The war on drugs? Do we even know what it means? Most Americans think the war on drugs is pertained to other countries. The war on drugs was preconceived by President Nixon who introduced the idea to gain more American voters. Now the United States government spends billions of dollars into the war on drugs that hasn’t gotten us anywhere. Drugs are readily available more than ever on the streets. The war on drugs doesn’t benefit the American people but further hurts communities, families and corrupts our system.
The war on drugs has corrupted our law enforcement. Cops are praised with raises and bonus due to high rates of incarcerations. So, this means a cop that has busted 10 drug related crimes will have a higher pay due to overtime than a cop who solves 1 murder case. This promotes cops to go search for drug users in urban communities. The idea of looking for drug crimes has further destroyed relationships between the law enforcement and communities. Communities now see the law enforcement not as protectors but more has destroyers of families. Leaving communities questioning who can we trust?
What I found interesting is that these law enforcers benefit with higher raises due to drug busts but also benefit from the drug money they collect. Money, cars, drugs anything that the cop has seize doing the arrest they take. They can buy anything that is needed to support themselves rather than putting it into struggling communities. Its so shocking to me that people that we look up to for protection would stoop so low.
After the being convicted, a minimal jail sentence has to be served. The minimal sentencing are harsh and are long. The idea of harsh sentencing was introduced by President Nixon on his war on drugs campaign. Now, 5000,000 inmates are in jail over non-violent crimes. This is unfair and unjust to have these inmates serving life sentencing on holding a couple of crack vials.
Once released certain rights are striped from convicted felons. One right in particular is the right to vote. In her book The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander compares the rights striped from convicted felonies as a new wave of Jim Crow. It’s unfortunate, but black men are the poster children on the war on drugs especially when the crack epidemic broke out. Black men are being targeted in these urban communities and are being arrested for drug related crimes. Plea bargains are given to the convicted to minimize their sentencing. Once the convicted agrees to the bargain they instantly become a felon. Because of the enormous rates of black men being incarcerated by drug crimes, Alexander equates it to Jim Crow. Its an ongoing cycle that black men in urban communities are sent to prison than lose their rights as American citizens. In a sense black men are being controlled and regulated.
TO READERS: To get a better understanding on the war on drugs i recommend watching: The House I live in directed by -Eugene Jarecki