Drug Policy

"The end of the War on Drugs is…what all people genuinely concerned with black uplift should be focused on"


At The New Republic, John McWhorter argues that ending the drug war is the preeminent civil rights issue of our day:

[W]ith no War on Drugs there would be, within one generation, no "black problem" in the United States. Poverty in general, yes. An education problem in general—probably. But the idea that black America had a particular crisis would rapidly become history, requiring explanation to young people. The end of the War on Drugs is, in fact, what all people genuinely concerned with black uplift should be focused on, which is why I am devoting my last TNR post of 2010 to the issue. The black malaise in the U.S. is currently like a card house; the Drug War is a single card which, if pulled out, would collapse the whole thing.

That is neither an exaggeration nor an oversimplification. It comes down to this: If there were no way to sell drugs on the street at a markup, then young black men who drift into this route would instead have to get legal work. They would. Those insisting that they would not have about as much faith in human persistence and ingenuity as those who thought women past their five-year welfare cap would wind up freezing on sidewalk grates.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. Good article; I think he wrote a similar one for The Root a while back.

    New Year’s nut punch: a friend of mine just told me wanted to become a DEA agent upon graduating. I flatly told him that I would hate to see such a good person do something so shitty and counterproductive with his life.

    1. What else can he do?

      Wall St. has wrecked the economy. It’s either the PIC, or moving into mommy’s basement and being a greeter at Wal-Mart.

      1. Sitting on his ass and collecting welfare would be better for society.

      2. Man this @ troll is dull, nothing but huffpo platitudes. MNG is much better.

      3. Man this @ troll is dull, nothing but huffpo platitudes. MNG is much better.

  2. “If there were no way to sell drugs on the street at a markup, then young black men who drift into this route would instead have to get legal work.”

    There’s always the lucrative black market cigarette trade in New York for out of work drug dealers.

    1. Don’t forget the emerging black markets for salt and sodapop

      1. And foie gras

        1. And 100 watt light bulbs

          1. Or black market gasoline. (Remember Michael Franzese?)

            1. I’ve got some scratch burning a hole in my pocket for some trans fats.

  3. I just saw McWhorter on the Penn & Teller Bullshit! reparations episode. Impressive guy, but it’s too bad the majority of people in this country – black, white, or whatever – aren’t ready for what he has to say.

  4. That is neither an exaggeration nor an oversimplification. It comes down to this: If there were no way to sell drugs on the street at a markup, then young black men who drift into this route would instead have to get legal work commit armed robberies, car-jackings and home-invasions.

    Only a dipshit would believe that the criminal class would go straight. Sewage seeks its own level.

    1. Unlike the white drug dealers I know who grew up to be lawyers, engineers, and members of the professional class. The difference being, of course, that I grew up in the ‘burbs where being arrested didn’t guarantee a conviction, which didn’t bar one from getting federal student loans, etc. The War on Drugs is disproportionately harmful to people who can’t afford a good lawyer, who are disproportionately poor, who are disproportionately black.

      1. Well put.

      2. Bullshit.

        1. Nice response. Makes a lot of sense. Ass.

      3. The people who sell these drugs should go to jail. Evil knows no skin color.

        1. Nor does shallowness.

        2. And selling a product that consumers demand is not evil.

          1. Does that include paying a guy to kill your wife?

            1. That’s more of a “service”.

      4. Right. It all comes down to access to legal counsel. So the solution would be to provide free legal counsel to the poor. And maybe the government could cover the cost. That would fix everything. Oh, wait.

        1. Legal representation really is a constitutional right. If single payer medical is the answer, why isn’t single payer legal?

          1. Because laws are written by lawyers.

        2. Do you know how many “clients” the typical inner-city public defender has at any one time? A bit different load from the lawyer a white suburban kid is likely to have. Leaving aside the fact the white suburban kid is less likely to get arrested in the first place they never get stopped for DrivingWhileBlack.

          1. SOCIAL JUSTICE!

            1. Any time you feel like making an actual argument, go right ahead.

    2. By that logic, you are suggesting that the only reason violent crime is not higher is because criminals can engage in victim less crime instead.

      Should we bring back alcohol prohibition then? Wouldn’t that give would be criminals a bigger black market to deter them away from committing other crimes?

      1. Nice. It is downright mendacious to propose that drug dealers are so inherently criminal that legalizing their activities would force them to move to violent crime. It requires a special kind of sick cynicism to truly believe this.

        1. We were led to believe that the reason blacks commited crimes was due to poverty. But as the economy failed, crime didn’t increase. Another Progressive theory bites the dust. Of course, it immediately gets replaced with the BS notion that now they’d all turn straight if only the drug war ended.

          1. I’m curious, EAP: why do you think blacks commit crimes?

            1. Zeitgeist.

                1. When I was a kid, I was tought to believe that hippies were cool. I really believed that, so I did my best to emulate them.

                  Of course today, we all know that hippies aren’t cool.

                  1. Wen I waz a kidd I waz tought to spel.

                    1. Great. Good for you.

                  2. California hippies suck but I like redneck hippies.

                2. The aspects of black culture that glorify criminal activity (ex. rap music and baggy pants) did not become prominent until the US government began targeting black males for drug crimes starting in the late 1970’s.

                  The lyrics you cited are a reflection that around 20% of black men enter prison before the age of 30. Black men coming of age before the 1970’s had half the level of incarceration rates.


                  Ending the war on drugs would go a long way in helping end the glorification of gangster culture you are focused on. It obviously wouldn’t make the problem go away over night, but it would help keep young black males out of prison, thus ending the identification many young black males have for criminal behavior.

                  1. The aspects of black culture that glorify criminal activity

                    You obviously haven’t listened to a lot of Blues from the 20’s and 30’s then.

                    Not that I don’t agree with your general premise. I’m just sayin’, that’s all.

                    1. Absolutely. Take, for example, these songs by Robert Johnson:
                      Kind Hearted Woman Blues
                      When You Got A Good Friend
                      Malted Milk
                      Dead Shrimp Blues

                      Johnson was the original OG, no doubt.

                  2. The “Gangster” culture would quickly lose its appeal when selling drugs will no longer earn you the Escalade and pimp bling.

                    The other big problem, single parent households, may be improved on the margin as well. I’m not sue how many households are broken due to dad going to the stir, but I doubt it is the majority.

                3. Great. Most rap music and related culture is consumed by white kids.

    3. would instead have to get legal work commit armed robberies, car-jackings and home-invasions.

      You’re comparing these activities to selling drugs?

      You’re saying that stealing a man’s fish once is just as profitable as teaching that man to buy his future fish from you?

      1. Right. Because there’s no violence associated with drug dealing.

        1. Unlike the crimes Bee Tagger mentions, there is nothing inherently violent about dealing drugs. The violence is a by-product of prohibition.

          1. But-but…..THE CRIMINAL CLASS!!!

      2. You’re comparing these activities to selling drugs?

        Apparently you’ve never seen the pharmacists they have working at my local Rite Aid.

        1. Just wait until Walgreens encroaches on their turf. If I understood The Wire as much as I pretend to, I bet it would play out a lot like that.

    4. What a racist moron.

      Drug dealing is an entrepreneurial enterprise. It requires no coercion, unlike the other things you named.

      1. Yes, he is a racist moron. There is no fundamental moral difference between selling marijuana and alchohol.

    5. Wait, I thought EAP was not a racist asshole.

      While the people who are already committed criminals will probably get into something else nasty, the lack of drug trade opportunities would certainly cause the criminal class to shrink.
      Do you really believe that every person willing to work selling drugs is also just as willing to commit violent or property crimes?

      1. “Wait, I thought EAP was not a racist asshole.”

        25 years in the ghetto is a real eye-opener.

        Like hearing a woman on the bus tell her kid over the phone, “If that little girl touches you, YOU HIT HER!”

    6. Only a dipshit would believe that the criminal class would go straight.

      Only a dipshit would believe that removing the primary source of funding for the “criminal class” would not result in a decrease in the size and scope of said class.

      This isn’t about one person losing his job as a drug dealer and deciding to sell used cars, dumbass. It’s about a gradual, large-scale starvation of criminalization-related profits.

  5. What would happen to rap music?
    Oh the horror!

    1. Rap music has sucked dick since about 1996. That battle was lost long ago.

      1. I always wondered when the ‘c’ in ‘crap’ became silent.



        1. 1996 1986

          1. You leave out an awful lot by cutting it off that early.

            It was after Tupca got shot that it turned to shit. There was shit before then, yes, but around 96-97 it became majority shit, and almost 100% shit today.

            1. it became shit in the early 1990s when the music industry started marketing it to white kids as the new way to shock their parents with scary black men. Anything real and interesting about it ended then.

            2. Two bitches, one Tupca?

              1. I prefer to think it’s a reference to Tulpa’s mis-spelled alternate universe counterpart’s dominance of hip-hop.

            3. This whole anti-rap conversation is fail. A lot of early rap is straight garbage novelty. Nobody wants to hear Kool Moe D, Curtis Blow, Busy B, etc.

              And can anyone tell me the difference between early “gangsta” rap and modern versions coming out of the Bay Area (like Black C, Tha Jacka, etc)?

              1. I’m with VoteMuslimNoPork… Whenever somebody posits a “______ isn’t what it used to be” argument it’s usually a safe assumption that they stopped paying attention a while ago. Listen to, say, Lupe Fiasco or MF Doom and tell me that what they’re doing isn’t way more innovative than Rapper’s Delight ever was. Also, check out Das Racist’s “Sit Down, Man” (which was self-released for free on teh interwebz)… awesome stuff.

          2. No Way. 1978. As soon as anyone heard of the shit, it was ruined.

  6. What he says is true of black America, and even truer for the people of Latin America.

    During Prohibition in the 1920s, Chicago and other big cities in the U.S. looked like Juarez and other big cities in Mexico do today — heavily armed goons running wild and spreading terror; police at turns savagely repressive and utterly corrupted; the populace fatalistic and cowed by brutality from all sides.

    We ended Prohibition, and soon enough became a society of indolent, happy-motoring, mall-shopping office workers. Nobody is afraid of “The Mob” anymore. Our crime fears are now relegated to such folk devils as satanic daycare abusers and Taliban sleeper cells. The end of the drug Prohibition is the largest single step this hemisphere could take towards making Latin America a fully civil society.

    1. Well spoken.
      When you think of the horror stories about the evils of alcohol – and not all of them untrue – prohibition seemed like a solution – until it was tried and it was learned that there ARE worse things than “doing nothing”

  7. Good luck with that.

    So long as the Prison-Industrial Complex remains one of the shrinking areas where a person can earn a middle class income out of high school (along with the military) they’ll never stop the War on Drugs.

    1. Don’t forget the pharmaceutical industrial complex.

      1. Good point! Pfizer and Merck would hate having to compete with legal marijuana, though it would be a boon to tobacco companies I think. They’d certainly enter the market as there’s not much difference between manufacturing cigarettes and manufacturing joints.

        1. it would be a boon to tobacco companies I think. They’d certainly enter the market as there’s not much difference between manufacturing cigarettes and manufacturing joints.

          OK, I’m against legalizing marijuana now.

      2. Don’t forget the busy-body authoritarian nanny voter complex. People just can’t STAND the thought of someone else living a life they find stupid or objectionable.

  8. If only we had affordable housing, easy credit, free health care, a black president, an end to the Drug War, then the “black problem” would no longer exist…

    1. ^^THIS^^

      1. The blacks in my neighborhood who shoot each other dead in the streets aren’t doing it because they are in the drug trade. They do it because they get off on it.

        1. And you know this…how?

          1. Because I live in the Ghetto and have worked with at-risk youth for more than a decade.

            1. Ah yes, bigotry of low expectations.

              You can’t expect too much from them, they’re only blacks.

              White kids wouldn’t shoot at each other because they get off on it. But the blacks do. They’re only blacks.

              They don’t know better.

              They’re only blacks.

              1. Really. Eat shit. One of the thoings I find most disappointing about this site is that any attempts to have an open and honest debate regarding race always ends up with crap like you.

                When a 16 year old black kid shoots randomly at a crowd at a house party or in front of a movie theater, he’s not shooting that gun because of drug dealing. He’s firing that gun because in his fucked-up little ghetto mind, it makes him feel ike a man.

                1. Would he have that “fucked-up little ghetto mind” if it were not for a culture that revolves around the illegal drug trade?

                  BTW “fucked-up little ghetto mind” is a very racist sounding statement.

                  Do white kids have a “fucked-up little ghetto mind”, or is that a “black” thang?

                  1. Do white kids have a “fucked-up little ghetto mind”?

                    Yes. Ever been around a “meth billy”? There are some seriously fucked up and dangerous white people out there.

                    1. John – I was asking the person who begins posts with “Eat shit”, and then complains that people like me are so uncivil.

                  2. It’s clear you have no grasp of ghetto life. I’d venture to say that 98% of the people in my neighborhood are NOT involved in the drug trade. It’s not drugs fucking up the communiy. It’s 14-year-old girls having babies and raising them with the state taking up the role of father.

                    1. “It’s clear you have no grasp of ghetto life.”

                      Your ghetto is not the only ghetto.

                      “I’d venture to say that 98% of the people in my neighborhood are NOT involved in the drug trade.”

                      I wouldn’t be so sure.

                      “It’s not drugs fucking up the communiy.”

                      That’s not the argument. The argument is that prohibition is fucking up the community.

                      “It’s 14-year-old girls having babies and raising them with the state taking up the role of father.”

                      I won’t argue against that. The Welfare State is a Road to Hell paved with good intentions.

                      Though here’s another thought.

                      How many of those sperm donors are in prison for drug related crimes?

                    2. 14 year old mothers in Westchester County would get the same welfare that the ones in Brooklyn get. Why do you suppose it’s less likely to happen there?

                  3. Do white kids have a “fucked-up little ghetto mind”, or is that a “black” thang?

                    White kids in the ghetto also tend to have a “fucked-up little ghetto mind”. Ever hear of eminem?

                    It’s a cultural thing. Of course to a cultural relativist like you, that’s just fine.

                    1. Yes, it is a cultural thing. Don’t you think that that culture might be in some way caused by drug prohibition?

                  4. They’re shooting each other over dirty looks, possession of whorish women, random accidents(god forbid you accidently step on someone’s shoes), and all manner of minor, non-drug related crap that’s tied more to the fact that the idea of manhood itself is utterly destroyed in their communities than any drug related idiocy.

                    Most of the ghetto pushers don’t take drugs more than a bit of pot–a crackhead is useless as a dealer, they’re gonna start eating the profit way too fast to be useful.

                    It’s all machismo. And it’s not gonna go away because we eliminate the drug war.

                    Of course, if that excuse will work in getting the drug war eliminated, then go for it. A lot of crime will vanish if it’s gone.

                    But don’t for a minute think that it’ll turn gangbangers into upstanding citizens with a wave of a wand.

                    Until the culture is fixed there will always be a ‘black problem’.

                    And, you know what? White dealers don’t appear to be going around forming gangs and shooting up our suburbs–and the white dealers are there. I don’t even see methhead dealers doing that(and the meth market doesn’t seem to have twigged to the whole ‘dealers shouldn’t be users’ idea yet). Methheads get paranoid, and sometimes violent, but not in the same way that random black guys get into gangs that leave them shooting up neighborhoods.

                    People always look for the ‘magic cure’ for what ails the black community, some single thing that’ll turn it all around. But there isn’t a single thing. They’re a people who have no roots, no ancestral culture other than slave society. They cannot compete because they have not been allowed to do so–first by the cruelties of anti-black Democrat policies(slavery, Jim Crow, etc) and then by the cruelties of pro-black Democrat policies(AA, low expectations, race-norming, etc.). Those who CAN still muster up the desire to compete have their legs kicked out from under them by the liberal policies that are supposed to help. If you’re black, you’re not supposed to succeed on your own strengths–you’ve got to succeed with the ‘community’, and with liberal assists–otherwise you’re a ‘tom’ or ‘acting white’.

                    1. I agree entirely with Azathoth^.

                    2. You are both probably more or less right. But what you are missing is that without the drugwar, there will be far fewer new gangbangers to replace the existing ones. No, current hardened criminals are not going to go straight as soon as drugs are legalized. But there will be far fewer of them in the future. Guns and bling aren’t free. There has to be an economic underpinning for the negative culture, and it is drug dealing. Yes there will always be crime and a criminal element to society, but prohibition magnifies the problem greatly by providing an easy source of funding and a sense of glamor to the whole thing.

                    3. The gangs did not form to sell drugs.

                    4. @Azathoth

                      “But don’t for a minute think that it’ll turn gangbangers into upstanding citizens with a wave of a wand.”

                      One generation is hardly a wave of a wand.

                    5. No. A generation in the black community is roughly 16 years. Think black people will somehow aquire an ancestral culture, a strong male archetype, the ability to avoid the racist traps that are liberal race policies–or the hate that those policies are supposed to atione for, and all the other problems that beset them in a little more than a decade and a half because you legalized drugs?

                      Lergalization is another magic cure.

                    6. So true! It’s obviously true because blacks in all other countries are doing so much better than American blacks. Since people vote with their feet, the proof is in the massive migration from the oppressive US to superior African countries, um, er, wait a minute…

                  5. to sarcasmic:

                    Wanting there to be fewer black men committing murder isn’t really “racist”. It’s actually kind helpful.

                    It’s also very ignorant to recognize a clear problem for many black men in America day, arrest and incarceration for murder and death by murder.

                2. And the fucked up little ghetto mind is COMPLETELY unaffected by generations of black families being destroyed by the “unintended” consquences of the drug war.

                  Dude, you are a really ignorant fuck.

                  1. Here’s the thing, kiddo, when the young people I work with succeed, it tells me that they have choices. They may be difficult choices, but they grow a pair and make them.

                    And conversely, it tells me that the young people that are too lazy to make those difficult choice, will always be losers no matter how much they are mollycoddled by thoughtful progressives.

                    1. “will always be losers”

                      Just because you can’t motivate them doesn’t mean they are incapable of being motivated.

                      It just means that you can’t motivate them.

                    2. I actually think there’s some common ground to be found in the various “fuck yous” above. I think Enough About Palin is right in identifying other issues (mainly, the complete breakdown of the family; i.e. 14-year-olds having kids) as a problem, but I also think that the drug war plays a significant role in that: what’s the #1 reason that black males are incarcerated at a much higher rate than any other group? So I think it’s totally valid to argue that ending the War on Drugs won’t magically solve all of urban black America’s problems, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction or, at the very least, one significant impediment removed.

                    3. Miss us yet?

                    4. “It just means that you can’t motivate them.”

                      Right. It’s all my fault.

                    5. “Right. It’s all my fault.”

                      You’re the one saying that those you can’t motivate “will always be losers”.

                      Maybe you haven’t figured out how to motivate them.

                      Couldn’t be that.
                      If you can’t motivate them, no one can.
                      No one else in the entire world.

                      It couldn’t be your fault.

                      I’m soooooooooooooooooo sorry I even suggested that you’re not perfect.

                      My bad.

                      Puh-leeeze forgive me or Lord of Motivation!

                      I’m on my knees!

                    6. Show mw the word “motivate” in my 1:28PM post.

                3. “open and honest debate”

                  How about dropping the collectivism first? If you won’t do that, your debating will never rise to any such level.

          2. Because they’re black! Duh!

            1. Eat shit.

              1. Stupendous intellectual commentary, EAP.

            2. Oh Lawdy! Oh Lawdy! Somebody help me! I’m black and poor so I just has to sell drugs. I don’t want to, but I can’t help it! I is forced by an unjust society and my child like mind just can’t resist. Oh help me! Oh Lawdy, Lawdy!!!

        2. You know lots of black folks who freely tell you of their motivations for happily gunning down people, then?

          How about changing your posting name from “Enough About Palin” to “Enough Talking Out of My Ass”.

          1. He might not be making it up. If I were an “at-risk youth” in the ghetto and some condescending white guy like EAP started asking me why I commit crimes, I’d probably make some crazy shit up too.

            1. I never and never will condescend to the youth. That is of course unless you, Tulpa, are under 18.

        3. “The blacks in my neighborhood who shoot each other dead in the streets aren’t doing it because they are in the drug trade. They do it because they get off on it.”

          Most people learn to love whatever it is they do, wherever they are.

          But the people who shot each other in the street where I used to live didn’t join gangs and sell drugs because they made a bad choice from a list of various opportunities.

          They joined gangs and sold drugs because it was the only obvious choice they had left–and yeah, some of ’em embraced that one obvious opportunity they had with enthusiasm.

          Those kids need more choices available to them–not having many choices is what being poor is all about.

          1. They joined gangs and sold drugs because it was the only obvious choice they had left–and yeah, some of ’em embraced that one obvious opportunity they had with enthusiasm.

            Right. Because there are no scools, Boys&Girls; Clubs, YMCA’s Youth Programs targeting at-risk youth, churches, or dedicated social workers. It’s either run with a gang or grow up to be a failure. No other options.

            1. Add quotation marks an the letter h as needed.

            2. Which of those programs leads to a nice car and a lot of girls–YMCA or Boys & Girls club?

              What happens if you live in a neighborhood where affiliation is mandatory?

              How many summer and after-school jobs are available in the hood?

              I happen to be a big proponent of the suggestion that the problem with being poor is the lack of choices–and that capitalism is the most choice proliferating mechanism known to man. Honestly, Boys & Girls Club and YMCA and social work are all nice–but government and charity aren’t the solution.

              You know what I think part of the problem is? Kids in their late teens gets in trouble once, and it stays on their record forever. It’s hard enough if white people with money prefer non-black investment advice, for instance–so all those doors are closed. …harder still if you can’t get that customer service or retail job because of something on your record from when you were 19.

              The NFL, NBA and music industry are full of black kids who quite rationally concentrated their efforts to succeed in an industry that doesn’t discriminate against them for being black. For most kids, life is about getting a nice car, some decent threads and a girl.

              …they aren’t handing those out at the YMCA. White kids get that when they get a job or go to college. Take away the hope for getting those things in Afghanistan and you get the Taliban, or in Palestine they turn into suicide bombers. Deny any kid in urban America a shot at getting those things through the same means as everybody else, and you end up with gangbangers.

              I don’t remember seeing any black commercial real estate brokers. Why should the average black kid think he has a shot at a career like that? Racism may not be as institutional or systemic as it used to be, but it’s still pervasive. It’s still a fact of life.

              There are exceptions to everything, but I’m not talking about one kid being an exception here or there. You give a bunch of teens and twenty-somethings a long shot to get what they want–years down the road…if they bust their hump? …or the quick and easy route through a system they’re already affiliated with before they even get into Junior High?

              That’s gonna be a no-brainer for a lot of ’em.

              YMCA or no-YMCA. Right now that gang alternative is being funded through drug criminalization. If you don’t want ’em chasing that dream and funding it through the black market, then we could turn off that funding tomorrow.

              I suspect half the reason we don’t decriminalize is racism–I think society wants to keep as many black men behind bars as possible. …and there are a lot of people who just don’t want to see all those black men set free.

              1. How and when did “gangbanger” get this apparent new meaning? By “new” I don’t mean I haven’t heard it elsewhere with the apparent meaning of “gang member”, but that’s fairly recent. Does anybody still use it in the old meaning of “group rapist”?

              2. Very, very well put, Ken.

              3. Which of those programs leads to a nice car and a lot of girls–YMCA or Boys & Girls club?

                Neither. Nothing standard does. Regular jobs can lead to a nice car and a pretty girlfriend, but that pimped out pussywagon that the little playas want, crammed with hos and bling isn’t real.

                The white kids in the suburbs aren’t riding around like that, are they?

                What happens if you live in a neighborhood where affiliation is mandatory?

                ‘Mandatory’ meaning they’ll beat you up if you don’t join–not that you don’t have a choice. If you can’t understand that this is part and parcel of the general fucked up nature of the culture then you’re coming from a place where understanding can never reach.

                How many summer and after-school jobs are available in the hood?

                Tons. Companies have endless outreach programs for just this purpose. In addition, local, state and federal government also provides jobs.

                Most of them go empty or get filled at the last minute by white kids.

                See, Ken, it isn’t the lack of jobs–most black kids, like most white kids, could take the path that leads to a nice car and a pretty girlfriend. THAT path is open. It’s also pretty devoid of black faces.

                They don’t want the ‘nice’ car. They want the Benz, the BMW, the Caddy. They don’t want the pretty girlfriend–they want five or six girls wearing, collectively, five or six inches of fabric on five or six inch heels coiled around them.

                They want the rap star/NBA/NFL star treatment without having done the work. And the only other people who have that life in the ghetto are the gangsters, the hustlers, and the pimps.

                So they emulate them.

                They don’t emulate black guys who got rich through work(and they don’t believe that athletes and rappers have to work to be good–every little black kid who can rhyme two words and manage to hit the water in the toilet when he’s taking a dump thinks he’s destined for musical or athletic riches(not greatness)–they emulate the style of the ones that they think got a lucky break and hope that the style will simply morph into a reality.

                And when it doesn’t they get frustrated. And the first thing they take out that frustration on is the crapload of people who are doing exactly what they’re doing–because, maybe, getting them out of the way will make it more likely that they’ll hit it big. Why do you think everything is’battles’? Rap battles, dance battles, everythings about showing that you’re better and crowing about it.

                If the drugs became legal tomorrow in a generation there’d be some new thing that we’d be trying to legalise or excuse to stop the ‘black problem’.

        4. Indeed. FWIW – I live in the ghetto, too. The problem is culture and there’s no quickie solution.

          1. And the ongoing effort to place the blame on everyone and everything but the actual criminals isn’t helping.

            1. This^^

            2. Who is giving the criminals a pass here? Anyone who shoots or robs anyone should be locked up. That doesn’t mean that prohibition isn’t making the situation worse. There can be (actually there always is) more than one cause for a thing.

    2. I’d rather we debate the restrictions upon the freedom of people in this country, and the insanity of zero tolerance laws and regulations, than whether or not ending the War on Drugs(TM) will fix any “black problem.”

      1. Again, “zero tolerance” laws and ridiculous sentencing guidelines prop up one of the last avenues to upward mobility in this country–the Prison-Industrial Complex.

        Otherwise all those prison guards making $18/hour or cop making $36,000/year would be working at Wal-Mart as greeters making minimum wage. Any other kind of job as gone overseas for that cohort.

        1. Of course, there are so many people on this board who are in favor of “zero tolerance” laws and the Prison-Industrial Complex.

          Jesus Christ on a fucking pogo stick. Where the fucking fuck did you show up from?

          There are actual conservative sites where there may be people who think that way. Why don’t you go annoy them?

  9. We have spent fifty years fucking over the inner cities with welfare dependence, corrupt government and the drug war. Ending the drug war would be a great start. But don’t kid yourself into thinking that ending the drug war is going to automatically undo the damage done to these communities. Even after we end the drug war, the schools will still be terrible, the families will still be non-existent, and culture will still be fucked up.

    1. He did say it would be a generation, not five months.

    2. And all the jobs that used to employ them at a living wage will still be in Mexico and China.

      1. So by continuing the War on Drugs(TM), we continue a jobs program for inner-city youth.

        1. That’s the real reason we’re continuing it. Because our economy doesn’t have jobs anymore. It’s fucking sick.

          But hey! Low, low prices! Comparative Advantage! Ekon 101!!

          1. And of course our minimum wage laws, corporate tax rates, and draconian environmental laws have nothing to do with the unemployment problems, especially in inner cities. Nope. The anti-business and tax policies of places like Detroit and other big cities have done nothing to create the problem.

            If only we had raised taxes and punished business more, things would be better.

            1. Shorter John:

              The solution to the problems created by free trade is to adopt the environmental and wage standards of Mexico!

              1. I thought the Mexicans took all our jobs? You really are incapable of having a rational argument aren’t you? Anytime someone points out an uncomfortable fact or makes and argument you can’t respond to, you just say

                “Shorter … (insert idiotic and irrelevant strawman here)” Maybe that kind of thing works over at KOS. But it really doesn’t play well around here.

                1. No, you just inadverantly revealed the real end-game of “free trade”–pushing everybody down to the same standard of living the average Chinese urban dweller has now.

                  Something tells me you don’t have a job that can be outsourced or done by an illegal immigrant.

                  1. FAIL Try the exercise again. This time think about your answer. And respond to teh argument that things like high corporate taxes, environmental laws, and minimum wage laws and regulations have caused unemployment. Consider your answer. If it includes terms like “red state” or the name of some media figure, start over. Try to construct a coherent thoughtful answer that doesn’t involve ad homonym attacks or buzzwords. Keep trying, you can do it.

                    1. How’d you like it if the government decided they were going to save tax dollars by paying Ramesh Piyush $15,000/year, and then saying you lost your job because your wages are just too high?

                  2. “No, you just inadverantly revealed the real end-game of “free trade”–pushing everybody down to the same standard of living the average Chinese urban dweller has now.”
                    Yep. It’s obvious. In the ’50s, those Japanese were stealing out jobs and we had to lower our standard of living to match them, right?
                    Read much history?

                    1. The Japanese protected their industries, which is why Toyota City, despite having just as many regulations and taxes as Detroit, is still liveable while Detroit has been stripped down and sent to Mexico so a CEO can have an extra bonus next Christmas.

                    2. “The Japanese protected their industries, which is why Toyota City,”
                      Why don’t you answer the question instead of changing the subject?

                    3. What does dtroit have that Toyota lacks?

                      Here’s a clue, it starts with ‘u’ and ends with ‘nions’.

                      And that’s just one thing, can you find more?

                  3. My job can be outsourced fairly easily. One reason I know this is that I have worked for foreign clients from my home in Arizona. Now, what prevents a Canadian/Mexican/Chinese worker from doing my job? Could it be the skill set?

                    If you’re hoping to protect the wages of unskilled workers, I’m sorry but that’s not practical. Even if we close the borders and become a dysfunctional autarky, the bank tellers, cashiers etc. are having their jobs replaced by automated processes.

                    That’s not to say everyone needs a college degree. If you want to work in the energy industry, California Edison is having a hard time filling all of the positions it has. Why? Because not enough Americans have the skills. Too many of us are majoring in Anthropological Film Criticism or Art History. This is a common theme that I’ve seen over and over in American industry. To keep wages high, we need to keep productivity high.

                2. I’m gonna go ahead and guess its something related to the Pentagon or the Prison-Industrial Complex.

                3. So yeah, you have a job they haven’t figured out how to outsource or replace with cheap immigrant labor (yet).

                  Military? Police?

                  1. Keep trying. You are flailing. But stay at it. Just concentrate on the issue. I know you can do it.

                    1. I got a fiver that says he can’t.

              2. So @, do you think it would be better if everything was made in America but cost twice as much? You think that would really help poor people?

            2. I give up. Oh well, back to my diaper fetish.

        2. When will you all just give in and admit that communism is the future. Capitalism is inherently immoral.

          1. Red baiting AND spoofing!

            Sorry I raised such uncomfortable truths.

          2. 10mins after I’m dead. All I can hope is I get to take 10-20 of you fuckers down before I bleed out.

  10. The writer is overly optimistic about the change in the black community sans the War on Drugs, but he is correct that it will remove one of the biggest pressures drawing youth into a life of criminal behavior. The entire “hustler” culture would evaporate … pitching hard white doesn’t sound the same when the “pusher” is rocking a Wal-Mart Pharmacy smock.

    The main problem that may still persist is the gang culture that thrives off selling drugs, but is based more on neighborhood and racial pride. Though the gangs still won’t have the “hook” that drug money provides. So perhaps that will fade away too.

    1. Hell, if it’s completely legalized, you won’t even get that pharmacy smock, you’ll just be a cashier asking for ID for that six pack of 4LOKO speedballs.

  11. Wall St. has wrecked the economy.

    You’re pathetic.

    1. Maybe you’re identifying criticism of Wall Street with an anti-free market attitude.

      Wall Street is so tied up with the government that real libertarians should see it as an enemy. 2008 proved this.

      1. Ryan, your criticism of wall street is spot on of course, but when most people pull out the “herp derp wall street wrecked…” thing they are picturing free markets as the enemy, not government cronyism.

        1. All wall street does is respond to the incentives provided by the government. Now granted certain parties on wall street help to craft those incentives, but far to simple to just throw blame at the whole street.

      2. “Wall Street is so tied up with the government that real libertarians should see it as an enemy. 2008 proved this.”

        So, the solution to 2008 was to cement that cozy relationship in stone? Because that’s what they did.

        The people who were arguing for more regulation of Wall Street weren’t worried about that cozy relationship. And the suggestion that free markets were the solution to the cozy relationship between Wall Street and regulators completely eluded them. It still does.

        1. this. Nicely put.

  12. I’m doubting the effects on black youth will be as great as the effects on the “big players” – latin-American cartels. What’s the profit in smuggling that stuff across if people can just walk into gas stations/grocery stores to buy it? The Fellix-Arrelano brothers can’t compete with Safeway and Chevron.

    Of course, to truly cut into the organized crime angle, you;d have to have across-the-board legalization. Not just pot. But if you point that out to most of the “legalize it!!” crowd they give you a shocked stare.

    “You mean even HEROIN?!?! But that isn’t MY drug of choice!!”

    1. Legalizing the good herb would be a good start for a number of reasons.

      Marijuana is a “gateway drug” only because it is a gateway into the black market.

      It is true that people are introduced to drugs like heroin as a result of trying marijuana, but that is only because marijuana is illegal.

      As far as drugs like cocaine and heroin go, there is a much smaller market. Take away marijuana related business from illegal drug suppliers and you could cut their profits by at least 90%.

  13. I got no problem with an incremental approach to legalization (starting with pot, then using our experience with that to argue for expanding to other euphoriants/hallucinogens, white powder drugs, etc.). Its the only one that has any chance of actually happening.

    The downside is that it will keep the black market and cartels in business, of course, albeit on a diminishing scale, so the WODders will still be able to point to “drug violence” and black market pathologies to defend their power tripping.

    1. Another problem of incrementalism is that once they lose pot, they might fight harder to get a larger share of the remaining illegal drugs – e.g., the violence could get worse in the short term. Again, this would be used by the DEA lickers as justification for Jeebus only knows.

      However, incremental changes are the only way the WoD will end.

      1. It would be funny (OK not really) watching the DEA blame the increased violence in the heroine or cocaine trade on the lack of an illegal marijuana market.

        1. Okay, seriously, don’t give them ideas. It will seem less funny when they come true.

  14. I agree with McWhorter that ending the so-called Drug War, i.e. de-criminalizing or legalizing drugs would go a long way to changing the degenerate gangsta culture that gets some many black men thrown in jail, killed, and/or maimed.

    It’s probably not as easy as just pulling the card out as McWhorter says, but it’d be a good tug on the card probably.

    Death to gangsta culture!!!

    1. Another huge change that might need to take place is to get rid of separate public school districts for ghetto kids. Not necessarily getting rid of public schools entirely, although that would be great, but at least letting parents have wider choice of which school their kids attend.

      1. The horror! To hear it from the establishment, giving parents more control over their children’s education would be the first step on the path to a road-less Somalian slave-lord society.

  15. I’m fairly sure that while ending the drug war might not be a sufficient condition for ending the “black problem” (whatever that is), it is most certainly a necessary one.

    1. I appreciate it when individuals use the conditions of ‘necessary’ and ‘sufficient’. I wish more individuals understood these terms when writing their logical statements. Thanks.

    2. Exactly right. Legalization doesn’t eliminate all problems overnight, but we’ll never do a goddamn thing to help anybody so long as we keep fighting this ridiculously stupid war.

  16. That’s the one thing I fear from the reform of drug laws . . . more blacks on the streets! That is one thing that we certainly have enough of already. Can you imagine how bad things will be when these thousands of dark criminals are let free to roam our neighborhoods? I say keep them locked up!

    1. You’re on a roll

  17. What, now they want to legalize recreational drug use for just black people? This affirmative action stuff is getting out of hand.

  18. Please pardon me as I ascend to compleate moral supreamacy on this subject matter.

    It is not a “Black Problem”.. The situation is nothing less then Tyranical government killing, looting, and imprisoning its citizens for profit.

    Ahhh for the good old days when a gentleman could down 1400 vials of radium enhanced elixer till his jaw falls off!


    The Feds have found much joy and regulations in his passing.

    Now if there were only an instance of a marijuana smoker encountering jaw loss, brain abcesses, and subsequent lead lined coffin..

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