Eric Holder observes that as “we, as average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race.” When the new Attorney General starts talking race issues, a giant elephant enters the room. No, not the republican elephant trying to smear the new top cop at the Justice Department with spurious allegations about a pardon during the final days of the Clinton administration. No, Holder’s real elephant in the room is the disaster befallen America’s blacks from the ill-conceived and mis-directed War on Drugs.
Because Eric Holder was a principal architect of this decade’s long war on its own people, it is a topic he, rather cowardly, refuses to address. Meanwhile, black people especially, continued to have their lives smashed by their government and are disproportionately jailed in America’s “drug gulag.” As top prosecutor in Washington DC, he tried to increase punishment for minor drug possession.
The “war on (some) drugs” has been – and continues to be – disastrous for blacks in America. Although now a little dated, the year 2000 Human Rights Watch report Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs. It documents he harshness with which minor drug crimes are punished in the USA and how black Americans suffer disproportionate arrest and imprisonment. In 1954, 100,000 black America’s languished behind bars. Now that number is 900,000. Black lives, careers and families have been trashed by a vicious drug war that has had little or no effect on drug use.
President Obama has spoken about the need to abolish the crack sentencing disparity that has landed so many blacks behind bars wth felony convictions. But neither Obama or Holder have addressed the basic problem of a drug war that has declared many Americans, especially black Americans, to be the enemy.
So Eric Holder, as Attorney General, don’t be a coward. Reexamine your prosecuter’s zeal for imprisoning your fellow black American. Help stop the idiotic, and racist, War on Drugs.