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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:20 AM

 

The War On Drugs Has Screwed Black People and Now It's Coming for White People [View all]

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/americas-war-on-drugs-is-the-holocaust-in-slow-motion via Vermin Supreme


America is the world's most prolific jailer, with 2.3 million people currently squished together in its disparate cans. A quarter of those prisoners are doing time for drug offences, many of them users or small-time street dealers. While the old argument that drug legalisation would save the government a lot of time and earn them a lot of tax money still holds up, there's something we may have missed. Namely that cramming prisons with human lives is a very potent method of profiteering.

After 40 years, a trillion dollars and 45 million arrests, America's War On Drugs has achieved basically nothing, besides the incarceration of a hugely disproportionate number of black people (which would be a weird thing to describe as an achievement, really, unless you're a racist idiot). What it has done, however is create a huge industry that allows big business to profit from the imprisonment of low-level criminals and vulnerable addicts.

If there's one man you want to speak to about this, it's Eugene Jarecki. The acclaimed director of Why We Fight, Freakonomics and Reagan's latest documentary – The House I Live In – deals with the corporate exploitation of the American prison system.

VICE: Hi Eugene. What made you want to make this film?
Eugene Jarecki: Growing up in the wake of the civil rights movement, I anticipated a sort of post-racial America, where black people would be afforded the same opportunities as white people. As I got older, I started to understand that there's an invisible force blocking black progress in America – a huge part of which is the phenomenon of mass incarceration. The more I looked into it, the more obvious it became that the War On Drugs had reinvented, in a way, the kind of obstacles black people had triumphed over in the civil rights movement.

(More text, a video, and pics at the link.)

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Reply The War On Drugs Has Screwed Black People and Now It's Coming for White People [View all]
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Feb 2013 #1
msongs Feb 2013 #2
Joe Shlabotnik Feb 2013 #3
nebenaube Feb 2013 #4
Live and Learn Feb 2013 #7
Live and Learn Feb 2013 #6
Jamaal510 Feb 2013 #5
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #8
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #9