- Share links: race or racism. This article was written by Timeshifter. See: Drug war causes high U.S. incarceration rate. And: Influential black cannabis users. And: The U.S. Drug War. Republicans lead.
- Let's Reform the Criminal (In)justice System | Ben & Jerry’s. March 23, 2017. The racism of the Criminal (In)justice System, and the drug war.
|The majority of people incarcerated in prisons and jails in the USA are in due to drug-related offenses, crimes to get money for drugs, or drug-related parole or probation violations. Wikipedia: Drug-related crime. The number of inmates in the USA has increased almost 5 times over since 1980. It peaked in 2008. Obama's Democrat landslide in 2008 turned the incarceration rate around. But the USA still has the highest incarceration rate of any nation (b c). The cost of the U.S. drug war is at least 1.5 trillion dollars. Cannabis is safer! Share link.|
Mass incarceration due to the drug war began in the 1980's due to Republican-led hysteria about marijuana, followed up by whipping up fear of black men and crack cocaine. See: The American Drug Panic of the 1980s. Chapter 12 of Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance. See: Drug war, mandatory minimum sentencing, handguns, homicide rates.
|U.S. adult male incarceration rate is astronomical compared to the rest of the world. For both whites and blacks. But especially for blacks. Rates in the USA peaked in 2008, and declined slowly after that under Obama. Obama became President in January 2009.|
New Republican governor of Kentucky removes voting rights of all felons for their entire lives. . A RepubliKKKan dream. Dec. 23, 2015 article.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
. And: More than 1,100 law school professors nationwide oppose Sessions’s nomination as attorney general. And: MSNBC Guest: Upcoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions Is a ‘KKK Sympathizer’. And: Sessions: KKK "was O.K. until I found out they smoked pot." . And: Sessions Racism Accusations: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know. . See: Race, ethnicity, and drug war. And: US News & World Report. Activists Roll Joint, Offer Free Pot at Jeff Sessions Office as Threats Swirl to Legalization Framework. . Viral video.
Racism, interracial marriage, public opinion
Interracial Marriage Highest It's Ever Been in the U.S. May 19, 2017. Newsweek. From the article: "Attitudes toward mixed marriages have shifted even more drastically when considering American views on the matter back in 1990, when 63 percent of non-black adults said they would be completely or somewhat opposed to a family member marrying a black person. ."
Casualties of war. Incarceration by race
- Black men below poverty line have lowest overall survival. By Stephen Feller. July 18, 2016. See also: Canadian single-payer healthcare and Portuguese drug decriminalization.
- Number incarcerated in the USA peaked in 2008.
- The Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Race. June 12, 2015. Drug Policy Alliance.
- Race and Prison | Drug War Facts: "Human Rights Watch’s analysis of prison admission data for 2003 revealed that relative to population, blacks are 10.1 times more likely than whites to be sent to prison for drug offenses."
- Chart below from: The meteoric, costly and unprecedented rise of incarceration in America. By Emily Badger, April 30, 2014. The Washington Post.
European alternatives to mass incarceration
Look at the decreasing crime rates in the G7 countries in the chart to the right. All of the those countries except for the USA have low incarceration rates.
|Republican-led mass incarceration the article explains other methods that are lowering crime rates in countries with low incarceration rates. They also have few handguns. See also Wikipedia: Comparison of United States incarceration rate with other countries.July 2013 article. See chart to the right. In contrast to|
Past month illicit drug use by race or ethnicity
Chart below. Past month illicit drug use. Age 12 or older, by race or ethnicity 2002-2010. Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.
Over 100 years of drug war
See: Cost of U.S. drug war.
- Four of the Major Fear Campaigns That Helped Create America's Insane War on Drugs. By Phillip Smith / AlterNet. February 9, 2015. History of racist U.S. drug war since the 19th century.
- Canada: Emily Murphy: A pioneer in the war on pot. By Mark Bourrie. Sept. 30, 2012. National Post. "Emily Murphy ... made Canada the first Western country to launch a war on pot. She convinced the government to ban cannabis by writing a book that, if it came on the market today, would certainly fall under the hate crimes provision of the Criminal Code."
|2015. 70th anniversary: Victory over fascism in WW2. 35th year: Reagan's cannabis war. Today, Republicans often block cannabis legislation state by state (except low-THC bills). U.S. federal narcotic law enforcement began in 1915. 1915 was also the year of Billie Holiday's birth. 2. The movie, "The Birth of a Nation," came out in 1915. Originally called The Clansman. First blockbuster movie. Roots of hate radio, Fox News, Nixon's racist Southern Strategy, and racist drug war.|
- The Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Race. See PDF. June 12, 2015. Drug Policy Alliance. See chart from the article:
|Chart is for December 31, 2012. Data comes from: Prisoners in 2013. From Table 14 of the PDF. By Bureau of Justice Statistics.|
|Nixon Aide Admitted Drug War Was Meant To Target Black People and Hippies. Intense racial targeting associated with the drug war wasn’t an unintended side effect — it was the whole point. And GOP mass incarceration helps in enforcing income inequality.|
Republican wars on brown people
The "War on Drugs". Why is everything a "war" or a "crusade" to Republicans? The war on drugs is a war on people.
|George Carlin: Youtube: George Carlin: "We Like War!" 1992. "Especially if your country's full of brown people." (1 min 20 sec in. Direct link there). Bush's "crusade".|
Black Lives Matter
- Trump said it was OK to "rough up" black protesters, and sent a racist tweet . And you wonder why the Republican-led drug war is so racist.
- The Man Beaten And Choked At A Donald Trump Rally Tells His Story.
- 'Muslim-Free' Gun Store Now Selling George Zimmerman's Confederate Flag Paintings. 18 Aug 2015. You can't make this stuff up. And: .
- There's blatant inequality at nearly every phase of the criminal justice system (charts and article). By Andrew Kahn and Chris Kirk, Slate. 9 Aug 2015. Business Insider. 
- Racism and Mass Incarceration in the US Heartland: Historical Roots of the New Jim Crow. 27 November 2015. By James Kilgore. Truthout.
- Alicia Keys released a beautiful video to get 1 million signatures for prison reform. By Erica Williams Simon. 25 Nov. 2015. Upworthy.
All We Want Is Justice: Fighting for Eric Garner . By Erica Garner and Reggie Harris. Dec. 3, 2015. Huffington Post. NYPD cop who killed Eric (I can't breathe) Garner with a banned chokehold is still on the payroll.
Bill Maher on the Drug War
Bill Maher: "We had slavery, and then we had the Jim Crow laws, and I think the successor to those two ways of putting down the black man in America is the war on drugs." From Real Time with Bill Maher – Episode 260, September 21, 2012.
Bill Maher: May 2, 2010 video and article: "I would never say and I have never said, because it's not true that Republicans, all Republicans are racists. That would be silly and wrong. But nowadays, if you are racist, you're probably a Republican. And that is quite different." More info
Cory Booker & Quentin Tarantino on Drug War
Incarceration rates by race, age, and ethnicity
2009 numbers in first 2 charts below. See charts source for more info.
2008 chart below is from page 8 of the PDF for a September 2010 report by The Pew Charitable Trusts: Collateral Costs. Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility. Numbers are for 2008.
Chart below has numbers for 2010, and is from:
- Chart of the Week: The black-white gap in incarceration rates. By George Gao, July 18, 2014, Pew Research Center. And: Charting the shocking rise of racial disparity in our criminal justice system. By Christopher Ingraham, July 15, 2014, The Washington Post. And: The Prison Boom and the Lack of Black Progress after Smith and Welch. By Derek Neal and Armin Rick, July 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research.
"On any given day in 2010, almost one in ten black men ages 20-39 were institutionalized". . "Institutionalized" means incarcerated for the most part nowadays: "Few persons under age 50 are in nursing homes, and the populations housed in mental hospitals have declined greatly over the past three decades." . See: US timeline of imprisonment and mental hospital rates. "By 2010, nearly a third of black, male high school dropouts aged 25-29 were imprisoned or otherwise institutionalized." .
More 2010 numbers in chart below. It is adapted fron this article: Chart: Black America's incarceration rate is almost 37 times as high as Canada's. By Dylan Matthews on October 16, 2014. Vox Xpress.
- Correctional Populations in the United States, 2010. NCJ 236319. Published December 15, 2011. By Lauren E. Glaze. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. See appendix table 3 of the PDF.
- Inner-City Violence in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Oct. 30, 2014. The Atlantic.
- Incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment. August 28, 2012. by Peter Wagner. Prison Policy Initiative.
Chart below is US timeline of adult male incarceration rates by race and ethnicity. From this article: Our penal system - Why Nations Fail. By Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.
- Sex, drugs, and racist policing in Rutland, Vt. By Farah Stockman. 26 Aug 2015. Boston Globe.
- Cops "Smelled Weed", and Raped Woman Publicly in Gas Station Lot . 6 Aug 2015.
- ‘I can’t breathe! I’m choking on my blood': Disturbing video of Black soldier dying in Texas jail. 20 May 2015 article. While serving "A two-day sentence for driving while intoxicated".
- After Rising Dramatically, Marijuana Arrests Are Falling In New York City And Across The Country. 20 Nov 2014. Forbes. From the article: "Low-level marijuana possession arrests by the New York Police Department (NYPD) skyrocketed from about 3,000 in 1994, when [Republican] Rudolph Giuliani took office as mayor, to more than 51,000 six years later. The crackdown continued during Michael Bloomberg’s administration, when the NYPD arrested an average of nearly 39,000 pot smokers each year, compared to 24,487 under Giuliani, 982 under David Dinkins, and 2,259 under Ed Koch". The Million Marijuana March started because of Giuliani. See: 1998 Million Marijuana March.
- Wikipedia: Death of Eric Garner. "I can't breathe". Black man choked to death on July 17, 2014 for selling "loosies" (single cigarettes) from packs without tax stamps. As of December 28, 2014, at least 50 demonstrations had been held nationwide specifically for Garner.
- 2014 New York City: Democrat Mayor de Blasio seeks mail-in payment for pot fines. He stopped Giuliani and Bloomberg's policy of arresting tens of thousands of brown people yearly for cannabis possession. . See Saturday Night Live video.
- Black smoke shop owner’s surveillance cameras catch undercover informant planting crack at the behest of cops.
- The black/white marijuana arrest gap, in nine charts. By Dylan Matthews. 4 June 2013. Washington Post.
- The War on Marijuana in Black and White. 3 June 2013. American Civil Liberties Union.
- Fabrice Olivet talks to TalkingDrugs about race and drugs in France. By Rupert George, 22 Mar 2013.
- Former surgeon general Joycelyn Elders calls for marijuana legalization. By the CNN Wire Staff. 18 Oct 2010.
The new Jim Crow
- The New Jim Crow: How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste. NORML Blog. By: Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator. See Wikipedia: Jim Crow.
- Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
Map of U.S. incarceration rates by state
Adult rates of incarceration on December 31, 2013.
|Jurisdiction|| Adults in|
prison or jail
| Incarceration rate|
per 100,000 adults
- Above map. Adult incarceration rates by state. State prisons and local jails. Rate per 100,000 adults. Does not include numbers for federal prisons. Click to enlarge. Note the higher incarceration rates in the South. See Wikipedia: List of U.S. states by incarceration rate. See also: Commons: File:US Adult Incarceration Rate by State.svg for sources, and detailed state-by-state data table. The federal rates and counts are listed there too, and can be added to the state rates and counts.
Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the above map. It is the highest rate in the world.
- Louisiana's Republican Governor Bobby Jindal Denies Clemency to Non-Violent Pot Offenders. By Mike Adams, June 22, 2015. "Without a doubt, Louisiana is a veritable concentration camp for marijuana offenders, currently housing more prisoners for petty pot-related crimes than any other state in the nation—with some of these people forced to spend as much as 20 years in prison due to the state’s three-strike rule." See also:
- Petition · Grant Clemency to Bernard Noble, 13 years for 2 joints · Change.org. Louisiana's Republican governor needs to be voted out of office for denying this man's clemency. "Due to two, decades-old prior drug convictions, he was charged under the state’s habitual offender law and faced a mandatory sentence of thirteen and one-third years. ... A father of seven children and he works hard to support them. His youngest child suffers from autism, and another of his young children suffers from rheumatoid arthritis for which there is no cure. To support them he started two businesses, a janitorial service and a restaurant."
How Billy Holiday was hunted down
- How Billie Holiday Was Hunted Down In The Early Days Of The War On Drugs. By Johann Hari. April 9, 2015. From article (emphasis added):
|"To Anslinger, this [jazz] was musical anarchy, and evidence of a recurrence of the primitive impulses that lurk in black people, waiting to emerge. 'It sounded,' his internal memos said, 'like the jungles in the dead of night.' Another memo warned that 'unbelievably ancient indecent rites of the East Indies are resurrected' in this black man’s music.' ... 'Please prepare all cases in your jurisdiction involving musicians in violation of the marijuana laws. We will have a great national round-up arrest of all such persons on a single day.' ... But when Harry came for them, the jazz world would have one weapon that saved them: its absolute solidarity."|
|YouTube link . Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit. See lyrics in the Youtube description, or here.|
William Randolph Hearst and Harry Anslinger
- Worth Repeating: Marijuana Prohibition and Sexual Politics. March 30, 2012. By Ron Marczyk, R.N.. Toke of the Town. From the article:
"The early black jazz musicians of the 1920s and 1930s blended their love of marijuana with sexuality. This music broke through the color barrier, and was enjoyed by both white and black audiences. Marijuana was the driving force for jazz, and it was the fear of the mixing of these races that drove the white elite. ... And who was the 1937 black star who was the model for stealing white women by using the reefer music that Hearst and Anslinger feared? Cab Calloway -- that funny, funny Reefer Man! ... The large number of songs glorifying marijuana use in the decade leading up to cannabis prohibition shows what a large part marijuana played in black culture and music. ... Hearst's hatred of Mexicans and his hyping of the 'Mexican threat' to America likely was rooted in the 800,000 acres of timberland that had been confiscated from him by Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution. The Hearst papers carried paid-for columns by both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, rationalizing his relationship with the two men as one of 'helping to fight Communism.' However, during a continental tour Hearst actually attended the Nuremberg rally of 1934. He later completed a newsreel deal with Hitler during the trip!"
NAACP billboard and ACLU lawsuit.
"Welcome to America, home to 5% of the world's people & 25% of the world's prisoners." NAACP, ACLU File Lawsuit Against City of Philadelphia for Rejecting Criminal Justice Reform Ad. Article by NAACP. Lawsuit filed October 19, 2011 during the period of the Occupy movement. Also see the ad banner article by Courthouse News Service. The drug war and prisons are big business, and a big part of how the 1% controls the 99%. See Facebook comments about the banner. The Republican Party leads the racist drug war.
- Blacks in Government Say War on Drugs Is Racist. Article on Black Entertainment Television (BET) site. September 2, 2011. By Naeesa Aziz. "Another Black organization has added its voice to the growing number of groups and individuals who are publicly calling for the end of America’s war on drugs. ... In July , the NAACP made a similar move and passed its own resolution calling for the end of the drug war and asking government to shift the focus to substance abuse treatment and education. The call for the end of drug criminalization and drug law reform has also been echoed by other organizations such as the National Black Police Association and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and is gaining momentum."
- GOP War On Voting Is Most Determined Disenfranchisement Effort Since Jim Crow. By Ian Millhiser. July 7, 2011. ThinkProgress.
- Inactive U.S. Marshal speaks about war on drugs. April 9, 2008. Collegiate Times. In the article Matthew Fogg, a black member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), and former Chief Deputy US Federal Marshal, is quoted: "Drug prohibition helps the US maintain a racial apartheid prison industrial complex."
Astronomical U.S. incarceration increase
|USA and territories. 2,424,279 inmates in 2008. ...|
|In 2008 with less than 5% of world population the USA had 2.4 million of 9.8 million world prisoners (b). See latest numbers and World Prison Population List. The majority of inmates in the USA are in due to the drug war. The number of inmates in the USA has increased almost 5 times over since 1980. It peaked in 2008.|
November Coalition graph. Some Congressmen and police who prosecuted the War on Drugs now believe it caused a large increase in the United States incarceration rate. See Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and larger chart with sources. See template. Incarceration peaked in 2008.
Minorities under control of US corrections
The number of people incarcerated in the USA peaked in 2008. The number of people in the correctional system as a whole (jail, prison, probation, parole) peaked in 2007.
Charts below are adapted from Race and Prison. DrugWarFacts.org
|U.S. corrections system. Jail, prison, probation, parole|
|TOTAL persons in system||4,346,941||6,423,708||7,326,734||7,319,419||7,234,209|
|Blacks and Hispanics in system||2,351,516||3,309,566||3,622,726||3,607,341||3,611,911|
|: Blacks and Hispanics % of TOTAL||54.1%||51.5%||49.4%||49.3%||49.9%|
|Blacks in system||1,614,195||2,347,066||2,446,834||2,453,170||2,472,920|
|: Blacks % of TOTAL||37.1%||36.5%||33.4%||33.5%||34.2%|
|Hispanic/Latinos in system||737,321||962,500||1,175,892||1,154,171||1,138,991|
|: Hispanics/Latinos % of TOTAL||17.0%||15.0%||16.0%||15.8%||15.7%|
|Percent of inmates that are Black or Hispanic. Prisons and jails|
|About the above chart:|
Table below is from here:
- Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013 (NCJ 248479). Published December 2014 by U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). By Lauren E. Glaze and Danielle Kaeble, BJS statisticians. See appendix table 5 on page 13 in the PDF, for "Estimated number of persons supervised by adult correctional systems, by correctional status, 2000–2013."
Children with incarcerated parents
- Collateral Costs. Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility. Sept. 28, 2010. The Pew Charitable Trusts. From page 4 of PDF:
"One in 9 African American children (11.4 percent), 1 in 28 Hispanic children (3.5 percent) and 1 in 57 white children (1.8 percent) have an incarcerated parent."
Above chart is from page 19 of the PDF for a September 2010 report by The Pew Charitable Trusts: Collateral Costs. Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility.
Charts below are from page 8 of the same PDF. The numbers are for 2008.