|The Real Impact Of The War On Drugs|
The main obstacle to getting black America past the illusion that racism is still a defining factor in America is the strained relationship between young black men and police forces. The massive number of black men in prison stands as an ongoing and graphically resonant rebuke to all calls to “get past racism,” exhibit initiative, or stress optimism. And the primary reason for this massive number of black men in jail is the War on Drugs. Therefore, if the War on Drugs were terminated, the main factor keeping race-based resentment a core element in the American social fabric would no longer exist. America would be a better place for all.
The War on Drugs destroys black families. It has become a norm for black children to grow up in single-parent homes, their fathers away in prison for long spells and barely knowing them. In poor and working-class black America, a man and a woman raising their children together is, of all things, an unusual sight. The War on Drugs plays a large part in this.
The War on Drugs discourages young black men from seeking legal employment. Because the illegality of drugs keeps the prices high, there are high salaries to be made in selling them. This makes selling drugs a standing tempting alternative to seeking lower-paying legal employment.
The result is usually spells in jail, as well as a failure to build the job skills for legal employment that serve as a foundation for a productive existence in middle and later life. The idea that the problem is an absence of job opportunities is refuted by the simple fact that immigrants, including black ones, regularly make do.
It is often said that because immigrants have a unique initiative or “pluck” in relocating to the United States in the first place, it is unfair to compare black Americans to them. However, the War on Drugs has made it impossible to see whether black Americans would exhibit such “pluck” themselves if drug selling were not a tempting alternative.
High black un-employment rates in the past gave all indication that black men are no strangers to “pluck” when circumstances require it. The War on Drugs makes spending time in prison a badge of honor.
To black men involved in the drug trade, enduring prison time, regarded as an unjust punishment for merely selling people something they want (with some justification), is seen as a badge of strength: the ex-con is a hero rather than someone who went the wrong way.
In the 1920s, before the War on Drugs, black Americans, regardless of class level, did not view black ex-cons as heroes. The War on Drugs’ effects on the black community are impervious to community calls for discipline and leadership. Young black men will not be wooed from selling drugs by black leaders calling for families to take responsibility for their children and keep them off of the streets.
There are no national black leaders today who have this kind of influence over a significant portion of black people, and there is simply no chance that the NAACP, committed to anti-discrimination activities rather than community uplift, would preach in a constructive fashion any time soon, if ever—and then, black America is too diverse today for the NAACP or the National In the 1920s, before the War on Drugs, black Americans, regardless of class level, did not view black ex-cons as heroes.