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First: Kudos to Reverend Al Sharpton for his work and for keeping an eye out for people to watch - Civil Rights attorney and author of “The New Jim Crow” - Michelle Alexander and maker of the documentary “ The House I Live In” - Eugene Jarecki  

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  ♦ America has spent over 1 trillion dollars since Nixon’s 1971 “War on Drugs” began

 ♦ 37 million non-violent drug offenders have been arrested

 ♦ High school student report: same rate of drug use as 40 years ago

Why continue a failed drug policy?

 ♦ During the Reagan administration grants were paid out to police departments per drug arrests

 ♦ Reagan administration instigated a policy allowing police departments to keep cash, property and assets seized

Reverend Al Sharpton introduces Norm Stamper a 34 year veteran police officer and author of the book:

“Breaking Rank” -  A top Cops’ exposé of the dark side of policing who had this to say about the  War on Drugs:

“In a word, it is corrupting the system.

What we have seen with this drug war are insane numbers of Americans being arrested for non-violence, very low level drug offenses in the 10’s of millions.. and what do we have to show for it?
Drugs are more readily available at lower prices and higher levels of potency than when Nixon first declared war against them, and make no mistake, He was really declaring war against his fellow Americans. He was declaring war particularly against young people, poor people, and people of color.”
 - emphasis added


If this statistic directly above, doesn't show waste, fraud and abuse, to use the republicans' own wording and long time harangue, what does? Over 150 times the growth in drug incarcerations than for homicides.

Open thread for night owls: About one-fourth of all incarcerated people on Earth are in the U.S.

It looks a lot like the GOPs' idea of a growth industry - prison industrial complex mathematics for profit and the politics of suppression

(short ad – sorry)
Transcript @ link:  http://www.nbcnews.com/...

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And then for another kind of look beyond the fold
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A discussion that gets to the heart of it from the past ‘til now.  Segregationists’ movement tied to the “war on Drugs”

Here Reverend Al Sharpton interviews civil rights attorney and author of “The New Jim Crow” - Michelle Alexander and maker of the documentary “ The House I Live In” - Eugene Jarecki

 This is a discussion on the unequal treatment and the application of the War on Drugs on the non-white populace. Racial profiling The New Jim Crow and the systems targeting minorities (pdf).

Targeting that goes back a ways, a long ways: The Long Shadow of Jim Crow: Voter Intimidation and Suppression  in America Today (pdf)

“The motivation for the ‘Drug War’ was never at bottom, ending drug abuse and drug addiction. If that had been the motivation then we would have poured billions of dollars into drug treatment but we didn’t do that.  Instead we slashed funding for drug treatment and poured billions of dollars into building prisons and jails and filling them will black & brown youth.”

 - Michelle Alexander

Both Michelle Alexander and Eugene Jarecki make a direct link between the political crackdown of the segregationists movement to the policies of the so-called “war on Drugs”

 ♦ In some states blacks comprise 80% – 90% of all drug offenders sent to prison

 ♦ white men in prison: 1 in every 106 // Black men in prison: 1 in every 15

 ♦ Drug use amongst white students is 7 times that of AA students for cocaine; 8 times that of AA students for crack; and 7 times that of AA students for heroin

(short ad – sorry)
Transcript @ Link:   http://www.nbcnews.com/...

I think Reverend Al Sharpton is doing such good work spreading awareness and learning on these issues that I wanted to spread the information around - sort of a PSA

And 20 years hard time for a few joints is beyond absurd, it’s cruel
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Also too! I got a brief glimpse of a Open Thread for Night Owls by Meteor Blades covering: Zero-Tolerance Policies in Schools are Often Destructive, Fueling a School to Prison Pipeline which is more up to date and I hope think/hope to be on for later this evening December 8, 2013. So I hope this can be sort of a primer(?) touching on some of the same issues

Thank you for stopping in :)

Originally posted to Eric Nelson on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 01:08 PM PST.

Also republished by Firearms Law and Policy, Shut Down the NRA, and Support the Dream Defenders.

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