March 7, 2012

"The book is helping white folks who otherwise would have simply dismissed that idea understand why so many people believe it."

The idea is that the war on drugs is "a system of racial control comparable to slavery and Jim Crow."

(Here's the book.)

125 comments:

Carol_Herman said...

When did the Volkstad Act pass? 1914? It was ADVERTISED as an act that would start the "war on drugs," and it was supposed to destroy black families.

OPEN AND SHUT.

Except everyone lost freedoms the the crazy wars we've been having.

Made a fortune in money for police departments. And, outfits like the TSA, with their bogus billion dollar nude scanning devices.

BAD LAWS ARE DESTROYING AMERICA! And, has been doing so since 1914.

Moose said...

Whomever argues this would still need to explain the drop in crime with the massive enforcement and incarceration efforts of the 80's and 90's.
While that effort may have been biased against blacks, it still preceeded a steady decline in crime that pretty much went against most liberal legal authority's predictions.
It's got a cool title though.

Unknown said...

I have never accepted the idea of quota based justice.

Simply certain groups self select to do certain crimes beyond their proportional representation.

Some of that is due to being dropouts from school and never developing skill sets to obtain a real job and frankly the idea they can earn more in the drug trade than at a 'real job'.

People who then shout to the roof tops that there simply are too many in jail of this or that group are addressing the symptom and not the disease.

X said...

there is a disparate impact and I wouldn't rule out disparate treatment. either way, it's a counterproductive War on People that does more harm than it prevents, but the public employees who make a living off of it won't go quietly. they'll politically advocate it on the taxpayer dime, as usual.

pduggie said...

Isn't the claim that its a deliberate attempt to push back civil rights a kind of conspiracy theory?

Almost Ali said...

The so-called war on drugs is a business, a very big business. The only way to bankrupt it is to shut down congress.

Fen said...

Professor Alexander, who is black, knew that African-Americans were overrepresented in prison, though she resisted the idea that this was anything more than unequal implementation of colorblind laws.

I guess blacks were also overrepresented in all those the "target whitey" riots.

What a load of crap.

Hell, there's a drinking game based on odds (9 in 10) that the media won't report the race of the accused perp if he's black.

Revenant said...

It is certainly as destructive to American society as slavery and Jim Crow were.

Unlike those things, though, the destruction isn't the point. Most advocates for the war on drugs have their hearts in the right place -- they are simply ignorant of the immense harm they are doing to other people.

X said...

Hell, there's a drinking game based on odds (9 in 10) that the media won't report the race of the accused perp if he's black.

I'm not in favor of locking up drinking game participants either.

chickenlittle said...

Is she arguing for race-based equal outcomes in prison populations or reducing drug-related populations in general?

Are violent crimes statistics sorted by race? Anybody?

ndspinelli said...

The most racially motivated sentencing was on the Federal level involving crack cocaine. It was caused by the Len Bias death. Celtic fans were outraged and their glad handing, alcoholic Irish, Congressman, Tip O'Neil pushed thru the legislation. Recent court decisions have righted that wrong. So..Dems were responsible for Jim Crow in the South, and "Jim Crow" in Federal drug sentencing.

They won't teach that uncomfortable fact in public school history classes

Lem said...

"The book is helping white folks.. understand.."

You mean all those conversations we been having have failed?

edutcher said...

Prof Alexander shows how out of touch she is with her peeps.

After all, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time", didn't originate in Scarsdale.

This is more of the "I'm depraved because I'm deprived" nonsense ironically immortalized by that quintessential limousine liberal, Lenny Bernstein.

(Hatman throwing a fit because I'm picking on someone who's "gay" in 3, 2, 1...)

Blue@9 said...

The most racially motivated sentencing was on the Federal level involving crack cocaine.

This is what came to mind for me, the disparate sentencing policies for crack versus powder cocaine. But as you noted, it wasn't some evil scheme to punish black people-- if anything the black community was pushing hard to do something about the crack epidemic that was ravaging their communities.

Like the subprime crisis, it arose because of well-intentioned liberals... and then later when the results weren't too good they washed their hands of it and blamed someone else.

Mark O said...

If it involves the supposed criminal "justice" system, it is flatly corrupt. Count on it.

Paul said...

chickenlittle asked: Are violent crimes statistics sorted by race? Anybody?

They are. Criminal victimization data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and arrest data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program are both broken down by race.

DO NOT READ THEM unless you never repeat what you see there, or are already an irredeemable cocktail party pariah.

Bob_R said...

@Moose - There have been a lot of explanations offered for the drop in crime (e.g. the elimination of leaded gasoline) I admit that correlation is not a proof but still a point in favor of the drug warriors. It's still up to you to prove causation.

Biggest problem with the argument is that the drop in crime rates is bigger than the drop in drug use. If the same thing could be accomplished by arresting all the wise guys for picking their feet in Poughkeepsie then it's not really the right way to do it. Leaves too much up to the discretion of the cop. I know this guy is "bad" so book him for having a roach in his pocket. I know this guy is "good," so I'll just take away the vial of coke.

Larry J said...

It's said that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. We tried this before about 90 years ago with Prohibition (alcohol). People still wanted to drink so prohibition made criminals of them. This fostered the growth of organized crime which in turn corrupted the police, politicians and judges. Sound familiar?

Honestly, I don't know the answer to the drug problem. Alcohol is legal but millions of Americans are alcoholics. This causes thousands of deaths every year. Many of the drugs - such as crystal meth - are far worse than alcohol. All I know is that what we're doing isn't working. It's making criminals of ordinary people, fostering organized crime and gangs, corrupting the police, politicians and judges.

Maybe it's time to try something different. Either that, or stay insane.

Damn but I despise this captch system. Half the time, I can't read it and I'm human. 4th attempt now.

Paddy O said...

It's a weird political situation when prison rates are an issue for concern, but the abortion rates are almost entirely ignored.

hombre said...

The sob story would be more credible if it weren't also a fact that the whinging isn't limited to the war on drugs it extends to incarceration policies for all crimes.

When a group of people account for a vastly disproportionate amount of crime and the victims are predominantly members of their own group it isn't racism or injustice to hold them accountable. T

It isn't necessary to read a book to understand. There will always be nitwits who don't get that and many of them are college professors.

@chickenlittle: Local agencies used to categorize crimes and victimization by race (1990s and before). PC may now preclude that.

Bob_R said...

@Blue@9 - The war on crack - much like the expansion of subprime mortgages - was a huge bipartisan effort. The federal government is at its most dangerous when there is bipartisan agreement. Contra Olympia Snow - bipartisanship is evil.

hombre said...

First sentence should read: "... on drugs. It extends..." (6:29)

Maguro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Almost Ali said...

Damn but I despise this captch system.

I think Google's goal is to conserve energy (i.e. bandwith). Just not sure its working.

Maguro said...

It's a Catch 22 - The negative effects of drug prohibition fall disproportionately on blacks, but the negative effects of drug legalization or non-enforcement would also fall disproportionately on blacks. For example, the crack epidemic referenced above.

So either way, it's a plot by whitey to keep the man down.

Phil 3:14 said...

Honestly, I don't know the answer to the drug problem

One "solution" from Europe .

Paddy O said...

Widespread ennui?

Blue@9 said...

It's a weird political situation when prison rates are an issue for concern, but the abortion rates are almost entirely ignored.

Yeah, but to be fair, prisons and prisoners cost us a ton of money. Abortion, not so much.

RigelDog said...

I have read that the proportion of convicted criminals of a given race is the same as the proportion of that race that is identified through initial victim reports of the race of the perpetrator.

YoungHegelian said...

The other conspiracies that have had currency in the past (and maybe the present) in the black community are:

1) That HIV was a CIA invention targeted against black men.

2) That the drug trade in general was a government conspiracy against the black community. I believe Rep Maxine Waters attempted to hold hearings on this subject some years ago.

Paul said...

RigelDog said: I have read that the proportion of convicted criminals of a given race is the same as the proportion of that race that is identified through initial victim reports of the race of the perpetrator.

This is certainly true for ARRESTED race vs. reported race statistics. Blacks are actually arrested at a slightly lower percentage than they are reported as perpetrators, while whites are arrested at a slightly higher rate than they are ID'd by victims.

Simply put, disparate treatment in arrests FAVORS blacks. The only crime statistics where whites are shown as a group to be more criminal than blacks are for EXACTLY the kinds of crimes where individual police officers actually have some discretion to display their racism if they so desire: disorderly conduct, DUI, loitering, etc.

Not sure about convictions, though.

bagoh20 said...

This must be the most violent period in history. You can't take a pee anymore without pissing on a war.

Trashhauler said...

Even considering the overblown rhetoric and arguably militaristic tendencies, please state exactly what is wrong with a society saying, "This is harmful to people, therefore it is illegal."

John Locke described three sources law: 1) God's Law, 2) Civil Law, and 3) Law of reputation or convention. In the past, drug use might have been considered mostly under the domain of the first or the third. Since we seem to be rapidly jettisoning those two, all we have left is Civil Law. We reap what we sow.

DADvocate said...

This kind of stuff makes me wonder why blacks continue to be such strong supporters of Democrats. Clinton was the big "3 strikes your out" guy. Democrat's liberal policies in general work to keep blacks down rather that lift them up. One reason liberals support birth control and abortion so strongly is to make it available to blacks. Some blacks think AIDS is a white conspiracy to kill off blacks, but completely miss reality.

traditionalguy said...

As a onetime Defensed Attorney, I can say without qualification that police target the young and the poor of all races. The police want to win, so they pick the weak ones as targets. Drug sales force management picks those same young men.

That bias infects the system all the way through after arrest through trial and incarceration.

We will have to first decide to quit hiring underpaid and under educated young men as our policemen.

But there has always been a large support for using cheap, bad police. It is like righteous people enjoy seeing the weak ones hurt by the law. It affirms the strong somehow.

Check out the show COPS and see the weakest ones being smashed by strong policemen. Does that make you fell good?

Michael Haz said...

Here's a radical alternative to the problems that plague our inner cities, and especially African-Americans.

1. Don't use illegal drugs.

2. Don't use legal drugs in an illegal manner.

3. Avoid committing crimes.

4. Study and do homework.

5. Graduate from high school, enroll in trade school, college or the military.

6. Defer parenthood until married and employed.

It's a radical idea, but it might work. And it's better than legalizing drugs.

Pogo said...

There are too many people in prison. Much of normal life has been criminalized.

The drug war is big business for the government, and has resulted in significant losses of liberty, including the theft of property via forfeiture, and no-knock raids.

The destruction of the black family, as Moynihan long ago noted, was caused by the government. The behavior problems resulting from fatherless homes is behind their larger crime rates.

The drug laws merely magnify that problem.

She makes a classic logical fallacy in the suggestion: post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Her cure will worsen the disease.

YoungHegelian said...

@Dadvocate,

Blacks supported the policies you mentioned under Democrats because certain parts of the black community were winners under those policies, while other, generally poorer and not so well connected were the losers.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the primary victims of black criminals were black. Availability of BC & abortion made it easier for the "caretaker" stratum of the black community to deal with the family problems of the "clueless" stratum.

Even with issues like gentrification, the poorer renting blacks get pushed out. The blacks who owned their houses and sold out to the white gentrifiers made out like bandits.

Michael Haz said...

Or hell, just make all recreational drugs legal.

That will most definitively improve life for African Americans. No doubt about it.

Fen said...

Check out the show COPS and see the weakest ones being smashed by strong policemen. Does that make you fell good?

The weakest ones? There are no-go zones for whites. Its why the avoid-ghetto gps app is so popular. Witness the all recent black mob attacks on whites at fairs and parks.

I'm with Rev on the futility of the War on Drugs. My only concern is that if we legalize, the drug lords would simply shift into something worse. I also think they have a vested business interest in keeping our southern border clear of Iranian sponsored Hezbollah sqauds trying to infiltrate from Venezuela.

Pogo said...

And seriously, "White folks"??

Sheesh.

It's always 1965 for some people.

Darleen said...

Honestly, I don't know the answer to the drug problem.

Short answer: you decriminalize drugs ONLY if you also get rid of the welfare system AND allow families to involuntarily commit family members who are incompetent to take care of themselves (either mentally or because of addiction).

Revenant said...

Even considering the overblown rhetoric and arguably militaristic tendencies, please state exactly what is wrong with a society saying, "This is harmful to people, therefore it is illegal."

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

That, Trashhauler, is what is wrong with the government saying "that is harmful to you, you can't do it".

MadisonMan said...

The drug war is big business for the government, and has resulted in significant losses of liberty, including the theft of property via forfeiture, and no-knock raids.

The other day I read a story about local police forces wanting to start using drones -- as used in the military -- for recon work. All I could think of was (1) They have too much money to spend and (2) This kind of stuff only means government can pry more into my life. Bleah.

bagoh20 said...

"... so many people believe it."

Really? A lot of people believe Elvis is working in the Poconos too.

Revenant said...

Or hell, just make all recreational drugs legal. That will most definitively improve life for African Americans. No doubt about it.

Well, yes, Michael. "I have a drug problem" IS a definite improvement over "I have a drug problem and a criminal record" or "I have a drug problem and am currently in prison".

Surely you aren't naive enough to think there's a poor inner-city black man in America today who has the slightest trouble finding cocaine, heroin, or pot? The ones who don't use drugs -- i.e., the majority -- don't use drugs because they don't want to, not because the drugs aren't readily available for use.

Hell, things have about reached the point where it is easier to get illegal drugs than it is to get effective legal drugs.

Marshal said...

I'm against the War on Drugs, but anyone who says it's comparable to Jim Crow either has no idea what Jim Crow was or is the biggest fucking idiot on the planet.

Trashhauler said...

"they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"...

..."That, Trashhauler, is what is wrong with the government saying 'that is harmful to you, you can't do it'".

And I would agree with your, revenant, if society still considered the source of those rights to still be relevant in the exercise thereof. Increasingly, we don't.

So, maybe we should call it a post-modernist conspiracy.

Chuck66 said...

The African-American community is so bizarre when it comes to this. They don't want crack downs on crime in their neighborhoods. They would rather live in their crime ridden poverty stricken neighbors as they are than have the people who are commiting these crimes put in prison.

Whenever some white Republican says "blacks should be Republicans because we have the same values" is goofy. We don't have the same values. I want white trash criminals taken out of my neighborhood. Blacks want theirs free.

bagoh20 said...

Doesn't it seem as though chasing drug arrests is the overwhelming priority of police everywhere. When I think of police, I think of drug warriors.
Is that what we want? Is that what scares us - someone getting high?

And culturally, you really can't denigrate someone satisfactorily without claiming they use drugs. It's more respectable to be a successful thief who has robbed many people than to be a chronic drug user who has robbed no one.

That seems off to me.

JohnBoy said...

Bill Bennett makes an interesting point about the drug war. He claims that the demographic in favor of legalizing drugs is usually white liberals who live in nice neighborhoods. Think Bill Maher.

But...when you actually speak to people who live in neighborhoods ravaged by drug dealers, they are not in favor of legalization.

MadisonMan said...

A lot of people believe Elvis is working in the Poconos too.

Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge

226-0841...your honeymoon hot line, for honeymoon fun.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

I think we need to stop the War on Murder. Billions spent every year trying to stop it yet we still have 20,000 murders every year. And its been like that forever.

And who pays the price? Black men. Almost 1/2 of all incarcerated murderers are black. Talk about disparate impact!

So I say lets stop this endless futile war on murder. Do it for poor black folks!

Almost Ali said...

Doesn't it seem as though chasing drug arrests is the overwhelming priority of police everywhere.

Yes. Cops are as addicted to drug arrests as addicts are addicted to crack-cocaine.

John Thacker said...

What's more likely? That white folks are going to be persuaded not to dismiss this argument by hearing it from a New York Times endorsed book written by a black law professor?

Or that they're going to be persuaded not to dismiss this argument when they hear the same thing from Ron Paul in a Republican debate?

Guess it depends on which kind of white folks.

Trashhauler said...

"We don't have the same values. I want white trash criminals taken out of my neighborhood. Blacks want theirs free."

Not quite, Chuck. They don't want their criminals, either. What adulterates the sorry mess is the tendency of many blacks to still think of whites as "Ofay," the foe. Race baiters specialize in convincing people that there is evil intent behind every flawed program or law.

Michael Haz said...

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.....why we just can't expect *some* people to follow the laws, so lets just get rid of the laws.

bandmeeting said...

I work in a bookstore and sold a copy of that to Kathy Boudin. Nuff said. (No, I'm not kidding.)

Sorun said...

Why is everything about "white folks?" Let's ask some other Americans what they think. Like Asians.

Joe said...

"labeled a felon" as though it's some random thing that just happens to someone. As though they weren't convicted of a FELONY.

n.n said...

I wonder if he interviewed any Black Panthers (not New Black Panthers). Some of them had an epiphany and recognized their self-inflected injuries. And a subset of those individuals did not indiscriminately condemn all people of a particular incidental feature. Perhaps... No, they did recognize that their fate was neither exclusive nor unique.

That said, have liberals and progressive finally come to terms with their policies that denigrate individual dignity and devalue human life? Have they recognized that their support for redistributive and retributive change (i.e. coerced) is a principal sponsor for corruption of individuals and society? They need to conduct a study to distinguish between cause and effect of moral degradation, evolutionary dysfunction, and sabotaged character development. The historical evidence reveals it, and their focus on symptoms, while profitable, is actually counterproductive.

Whoever said that profit does not motivate these selective narratives is truly naive. Can Alexanders and The New York Times be sued for libel with a twist of prejudice?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

edutcher,

This is more of the "I'm depraved because I'm deprived" nonsense ironically immortalized by that quintessential limousine liberal, Lenny Bernstein.

You do realize that it was Sondheim, not Bernstein, who wrote the libretto of West Side Story, right? And it's "I'm depraved on account I'm deprived." And no one who has actually seen West Side Story, or even listened to "Gee, Officer Krupke" can think that it's an apologia for gang-bangers.

madAsHell said...

She has a entry in Wikipedia. She's another product of affirmative action....like Obama.

n.n said...

As for the war on drugs, end it. However, anyone who is injured, or causes injury, resulting from the consumption of psychotropic drugs (or alcohol) will be dropped from the safety net and be incarcerated, respectively. If they can moderate their usage, then that is to their benefit; but, if they cannot, and injury follows, then they should receive no societal benefits.

The prerequisite for liberty is individuals capable of self-moderating behavior.

Freeman Hunt said...

All news is now about who one should feel sorry for.

Tim said...

I'm completely confident the absence of male fathers in Black families, as well the absence of effective public schools in inner-city neighborhoods, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with drug use, sales and subsequent social disorder and criminal convictions thus resulting.

Nothing whatsoever.

Otherwise, proponents of drug legalization must not have any relatives who are, or have been, or fought addiction to meth.

There's no way that should ever be legal. It's a veritable death-wish, no matter what fucking color, creed, gender, age, education, or sexual orientation one might be, or ability or disability one might have.

Trashhauler said...

"As for the war on drugs, end it. However, anyone who is injured, or causes injury, resulting from the consumption of psychotropic drugs (or alcohol) will be dropped from the safety net and be incarcerated, respectively."

You can't do that. Once you end the war on drugs, any damage caused by continued drug use is still our fault. Because, see, we created the environment that made them destroy themselves. Or something.

Chuck66 said...

Tim....I agree. Most of the people who support legalized drugs are either:

A) Hard core drug users who don't want to get arrested

B) Fairly well-off people who don't have any relatives battle drug use nor live in a neighborhood with a large drug use population.

Talk to anyone who is battling addiction and ask them what would happen if drugs were as easy to get as to walk into a liquor store and make your purchase.

There is a reason why narcotics are illegal, just as there is a reason why kiddie porn is illegal.

phx said...

I'm completely confident the absence of male fathers in Black families, as well the absence of effective public schools in inner-city neighborhoods, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with drug use, sales and subsequent social disorder and criminal convictions thus resulting.

Nothing whatsoever.

Otherwise, proponents of drug legalization must not have any relatives who are, or have been, or fought addiction to meth.


We don't have to make meth legal. But we can make marijuana legal and see how that goes.

Robert Cook said...

"Like the subprime crisis, it arose because of well-intentioned liberals...."

Heh.

WRONG.

The subprime crisis arose, of course, as a result of the concerted efforts of greedy, amoral criminal bands of corner office thugs whose gang colors include (but are not limited to) silk ties, pinstripes, and gold or bejeweled cufflinks.

phx said...

Cold Freeman Hunt.

n.n said...

Trashhauler:

You are describing the Ouroboros principle. It's similar to the "damned if you do and damned if you don't" principle but avoidable through conscious rejection.

The first question we should inquire of individuals who are determined to escape reality is why do they feel the need to consume themselves? It's their choice, of course, but it is not without consequence. If they do not understand that and are unwilling to accept intervention, then they should be left to their own devices. Their behavior thereafter will be subject to additional scrutiny and constraint.

That should describe a society's responsibility for its members. The private alternative can be more generous and patient.

William said...

Deep in the article it is mentioned that non-violent drug offenders make up only 25% of the prison population. Still, if the laws were tilted against blacks the way the prof claims, why doesn't the prof argue that the simplest countermove for blacks would be to avoid drugs. By that simple expedient young black men could foil this whole dastardly plot.....I'm sure there are biases in our law enforcement and judical systems. But people have free will, and lots of people make bad choices. Dealing drugs is one of the dumbest career choices in the world. If you think the cops and judges are too harsh, check out the unfair business practices of rival dealers--like, for instance, murdering competitors. Why doesn't the professor try to reform the harsh personnel policies that are so much worse in the drug trade than at Walmart? Perhaps if we had more enlightened drug dealers, this bias against drug dealers would fade.

phx said...

As for the war on drugs, end it. However, anyone who is injured, or causes injury, resulting from the consumption of psychotropic drugs (or alcohol) will be dropped from the safety net and be incarcerated, respectively. If they can moderate their usage, then that is to their benefit; but, if they cannot, and injury follows, then they should receive no societal benefits.

I don't know, but it's worth reading again, isn't it?

n.n said...

Robert Cook:

You are describing a symptom and not the cause. The cause was a corruption of the public sector by civil servants purchasing votes in order to preserve their positions. What is not clear is if civil servants were instigators or conspirators in progressive corruption. What is clear is that redistributive and retributive change (i.e. coerced) are principle causes of corruption. The effect of fundamental corruption was to enable fraudulent and opportunistic exploitation, as well as a massive distortion of the market and debasement of the currency.

Chuck66:

Narcotics exploits the individual consuming them (other effects are incidental features of their voluntary behavior), while kiddie porn exploits children who society has deemed are incapable of offering consent.

Revenant said...

And I would agree with your, revenant, if society still considered the source of those rights to still be relevant in the exercise thereof. Increasingly, we don't.

Um, "inalienable" means you have them whether you give a rat's patootie about their source or not. Whether you believe the 'creator' to be a god or natural processes, the rights are what they are.

anon2 said...

I found it interesting to compare the description of this book to Stuntz's "The collapse of American Criminal Justice" reviewed here:
http://libertylawsite.org/post/its-a-stuntzian-world/

Fen said...

Why is everything about "white folks?"

Because blacks are racist. The most racist demographic in America. Hell, can you imagine the uproar today if *whites* formed into mobs to seek out and beat down *blacks* ?

And yet, there's been a rash of black mob violence against whites, which the MSM frames as "disgruntled youths"...

I Callahan said...

We have a government that nannies us regarding seat belts, helmets, sat-fat, salt intake, and a host of other evils. Does anyone with the smallest amount of sanity really believe drug prohibition will ever be repealed?

Never going to happen.

David said...

Here is a message for black youth.

If you don't do drugs and don't deal drugs, whitey can't use drug sentencing to reinstitute Jim Crow. If you don't attack other kids to show your gang cred, you won't become a second class citizen if jailed for that crime. If you don't steal a car, you won't end up on probation for unlawful possession of a motor vehicle (a common first sentence for vehicle theft by youths.)

You white youth out there? Same message, paleface.

Is there a racial component in sentencing? Certainly it's possible, though a conspiracy to reinstitute Jim Crow sounds like inflammatory bullshit. But the main point is: no crime = no time.

phx said...

@David Part 2 sounds reasonable. Part 1 sounds like you think you can fix this by sounding like a dad. I don't think you are likely to get the desired effect, personally.

bagoh20 said...

"that is harmful to you, you can't do it".

I wouldn't give my neighbor that power over me. Why would I let some congressmen I never met and who doesn't give a damn about me have it?

I have no doubt that eventually they would decide that spending my own money isn't good for me. Oh wait, we already made that mistake.

~~~~~~~
"Most of the people who support legalized drugs are either:

A) Hard core drug users who don't want to get arrested

B) Fairly well-off people who don't have any relatives battle drug use nor live in a neighborhood with a large drug use population.

Talk to anyone who is battling addiction and ask them what would happen if drugs were as easy to get as to walk into a liquor store and make your purchase."


Completely wrong on who is against the war on drugs. Seriously, you don't know any of us? You think all libertarians and the rest of us are hard core drug users or have no exposure to addicts? That's not even a reasonable assumption.

And drugs are already quite easy to get for those who want them. Usually near the same place you buy beer, except nobody asks for your ID, and there is no tax added.

You really should know something about a subject if you're gonna be so opinionated.

bagoh20 said...

"we just can't expect *some* people to follow the laws, so lets just get rid of the laws."

We already had laws that were violated to create the current ones, so I guess it depends on who *some* people are who violate our laws. All laws are not equal.

Carnifex said...

I propose a Darwinian solution to the problem. Hear me out, let all black people commit any act they wish with no consequences, much like a new employee at the candy store is allowed to have all they want. After so many riots, arsons, rapes and murders, there will be a lot less bitching about disproportionate incarceration rates.

Because I am sick and tired of carrying the white mans burden, and make no mistake, that's what we're talking about here. If this professor doesn't like black incarceration rates then talk them into committing fewer crimes.

Otherwise, she can sit down, and shut the hell up.

@chicken little

Yes those statistics are kept, and you would be horrified to read them. I was, and shocked too.

Pogo said...

"Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and
appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the
more there must be without.

It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of
intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."


Edmund Burke

cubanbob said...

I know this is too big a leap of imagination for progressives and NYT readers but the most effective way to avoid prison is to not commit serious crimes. Just say no to stay out jail.

Now we can argue that some drugs should be lagilized but untill they are why the pity fest for those who break those laws?

Chip S. said...

Law professors have no specialized training in any field related to policy analysis. But they are generally clean and articulate, which seems to enable them to convince some people that they know what they're talking about.

Revenant said...

If you don't do drugs and don't deal drugs, whitey can't use drug sentencing to reinstitute Jim Crow.

Eh. The old "the innocent have nothing to fear from the police" line just isn't as convincing as it used to be in this age of daily wrong-door no-knock SWAT raids...

Revenant said...

Talk to anyone who is battling addiction and ask them what would happen if drugs were as easy to get as to walk into a liquor store and make your purchase."

Heh! They are. You obviously don't know any addicts. :)

Palladian said...

"Part 1 sounds like you think you can fix this by sounding like a dad. I don't think you are likely to get the desired effect, personally."

Too bad that so many of the incarcerated people we're talking about don't have anyone in their lives who sounds like a dad.

The government cannot be anyone's dad, or mother, and statistics show what a degenerate and terrible parent the State has been.

As usual, so-called "liberals" confuse the government with society. Unfortunately we've also given up on the stabilizing social forces in society, mostly because it's harder to sell stupid things and bad ideas to educated people with a thoroughly grounded morality. So we're left with the coercive yet impotent force of the State, a completely fracture and dissolute society, and lots of people making a killing preying upon the victims of this decadence.

Ending the State's coercive control of drugs is but one part of the solution. Good luck repairing the rest.

Revenant said...

Now we can argue that some drugs should be lagilized but untill they are why the pity fest for those who break those laws?

Even if you have no sympathy for people who are jailed for victimless crimes, how about some sympathy for taxpayers? We've spent something like a trillion dollars of tax money at the local, state, and federal level and have nothing to show for it. Heck, we have less than nothing; the "drug problem" is worse than it was when we started.

Quaestor said...

Little more of Pogo's excellent citation from Burke:

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there is without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

What a happy state of affairs that we of the Right can always roll out the big field piece, the Right Honourable Member for Bristol. By comparison the "Progressives" have mere pop guns.

Methinks if Miss Michelle Alexander
got what she evidently wants, the legalization of drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, etc. that in five years time we'd hear her complain that society isn't doing enough to rescue the "Black community" from the deleterious effects of drug abuse (due to the inherent racism of America society), and she would also be complaining that Big Pharma is making too much money compared to the previously generous and now post-legalization paltry drug earnings of the Crips (due to ditto)

Lawyer Mom said...

Do you have a problem with alcohol?

If you said yes, call 1-800-get-help.

If you said no, then you must call 1-800-get-help.

Because it really doesn't matter what you think.

Quaestor said...

Revenant wrote:
Heh! They are. You obviously don't know any addicts. :)

I know no one addicted to an illegal drug, however I know well two persons who are addicted to drink which they can and do purchase in bars, taverns, restaurants, liquor stores and grocery stores, and do so without any social stigma. Both could be described as alcoholics, though I choose not to because I believe alcoholism like any other addiction is nothing more or less than a moral failing. I do not believe the ready and legal availability have done anything to decrease the intake or limit the damage done to my "alcoholic" friends.

DEEBEE said...

For a bunch of people who supposedly believe in people having Civil Liberties; it is amazing to see how they also believe that the same people are incapable of excercising them.

phx said...
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Robert Cook said...

"I believe alcoholism like any other addiction is nothing more or less than a moral failing."

Geez, you're really filled with the malt liquor of compassion, aren't you?

(As well as a complete understanding of addiction as a physical malady.)

Roux said...

The war on drugs is a miserable failure but hardly a war on blacks. It's a war on all young people who make the mistake of trying illegal drugs and get caught.

A drug conviction can keep you from ever going to college or getting a decent job.

Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...
"I believe alcoholism like any other addiction is nothing more or less than a moral failing."

Geez, you're really filled with the malt liquor of compassion, aren't you?

(As well as a complete understanding of addiction as a physical malady.)


Which came first? The addiction or the desire?

X said...

I have read that the proportion of convicted criminals of a given race is the same as the proportion of that race that is identified through initial victim reports of the race of the perpetrator.

who is the victim when someone is arrested for smoking a joint? who is the victim when you drink a beer? who is the victim when the cops no knock raid the wrong house and gun your mother down?
why do so many people want to violently jail others for doing the same things they do? better to just get tanked up on wine and not think about it.

X said...

so many squares. fact: if you drink beer, wine, or liquor, you get more inebriated than someone who smokes weed. you are less able to keep your wits about you. you're more dangerous by far. you're possibly a drunk. and if you want to lock people up for marijuana, you're an asshole to boot.

SGT Ted said...

When a group of people account for a vastly disproportionate amount of crime and the victims are predominantly members of their own group it isn't racism or injustice to hold them accountable.

The "black criminal is the victim of racist laws" is not new. It was part and parcel of the radical violent black power movement of the 1960s.


Retired Military Police here.

We catch alot of the stupid ones. They tend to be young. Young people tend to be poor. Stupid young people tend to make poor decisions sometimes. Especially when addictive hard drugs are involved and they are poor. Stupid young poor people who are addicts are easier to catch, by definition. Low hanging fruit as it were.

Plenty of ordinarily smart young people get away with their drug use. Because, they don't do the stupid shit that gets them caught, like, oh, driving 80 MPH in a 35 zone with expired tags and 20 pounds of pot and 2 ounces of meth in their cars. While drunk. Actual case. It happens one or two times a year up here where I live.

The problem isn't young underpaid cops. The "Defense Attorney" who posted that is a fool. Gullible too.

The main problem remains that they have lumped pot, which isn't any sort of hard drug, in with hard drugs that cause lots of addiction related crime.

Weed doesn't do that, unless its to steal some snacks to feed the munchies. Weed being illegal merely promotes the violence inherent in any black market operation that is profitable for criminal gangs or foreign drug cartels. They are growing in the CA State and National Forests to sell it back east, where it is still illegal and commands a price of $3000.00 or more a pound. Medical grows are getting just over half that per pound.

Criminal Defense Attorneys got OJ aquitted. He killed more people than any pothead or pot farmer I know.

Tell me who is the problem again?

Superdad said...

The book addresses only a symptom of the real problem - too many laws!

The Unknown Pundit said...

I'm completely confident the absence of male fathers in Black families, as well the absence of effective public schools in inner-city neighborhoods, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with drug use, sales and subsequent social disorder and criminal convictions thus resulting.

Well, if we weren't arresting and imprisoning men for dabbling in things that are morally no different than buying/selling/using alcoholic beverages, these missing fathers would not be missing.

Jim said...

Sorry, the allegations of racial animus are a crock o'shite. Black ministers and community leaders were largely behind the late 80's / early 90's push to ramp up penalties for possession and sale of the drugs then ravaging black communities.

As for the policies themselves - I can't say it's better to do nothing. I could fill up a paragraph or two here with the names of my respectable, white, middle class friends who are dead as a result of getting hooked on various drugs. It only takes one friend burned to death in a crack house to turn somebody into a hardline drug warrior.

Now as to whether we're going about it the right way, that's an open question, one I'd answer by first legalizing marijuana, then re-asking the same question a year or two later.

SGT Ted said...

The problem with the Federal WOD is that it is a "zero tolerance" approach, which has fails miserably everywhere its tried, because of its disregard for individual rights.

The drug warriors inability to distinguish between pot and other, far more dangerous chemical drugs has destroyed their credibility with alot of people, especially cynical youths.

The Drug Warriors insistance in promulgating and using previously discredited junk science marijuana studies to "prove" how bad pot is has done the most damage to that credibility. DARE was still telling kids that pot makes you grow tits in the 1990s. The "gateway drug" lie was another big whopper that is easily discredited by the fact that cigarette and booze are gateway drugs too, but there doesn't seem to be much concern beyond collecting the tax dollars from the sales and occasionally busting a few shops with straw buyers and harvesting the fines.

Because when kids see that they've been actually lied to about pot by people who claim to be telling them nothing but the truth, what do you think their reaction is when those same people tell them that cocaine, heroine and meth is bad?

Paul Zrimsek said...

“The New Jim Crow” arrives at a receptive moment, when declining crime rates and exploding prison budgets have made conservatives and liberals alike more ready to question the wisdom of keeping nearly 1 in 100 Americans behind bars.

This particular example of dopey bafflement appears so often in the pages of the NYT that someone should really come up with a short, snappy name for it.

X said...

Jim, good comment, but don't get distracted by the racial angle. Is it a good idea to lock people up for weed? Hell no, it's a very bad idea. and please notice that even though crack is and was illegal (and I think it should stay that way), your friend is dead. so how did prohibition help him? in fact it sounds like prohibition could have indirectly lead to the fire. perhaps we could do something different than jail people for it, which seems barbaric to me.

The Unknown Pundit said...

America doesn't have a drug problem. Only individuals have drug problems. America has a drug law problem.

Ending the WOD won't end problem drug use, just as prosecuting the WOD these past 80-90 years hasn't ended problem drug use. But ending the WOD will end the problems caused by prosecuting the WOD. Those are well documented.

It saddens me that there are people who support the tyranny that is the WOD. It's beens said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. You drug warriors can stop paving now, we've arrived at hell. Thanks for making sure we got here.

X said...

and let's keep something else from getting twisted; prohibition created crack. a direct result. all crack problems proceed from that fact.

SGT Ted said...

No, prohibition did not create crack.

Coke heads looking for a bigger high created crack. It was called "free basing" before "crack" came into vogue and when snorting cocaine was already vogue in the late 70s and throughout the eighties.

X said...

of course prohibition didn't actually do it. you could also say prohibiton didn't create bathtub gin either. It was a huge factor is what I am saying.

and I agree with your other thoughts on this thread SgtTed.

Carnifex said...

@Queastor

Doesn't matter what you believe son, addiction to alcohol is a provable disease. As an alcoholic, my brain produces different chemicals than one that isn't. Alcohol flips some neuron in my head, and then I feel euphoria. I feel euphoria for other things also, but this is a product I can buy and totally control the administration of. Do you remember those lab test with monkeys and rats where they let the wire down into the animals pleasure center, and all it had to do was push a button to feel good. But it was given a choice push one button to feel good, another one to eat, you couldn't have both. How many of those animals starved? I get that choice, every time I walk into a store, restaurant, or bar. I have enough will power to reject that choice, a lot of the time. But if I slip just once, it will be a day before I can even remember anything. I've had that experience. Waking up a day later with no idea where I am, or how I got there, or what I did.

I decided a long time ago to not let alcohol scare me. I like a cold beer on a hot day. But just one. I don't let anything rule my life except me.

From what I understand, drug addiction is worse. I did drugs in my youth, and I got high, but I didn't get the euphoria I get from alcohol, so never got addicted to drugs. I imagine that's how people look at alcoholics. They can't understand why someone does it to themselves. I can relate to the drug addict, because I am one, only mine is legal.

The Unknown Pundit said...

Questions for Christians who support the WOD:

1) The Bible teaches that it is morally wrong to bear false witness against thy neighbor. When you characterize (or support the characterization of) the non-violent actions of drug users/providers as "crimes", aren't you violating that teaching? If not, why not?

2) What is moral about creating laws that authorize violence or the threat of violence against people engaging in peacable activities?

3) Is it hypocritical for a Christian that consumes alcoholic beverages to support the WOD? If not, why not?

4) Why do Christians support laws that require sinners to abstain from sin when their own teachings say that the only way to escape sin's clutches is salvation through Jesus? Which is it, Jesus or the lash?

5) Did Jesus instruct his followers to lead people down the path of rightousness or did he instruct them to force them down that path?

Quite frankly, I don't see how any Christian can support the WOD, because to do so violates so many important Christian principles. At least I thought they were important Christian principles.

Tarzan said...

Even considering the overblown rhetoric and arguably militaristic tendencies, please state exactly what is wrong with a society saying, "This is harmful to people, therefore it is illegal."

We're saying exactly that, as is our right. This (drug war) is harmful to people, MORE HARMFUL than the evil it seeks to combat. This drug war has become an out of control disease unto itself. That drugs are harmful and should be subject to controls is something I agree with completely. That the only reasonable response is instituting a Vietnam War in our suburbs and offering prizes for every x number of drug offender scalps retrieved is not. That's pretty much what it's turned in to.

I say pull the rug out from under the entire enterprise.

I just cannot support governments waging war on their own people at this scale.

I know a LOT of people who enjoy the milder drugs, and I have tried many myself in my younger years.

I don't know ANYONE who is a rapist or a serial killer, or a child molester or what have you.

Save the F***ing WAR for something worthwhile.

Tarzan said...

But...when you actually speak to people who live in neighborhoods ravaged by drug dealers, they are not in favor of legalization.

I honestly believe that's because they are failing to think it through. They hear 'legalization' and think, "That will mean more drugs! More violence! NO!"

A lot of those people in the wealthy suburbs use drugs of all kinds, but have been able (thanks to the privilege of wealth) to insulate themselves from the more dangerous aspects of procuring those drugs.

The current system ensures that poor folks will always have to endure violence and incarceration in order to get what they want.

You may say, "Make the laws tougher and get those pot-smoking limosine liberals in jail too!" But I say no.

I say, make it so that everyone, rich and poor alike, can get their drugs without violence, and save the incarceration for special cases, such as giving controlled substances to minors and such.

Thing is, once drugs are legalized to some degree (perhaps made misdemeanors instead of felonies) the black market will disappear (for that at least) and there will be no incentive for anyone anywhere to 'turn on' others to drugs for their own profit.

But no, just keep shooting, knocking down doors and locking people up. Keeps the whole legal biz thing moving and everyone looks busy and productive, and no one's status or salary is threatened.

Just keep on keepin' on, because, well, just because!

Tarzan said...
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Tarzan said...

Imagine also, the effect drug de-criminalization would have on prostitution.

"Legalize drugs? Then we'll have MORE drugs...and MORE pimps and ho's and more killing and stuff. Goodness NO!"

Play with the idea and think it through.

Yes, Armageddon and societal collapse, I know.

So let's just keep shooting, and busting down doors and build more jails. Much better for business.

Tarzan said...
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Tarzan said...

I don't really like limosine liberals.

I don't really like poor people either.

But I do NOT want to see 'war' waged upon any of them.

They are my fellow citizens and human beings. They are not a means to someone else's fiscal end or, worse, masturbatory moral fantasy.

Delayna said...

Paul Zrimsek:

The word you're groping for is "Liberal"

Revenant said...

when you actually speak to people who live in neighborhoods ravaged by drug dealers, they are not in favor of legalization.

If the people in question understand how to solve the drug problem, why are their neighborhoods still "ravaged by drug dealers" fifty years into the war on drugs?

Especially given that the dealers in question come from those same neighborhoods?

sleepless nights said...
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gadfly said...

I think that the problem here has been mistakenly defined as a leading indicator of racism. But it really reflects the view and acceptance of the community at large towards Plato's Rule of Law. White Europeans have lived with this concept for centuries; as a result fear of the consequences of breaking the law are ingrained.

Minorities fear and suspect the lawgivers and simply believe that punishment for breaking the law is likely to be no worse than mistreatment that the law enforcers will impose on the downtrodden anyway.

Let's examine drug laws specifically. The majority demands control of harmful drugs to prevent exposure of drug use from reaching their children and loved ones. After all these folks are The Watchers who make the rules.

Then there are the criminals who break the drug laws for fun or profit. Criminals go where they can hide, so they tend to mix with or belong to the lower-income groups, which until the last half-century was largely black-skinned.
In other words, this association is brought on by the culture - it is therefore a culture thingy, not a racist thingy.

Can we fix it? Yeah, maybe - but we have to do two things:

1. We have to frame and administer laws with a thought toward the question: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

2. We have to sell a "rule of reasonable reaction" to minorities to replace the hard and fast "rule of law."

I am offering concepts here - not answers.