More than two decades after President Ronald Reagan escalated the war on drugs, arrests for drug sales or, more often, drug possession are still rising. And despite public debate and limited efforts to reduce them, large disparities persist in the rate at which blacks and whites are arrested and imprisoned for drug offenses, even though the two races use illegal drugs at roughly equal rates.
This isn’t news to any regulars here. We’ve talked at length about the racist drug war.
A small point to make here. When we say that the war on drugs is racist, that doesn’t mean that everyone conducting the war is racist in their nature (although some are). The point is made that many who conduct the war are following the law “properly.” That, however, doesn’t change the fact that the implemented policy is inherently racist. If a policy has an effect of being overwhelmingly detrimental to one race over another for no good reason, then it is racist, and good-faith attempts to be “fair” in conducting it cannot save it.
(Of course, the drug war has the added bonus of being both facially wrong and racist.)
The real question is, at what point does the common knowledge that a policy is racist reach a level where simply supporting that policy’s continuance is proof that an individual (or politician) is racist?