Monday, September 25, 2023

The War On Drugs Is a War On Black America…

November 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Misc., News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( How many times have you heard that the War on Drugs is just a cover for a sustained attack on our community that ferociously gobbles up our youth into the rapidly expanding prison industrial complex? Perhaps you think this a gross exaggeration. It is not. Here is the proof. On pages 96 and 97 of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow we read the following.

“Human Rights Watch reported in 2000 that, in seven states African Americans constitute 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison. In at least fifteen states, blacks are admitted to prison on drug charges at a rate from twenty to fifty-seven times greater than that of white men. . . . When the  War on Drugs gained full steam in the mid-1980s, prison admissions for African Americans skyrocketed, nearly quadrupling in three years, and then increasing steadily until it reached in 2000 a level more than twenty-six times the level in 1983. The number of 2000 drug admissions for Latinos was twenty-two times the number of 1983 admissions. . . Although the majority of illegal drug users and dealers nationwide are white, three fourths of all people imprisoned for drug offenses have been black or Latino.

“People of all races use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates. If there are significant differences in the surveys to be found, they frequently suggest that whites, particularly white youth, are more likely to engage in illegal drug dealing than people of color. One study, for example, published in 2000 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that white students use cocaine at seven times the rate of black students, use crack cocaine at eight times the rate of black students, and use heroin at seven times the rate of black students.  That same survey revealed that nearly identical percentages of white and black high school seniors use marijuana.

“The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse reported in 2000 that white youth aged 12-17 are more than a third more likely to have sold illegal drugs than African American youth. . . Any notion that drug use among blacks is more severe or dangerous is belied by the data, white youth have about three times the number of drug-related emergency room visits as their African American counterparts.”

What can you do to correct this horrible injustice? Publicize this information. Make it known to all whom you know. Attend discussions and workshops where you can learn about ongoing initiatives to end racial profiling. For example, on December 5th, Baruch College in NYC, located at 25th Street and Lexington Avenue, is hosting a discussion led by Attorney Roger Wareham.

Roger Wareham, a lawyer and a political activist for three decades, is a member of the December 12th Movement, a group which organizes in the Black and Latino community around human rights violations, particularly police brutality. Attorney Wareham was co-counsel representing three of the young men wrongfully convicted in the Central Park Jogger Case, and is now valiantly representing Black political prisoners in various federal lawsuits around the country.

As the government continues its decades-long War on Drugs, the people who run heroin rehabs in New Jersey  and everywhere else continue to work towards helping people from all walks of life who are addicted to the opiate.

Attorney Wareham will be speaking at Baruch College on Monday, December 5, 6:00  – 9:00 PM, on the seventh floor of the Library Building located at 25th Street and Lexington Avenue. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there.

Staff Writer; Arthur Lewin

This talented writer has also self published a book which is entitled; Africa Is Not A Country: It’s A Continent




12 Responses to “The War On Drugs Is a War On Black America…”
  1. toomanygrandkids says:

    The War On Drugs IS NOT a war on Black America. It’s a war against the distribution of illegal narcotics. It’s a war against those who insist on selling illegal drugs. So what if whites are more likely to use/sell drugs more than blacks. The majority of whites don’t live in black communities where drug use/distribution occurs. Blacks don’t take care of white students who use drugs. So what if whites use/sell drugs. It’s black drug dealers and addicts who have been destroying their families and communities. Making big money (dealers) and getting high (addicts) is what they live for. There’s a high % of black males (and females) in prisons because they worship this drug. Just ask them: THIS DRUG, CRACK COCAINE, IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING OR ANYBODY.

    There are times when black people complain about the drug activity and high crime but when law enforcement does something about and take some action, blacks want to complain about that,

  2. Arthur Lewin says:

    James, thank you for the heartfelt, thoughtful response.

  3. James says:


    Very well put. I can emphathize with everyone who posted and reflect their views on this issue. NO MATTER HOW WE DICE IT, SHAPE IT, FORM IT, ORGANIZE AGAINST IT; the bottom line in Washington to this “so-called DRUG WAR” is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Alaway has been. always will be.

    Again, read the ENTIRE Declaration of Independance & Constitution of the The United States (ALL ARTICLES I-XX); oops; not sure if there are actually 20 Articles in the Constitution but I do know there are 13 Articles for sure…READ BOTH DOCUMENTS and you’ll see that the mass ‘Gentrification’ of all people of color started when the ‘American’ (not Black); ‘Forefathers’ drafted the Declaration in Philadelphia at Independence Hall……..

    I agree that it starts with SELF and helping others in the Black Community to overcome their drug addictions & demons because an addiction can be drugs, alcohol, sex, money, image, material things, chaos, ‘love relationships’, etc. etc. etc….

    I’ve been to the point of laying in a casket due to drug & other addictions; currently working on my B.S. Psychology-Substance Abuse (over 13 years Clean & Sober “1 day at a time”). . . . .

    I plan to transfer to either the Mental Health Department here at the Miami VA where I work; and/or transfer to another branch of Government where I can get a grant to expand upon current Community Health Initiatives within the black community (specifically issues affecting our single Black Women raising kids; on drugs, and/or recovering from addiction(s); ALL types of abuse; and, current Socioeconomic & Moral issues that are also affecting the BLACK VETERAN as a wholistic representative of/whithin our community and, how to get these voices to Washington and heard (President Obama has just initiated a ‘VA For Veterans’ Program), which is geared toward re-integration back into society by ALL Veterans yet, my main focus is on the Black Veteran and Black Families of Veterans therein. . . . .

    Being a Veteran of 2 Combat Operations before I got out of the Army; I see more initiatives currently on the drawing board to help our homeless & addicted Black Veterans as well as, ALL Veterans. Pray for me people, so that I can make a difference in CHANGING THE BLACK COMMUNITY. . . . IT ALL STARTS WITH SELF. . . . . .


    God Bless you all.

    PS: PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ME ACCOLADES FOR STAYING CLEAN OVER 13 YEARS; (GOD THE HEAVENLY FATHER GETS ALL THE CREDIT; I just keep doing the footwork on this life-journey “1 day at a time”). . . . .


  4. hmmm says:

    I was 5 years old when I saw my uncle shoot heroin into his vein. My aunt has been addicted to this drug since 16 she is now 55. My brother has been a drug and gun trafficker since 14 he is now 34.

    I am someone who will NEVER steal your child’s innocence nor condone the behavior of anyone who does!

  5. Rajen says:

    Most importantly HMM. we need to identify our selves in these matters.. anonymous rants has no one to hold accountable, so when your business is checked you can simply change your handle and come with some thing else.. As well, I know it may just be conversation for some but for many of us it is a real issue in our communities that we need to seriously and honestly dialog on and come with solutions so let us know who you are so we can really have dialog

  6. Rajen says:

    Hmmm: the reality is this.. drugs are brought into our communities and many times planted on young men in our communities. Realize that Upstate Ny is a prison economy and most of the revenue generated is from down state arrest in black and latino areas , s yes you may believe that ignoring your white counter part and focusing on your self is the key but that is only part of the problem,..secondly guns lead to drugs and one must understand that those that control guns determine where they can be distributed .. cops in nyc were just indicted for gun running.. so yu have the cops running guns and drugs yet our foucs should simply be on those gettin run on rather than the runners.. Its a two pronged solution that we must undertake..

  7. hmmm says:

    Yes, when one conquers self, communities are empowered which is the direct ENEMY to an unjust system.

    I made a conscientious decision to not interject race into conversations with the YOUTH because if it lights the wrong fire in at least one YOUTH it’s not worth the destruction it causes!

  8. Arthur Lewin says:

    hmmm, this is precisely the power of the War On Drugs. It is designed in such a way that we will turn against each other. I would never tell a young person that he should do something because someone else is doing it and not being punished. I agree we must conquer self. I have written extensively about that.

    But we also must stop the police from interfering with our young people when they are minding their business. I am a teacher in NYC. My students are being terrorized by the police. It would be easy for me to say, you know what, this issue is too complex to get into, I am going to be misunderstood, so let me write about something else. All I can ask is that you keep an open mind. PLEASE LOOK AT THE VIDEO. I am writing another article on this topic titled, The New Jim Crow. I look forward to your comments. I can take the heat.

  9. hmmm says:

    I can’t have one of the mindset that if he gets into trouble he will be punished more severely than his counterparts that have done these same BAD deeds because of the color of his skin or lack of means.

    I can tell one to not write a check that his A$$ can’t cash! I can encourage one to not be consumed with his counterparts because life is a THIEF and will steal his if he allows it to.

    There is no greater threat to the War on Drugs in our community than one conquering self first then helping others to do the same!

  10. malcolm kyle says:

    An appeal to Prohibitionists:

    Most of us are aware by now that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high, no matter what. So why do you not prefer they acquire them in a store that checks ID and pays taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to criminal cartels, ruthless terrorists and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future. If you even remotely believe that people will one day quit using any of these ‘at present illegal’ drugs, then you are exhibiting a degree of naivety parallel only with those poor wretches who voluntarily drank the poisoned Kool-Aid in Jonestown.

    Even if you cannot stand the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you or I can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and over a trillion dollars on this dangerous farce. Practically everybody is now aware that Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. So why do you wish to continue? Is it that you actually think you have something to lose If we start basing drug policy on science and historical fact instead of on empty rhetoric and lies? Maybe you’re a cop, a prison guard or a politician who’s scared of losing employment, overtime-pay, kick-backs or those regular bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies and marauding thugs brandishing gold-plated AK-47s & vats of acid? – Prohibition prevents Regulation. You can chose to help us stop this abomination now!

    Protect our Children – Legalize, Regulate & Tax!

  11. Arthur Lewin says:

    hmmm,it is not an either or situation. How about both we disengage from the behavior and the government stop punishing us and giving whites a pass? I encourage you to please read Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow. In it she shows with crystal clarity how first came slavery, and when that was ended, the Jim Crow Laws legalizing segregation were put into place with its separate (but always un)equal treatment. Once that was defeated, soon came the War on Drugs in a supposedly color blind society in which every stage of the criminal justice system is operated in a racist manner. Here she is discussing her book. (And if you are in the NY area come to our event.)

  12. hmmm says:

    So, I need to be concerned with my white counterpart instead of disengaging in a pattern of behavior that is destroying my own community?

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