Is The War on Drugs Racist? Bestseller Fuels Debate | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Is The War on Drugs Racist? Bestseller Fuels Debate

A bombshell new book argues that the drug war unfairly targets blacks.

Image: 

Professor Alexander's book tour has galvanized
debate on drugs and race. Photo via

By May Wilkerson

03/07/12

| Share

African-American law professor Michelle Alexander has been touring her bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, across the US, often receiving standing ovations from packed auditoriums. As its title suggests, the book condemns the underpinnings of the American criminal justice system as racist, directly comparing the War on Drugs to the "Jim Crow" racial laws that were abolished in 1965. And it's clearly struck a powerful chord. As many as one third of black men in the US today will spend time behind bars. Alexander asserts that this mass incarceration is not a response to an actual surge in violent crime among the African-American community, but a calculated effort to offset the gains made by the civil rights movement—penalizing millions of African Americans behind bars, on probation or parole (mostly for non-violent offenses), and millions more with criminal records. Professor Alexander singles out the Nixon and Reagan administrations for particular criticism, for aligning the criminal justice system against the African-American community. “It’s easy to be completely unaware that this vast new system of racial and social control has emerged,” she says. “Unlike in Jim Crow days, there were no ‘Whites Only’ signs. This system is out of sight, out of mind.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv