The drug war was racist when President Nixon started it and it is racist today. For fifty years the racist drug war has been used as a weapon against our Black communities. The racist drug war has been used to tear Black families apart, to destroy Black wealth, and to disempower Black youth. Ending the racist drug war is the single most obvious way to combat institutional racism. The time to act is now. It is time to take a stand.
Let’s get one thing straight — white and Black Americans use illegal recreational drugs at exactly the same rates. Your neighborhood pot dealer is more likely to be a white college graduate than a Black high school dropout. That’s reality.
So why are Black men disproportionately thrown in prison for non-violent drug crimes? Because the drug war is racist. Always has been. Always will be. And the racist drug war will continue tearing this nation apart until Americans of good conscience take a stand and say enough is enough!
I don’t have a clear vision for how to end racism in America. I wish I did. But I do know how to eliminate one of the major manifestations of racism in America — end the racist drug war. Now.
We have endured this racist drug war for 50 years. We have wasted $2 trillion. We have incarcerated millions of Black men, ripping them from their families, from their children, from their futures. And illegal recreational drug use hasn’t budged one iota. It’s not up, it’s not down, it just keeps rolling along.
When something hasn’t worked for 50 years, but has decimated millions of Black families all across the country, it’s time to take a stand. It’s time to make a change.
Breonna Taylor died because she had a Black boyfriend, putting her directly in the line of fire of heavily armed drug warriors, trained to shoot first and ask questions later.
Breonna Taylor died because President Nixon wanted to win his next election.
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Breonna Taylor died because American citizens have not yet come together to demand an end to the racist drug war.
Breonna Taylor died because we, the American people, continue to tolerate the despicable machinery of racist state violence. Enough, is enough, is enough.
Rick Stewart is a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate.