “forcing liberals into a position that would soon become familiar-arguing that something is racist but finding it impossible to prove in the absence of explicitly racist language.” In relation, cultural practices in these communities have been exposed to military style and brutal police control. Stalley is an artist that speaks about the struggles of people of color.
This essay will be focusing on the incarceration and war on drug of black community and minority in the United State. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander discuss who the war on drug effect minority in American. What will be discuss in this paper or the question I will be answering are How has the War in Drugs impacted low-income people and communities of color, particularly African Americans? How has the Drug War disenfranchised a large segment of the American population? How have race and class influenced the functioning of the criminal justice system, especially in relation to policing, the enforcement of drug laws, and sentencing?
Basically, there was a jump in crime in America around the same time as the civil rights movement, so obviously activists were blamed. Nixon’s answer was a pattern of mass incarceration, under the guise of “law and order”. His war on crime was largely targeted at black panthers, women’s rights groups and other progressive crowds. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” said John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s advisor. Their plan was to associate black people with heroin and other drugs, and then publically declare war on drug addicts, naming them the largest threat to the nation.
The prohibiting and restricting of illicit drugs began with fear of violent Blacks in the nineteenth century and has carried into the twenty first century with the same exact views that drug use primarily affects African Americans and it is the government’s job to prosecute and incarcerate them. The War on drugs that once fought to keep drugs out and help those addicted has clearly become a War on America’s black citizens.
After the money was put into the war on drugs, drug use increased. Alexander argues that the money could have possibly been funneled into the black communities, which lead to the increase in drug marketing and usage. The war on drugs was most likely used as a trap to catch the people of color. Many other ordeals lead to the increase in mass incarceration that we have in our criminal justice system today. It is the most damaging thing to do to the black community.
Like other policies, ‘war on drugs’ has both pros and cons. Samuel Walker’s Sense and Non-sense About Crime, Drugs, and Communities’, Steven E. Barkan and George J. Bryjak’s Myths and Realities of Crime in America, and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness thoroughly describes ‘war on drugs’ and its positive and negative consequences. After the Harrison Act in 1914, American drug policy became under control by the hawk approach, which is getting tougher of law enforcement on drugs. Literally, a phrase ‘war on drugs’ means “war” declared on drugs by increasing arrests and imprisonments of both drug users and sellers. As a result, the law enforcement disrupted the markets of illegal drugs.
She claims that politicians like Nixon and Reagan first used racially coded language to sway voters which would lead to the drug war (Alexander 47). Alexander argues that the War on Drugs ignited this trend despite many people disputing her claim (102), blaming it on the decade on rampant violent crime. Her most venomous argument focuses on the racial bias in the legal system at all levels; she claims that the discretion of law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges allow for the mass incarceration of African Americans. The mass incarceration paired with racial bias and discretion allow for a segregation that affects impoverished African Americans most drastically by locking them in ghettos or prisons (Alexander 122). The most profound effect of this system is the metaphorical segregation of African Americans.
In her book “The New Jim Crow,” Michelle Alexander presents the evidence that mass incarceration, as brought forth by the drug war, is a mere continuation of the discriminatory nature of the Jim Crow Laws in the post civil war era and of slavery before that. Alexander’s argument hinges on the idea that this new way of discriminating against minorities is equally systematic to the Jim Crow Laws and Slavery. She then relates this argument with the decrease in limitations of the police force, the disproportionately high number of minorities prosecuted with these powers, and the skewed justice system. Alexander first addresses “the absence of significant restraints on the exercise of police discretion”(pg. 61) as a result of the introduction