Sir Richard Branson, War on Drugs is a War on Black People. : ThyBlackMan.com

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Sir Richard Branson, War on Drugs is a War on Black People.

October 10, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

(ThyBlackMan.com) Sir Richard Branson has spoken up and out against the War on Drugs in the United States.  Branson recently noted that the policies are racist and represent a “war on black people.”  The billionaire made the remarks during an interview with the Metro newspaper.

“The fundamental difference [in drug policy] in America is that it is a war against black people. 85 percent of people who go to prison for drug use in America are black people. They don’t take more drugs, but it’s a racist law against black people in America,”  Sir Richard Branson said.

“The law should be changed. You’ve got something like 1.5 million people in American jails languishing for taking drugs and that is wrong,” said  Sir Richard Branson, a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP). “Those people would be much better being out in society, being helped if they have drug problem, getting off the problem.”

Branson was the guest editor of the newspaper during a trip to New York City.  This week, writing for “The Week,” he called for an end to the failed War on Drugs.  President Obama has agreed that the policies are biased and must  come to an end.  But in the first term of his presidency, he was only able to reduce the crack-to-powder sentencing disparity from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1.  This means that a five year sentence for powder cocaine translates to a 90-year sentence for crack, which continues to represent a huge disparity.

“I am part of the global commission on drugs, and it consists of 15 ex-presidents from South America, it consists of people like Kofi Annan, Paul Volcker, George Schultz, and ex-presidents from Switzerland and Greece and other places,”  Sir Richard Branson said.

“And we just spent two years looking at the war on drugs and it is obvious it failed. Thousands of people in South Africa are killed every year, more and more people are sent to prison and the amount of people using drugs increases year over year.”

 Sir Richard Branson has been working to convince the Obama Administration and Congress to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on failed policies from the drug war.  He notes that the US spent $51 billion fighting the War on Drugs.

“That’s double what Apple profited last year. It’s a horribly depressing number when you think how far even a fraction of that money would have gone if invested in prevention and rehabilitation efforts.

 Sir Richard Branson makes a good point.  There is nothing that has done more to destroy the black family in America than the War on Drugs.  I spoke to a grown woman the other day who told me that her father has been in prison for her entire life.  He wasn’t a killer, and he had no criminal record before his conviction.  But he was given 14 life sentences for selling drugs.

As a result of not having her father in the household, the girl said that she grew up without enough food to eat, her brother was murdered, and another sibling is on his way to the very same prison system that has kept his father in  cage for the last quarter century.  Although she agreed that her father should have been punished for his crime, she rightly felt that 25 years was enough.

Mr. President,  you MUST do something to end the drug war.  It’s time for all of us to demand that the laws be changed so that our nation can heal from one of the most devastating eras in the history of black America.  It’s hard to build strong families when so many of our black men are in prison, on their way to prison or coming home from prison.  While it’s important to teach kids to make good decisions, we must also realize that inequity which comes from forcing some kids to pay a lifetime price for their mistakes, while allowing others to have a second chance.

If anyone were to do a drug raid on nearly any college campus across the nation, they would find drugs, drug addicts, and drug dealers all over the place.  Yet, we don’t see white college kids going to prison, only young black men.   It’s time to end the nonsense.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins
 
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit http://BoyceWatkins.com.
 
 

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Comments

5 Responses to “Sir Richard Branson, War on Drugs is a War on Black People.”
  1. Mack says:

    @ sankofa: Agreed. And excellent video! Don’t know how I never heard of this dude before.

  2. If we had more Black businesses in our community that paid a decent wage, and stopped spending all our money with people outside our community, there would be less of a need to sell illegal anything. Black people take drugs because they’re trying to compensate or makeup for something they don’t or didn’t have, and even drug addiction has become big business. The justice system is not just. We live in a racist system that capitalizes on the division within our community. I’ll continue to say this again, until we get it. You can’t expect people who don’t look like you to love, respect, support, and educate us, when we don’t do this ourselves.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  3. sankofa says:

    At the end of the article you referenced the usage on College campuses, yet you still ask…” It’s hard to build strong families when so many of our black men are in prison, on their way to prison or coming home from prison.”
    White Supremacy is doing precisely what it is supposed to do. I would find this committee acceptable and relevant if they would more try to promote this….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zn8MRKOskw than the current practices across the globe.

  4. tax says:

    Beyond all this on the matter is that a full time pot smoker only smokes an oz a month or 12 oz a year, the weight of ONE CAN OF BEER in a year. One pot plant can grow over ten pounds a year, so our current illegal laws are trying to stop one person from growing one plant every ten years or so. If it was legal one person might, yes might grow three plants in their lifetime of smoking it but they could get by with one if grown under the right conditions. If legal again, we would see its real use, to power our cars, to heal the sick, to feed the poor, to cloth the world for almost free, while cleaing the air, reducing violence worldwide, restoring democracy to America, reducing deaths from hard and legal drugs, saving our trees, and reducing pollution level byproducts from using oil based plastics.

    The way we talk about this issue makes it seem that a single person smokes pounds in one day, and needs a truck load just to get by, which makes the whole conversation stupidly one sided.

  5. James says:

    There has never been a war on drugs. The term was just the poster child for the hidden agenda of the prison industry. Unfortunately for black people. Who till this day lack real representation. Find themselves twisted in every aspect of the American judicial system. From the racial profiling on the ground, through the misrepresentation in the courts, to the flagrant sentencing, and the lack of opportunity once released.

    To top it off, 3 strikes didn’t help matters.

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