In 1971, the administration of President Richard Nixon enacted the campaign to eradicate drug distribution and use on American streets, known as the “War On Drugs.” However, the “war” has proven to do far less harm than good. According to a 2012 report by the US Sentencing Commission, though Blacks in America are less likely to use drugs than Whites, Blacks are much more likely to be arrested on drug charges and serve lengthy prison terms for it. The negative effects of the “War On Drugs” can be seen in Black communities throughout the nation. The effects led Michelle Alexander to write her profound text, The New Jim Crow.
In a recent report published by Harper’s Magazine, by Dan Baum, it has been revealed that the “War On Drugs” was launched by the Nixon administration with the intention of terrorizing groups that bucked back against Nixon’s policies–Black folks and folks who opposed the Vietnam War (mainly hippies). The revelation came from a 1994 interview that Baum conducted with Nixon’s domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichman An excerpt from the expose reads:
At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
There you have it. Proof from a source directly involved with the birth of the “War On Drugs” saying that it was waged particularly to screw Black folks over. Stay woke, folks.