Black Lives Matter has been one of the huge hot-button topics to many Americans of all different races in the past several years. BLM gained massive media attention after the death of Michael Brown at the hands of officer Darren Wilson.
While many of the facts of that case are still a bit hazy, one thing that virtually everyone can agree on is the fact that Black Lives Matter brought massive media attention to the fact that people of color in the United States face massive hurdles against police that white people in the US cannot even imagine.
The Numbers in the War on Drugs Don’t Seem to Add Up
Statistics show that 13% of US citizens are black, so you would expect 13% of drug arrests to be black men and women, right? WRONG. Black lives matter to the war on drugs in a fucked up way. Statistics point to between 30-40% of drug arrests to be black men and women in the US. Why are these numbers so off? To have a percent difference of 1-5% would make sense, these numbers are way off.
In addition, black offenders to drug laws usually serve more prison time than white offenders for the same felonies. Black lives matter in terms of sentence time apparently. In addition, the prison systems and police (and therefore prison owners and the state) often serve to gain from these abuses; tickets can raise massive revenue and the more things that are illegal the more tickets that can be issued! Private prisons also have no interest in curbing the arrests, because that leads to lucrative government contracts to hold the (mostly black) drug offenders. The war on drugs, therefore, has a massive impact on the black community.
Black Lives Matter: Seeing a Pattern?
What kind of conclusions can we draw from this? Can we trust a state that stands to benefit from a continued war on drugs? Do black lives matter? Can we trust a private prison system that will continue to make money hand over fist as long as the Federal government needs it? Does the police system need to keep on using the violent means that have so long characterized how they interact with black Americans?
These kinds of questions are the sort of difficult issues that we need to address if we ever plan to make anything change about the way that our justice system functions.
The Police and White America
Too many white Americans assume the police that we have now is completely right. Now, let me clear up one thing from the start; many of the officers in the US are good people who truly do care about America. However, the system that gives them their orders often does not care about individual Americans. One huge step will be for white Americans to realize how much damage our police state does to black communities and people in the constant (and elusive) quest to stamp out all drugs, always and forever.
Because let’s be real: that will never happen. And fighting a war that we can’t win is not worth it, and doubly so if an entire group of people is hurt by it; right now, black lives don’t matter to the War on Drugs.
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