Quote Of The Day

“The crack-cocaine sentencing disparities result from racial bias.”   In fact, black leaders were the first to sound the alarm about the drug.  In 1986, Queens congressman Alton Waldon called on his colleagues to legislate against crack: “For those of us who are black this self-inflicted pain is the worst oppression we have known since slavery. . . . Let us . . . pledge to crack down on crack.” The bill that eventually passed, containing the crack/powder distinction, won majority support among black congressmen, none of whom objected to it as racist.” —SecularRight blog

4 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”

  1. Jon says:

    That’s an interesting point. One thing worth considering is how policies that do nothing to achieve their stated aims, such as drug criminalization, continue despite the overwhelming evidence of their ineffectiveness. What you have to ask is whether the stated aims are the real aims. That’s the question I keep asking.

    Drug criminalization is great for certain segments of the population. First of all racial hostility is great for keeping people in line via fear. Criminalizing being black helps in that regard. As you know our incarceration rate is off the scale. So I think the legislation should be considered with that as a back drop.

    What a black Congressman may or may not have done should be considered in light of the fact that their primary customers are wealthy lobbyists and big business. White Congressman are quick to sell us all down the river. The whole war in Afghanistan is an absurdity in light of the constant slashing of social benefits. Black Congressman would likely do the same. Look at Obama. He’s screwing everyone over. The poor suffer the most due to his cut tax for the rich, increase tax for the poor legislation. He’s talking about slashing Medicare and Social Security. That hurts blacks. So he doesn’t care much about the plight of blacks. What he cares about is his wealthy financiers.

  2. It wasn’t just Black congressmen, it was Black Church leaders too. The leaders of very poor Churches in the ghetto that have little to no connection to rich financiers.

  3. Jon says:

    That doesn’t change what I said. An isolated church leader here or there doesn’t mean much. They can be unaware of the issues, unaware of the disparity between white and black sentencing.

    Keep in mind there’s a long history of criminalizing drugs of the poor and going light on drugs of the rich. You may have seen this before at my blog, but here’s Chomsky discussion the history, which is pretty interesting. Marijuana, which causes zero deaths and undetectable damage, is a huge problem because you can use it to punish Mexicans. Tobacco which kills enormous numbers of people is of course legal. It’s all pretty amazing.

  4. I can see that point, but this was more of a bottom up process. Even now, you could meet many black Christian pastors who want more punishment for crack addicts and especially dealers.

    This was probably more so when crack first hit the black community and its first wave of destruction swept the ghettos.

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