30 November 2012

Drug War

Of all places, Bloomberg Radio with Charlie Rose carried an interview of two professors discussing the failed war on drugs. One of these professors has actually written a book detailing the racial component of this war. Now that professors are aware of matters that many of us have known for years, others, not in the profession, may take note, but it would be a stretch that politicians would react positively to the news that the war on drugs is simply oppression by another name. The professors have even come to the view that criminal statutes, those specifically dealing with drugs apparently, are just a matter of cultural control. They have also come to the opinion that people branded as criminals are discriminated against the remainder of their lives. The reason that this professorial enlightenment will fall into the void without action is that these are not unintended consequences. They don't get it. The war on drugs was engineered for the express purpose for which it is used--to control large groups of people found either to be superfluous or suspect; i.e., black people, Mexicans, the poor and destitute. The comment was made in the interview that 7,00,000 U. S. citizens are either in jail, prison, on probation, or on parole. These 7,000,000 are told where they can live, who they can live with, what they can and can not do. For those on probation or parole, we call it supervision with the purported goal of making those on probation or parole law-abiding and productive members of society. It matters not a whit whether they are capable of being law-abiding or productive and matters less whether they have any intention of ever being productive whatever that word may mean to those in charge. Here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, someone needs to call up these professors and laud them for their new awareness that people are in prison but at the same time disabuse them of the reason for it.