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Old 05-14-2013, 02:13 AM
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Default Slavery in the U.S.?

I heard a fascinating claim recently -- namely, that the U.S. has, in effect, reinstituted slavery.

As is well-publicized, the United States has by far the world's largest prison population, and we incarcerate a greater percentage of our citizens than does any other country. And the so-called "Prison-Industrial Complex" is booming.



Anyway, the speaker claimed that 100% of the helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, and other items used by the U.S. military are produced by prison labor. That's shocking, if true. He went on to point out that lots of other items are produced through prison labor, and argued that this is one of the main reasons that we can compete with countries like China: because so many of our goods are produced by people who receive little or no pay, and are threatened with solitary confinement if they refuse to work.

The speaker claimed that while slavery may be outlawed in the U.S., prison labor amounts to slavery in practice. And it's a booming industry.

Ironically, and rather hypocritically, he claimed, the U.S. doesn't allow the import of goods produced through prison labor or other "inhumane" practices.

How much truth is there to this?
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

I know that around my house, you can lease labor from the prison for super cheap. For example, most of the "employees" at the dump are prisoners. I don't know what their wage is, but I'd venture a guess that it's well below minimum.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

I know a guy who works for the trash service here, and he has prisoners working on trucks all the time.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

Sadly a lot.
And it doesn't end there.

The War on Drugs is just the government's excuse to kill brown people. Both the government and large corporations have backed the more violent Mexican Cartels under the premise that they will keep the violence across the border and directed at other mexicans (well the official reason is the bs idea that giving the most violent group control will reduce violence).

Here's an interesting graph, especially when comparing the difference between Male and Female inmates. The US isn't just locking up more people than ever before, it's specifically locking up Black and Latino Men, almost like they were building a slave labor force or something.


US inmates by Race
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

Prison Labor and Taxpayer Dollars » Sociological Images

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If you have insurance, invest, use utilities, have a bank, drive a car, send a child to school, go to a dentist, call service centers, fly on planes, take prescription drugs, or use paper, you might be benefiting from prison labor.

If you’ve bought products by or from Starbucks, Nintendo, Victoria’s Secret, JC Penney, Sears, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Eddie Bauer, Wendy’s, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Fruit of the Loom, Motorola, Caterpiller, Sara Lee, Quaker Oats, Mary Kay, or Microsoft, you are part of this system.

When prisoners are in state and federal prisons, the U.S. taxpayer is subsidizing low wages and corporate profits, since they are paying for prisoners’ room, board, and health care. When prisoners are in private prisons, prison labor is a way to make more money off of the human beings caught in the corrections industry. In other words, prison labor is an efficient way for corporations to continue to increase their profits without sharing those gains with their employees.
Prison Labor: Exposed | Prisonmovement's Weblog
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These companies can, in most states, lease factories in prisons or prisoners to work on the outside. All told, nearly a million prisoners are now making office furniture, working in call centers, fabricating body armor, taking hotel reservations, working in slaughterhouses, or manufacturing textiles, shoes, and clothing, while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day.

Rarely can you find workers so pliable, easy to control, stripped of political rights, and subject to martial discipline at the first sign of recalcitrance -- unless, that is, you traveled back to the nineteenth century when convict labor was commonplace nationwide. Indeed, a sentence of “confinement at hard labor” was then the essence of the American penal system. More than that, it was one vital way the United States became a modern industrial capitalist economy -- at a moment, eerily like our own, when the mechanisms of capital accumulation were in crisis.

Steve Fraser: Locking Down an American Workforce
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/0...t-Battleground

Last edited by LadyShea; 05-14-2013 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
I heard a fascinating claim recently -- namely, that the U.S. has, in effect, reinstituted slavery.

As is well-publicized, the United States has by far the world's largest prison population, and we incarcerate a greater percentage of our citizens than does any other country. And the so-called "Prison-Industrial Complex" is booming.



Anyway, the speaker claimed that 100% of the helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, and other items used by the U.S. military are produced by prison labor. That's shocking, if true. He went on to point out that lots of other items are produced through prison labor, and argued that this is one of the main reasons that we can compete with countries like China: because so many of our goods are produced by people who receive little or no pay, and are threatened with solitary confinement if they refuse to work.

The speaker claimed that while slavery may be outlawed in the U.S., prison labor amounts to slavery in practice. And it's a booming industry.

Ironically, and rather hypocritically, he claimed, the U.S. doesn't allow the import of goods produced through prison labor or other "inhumane" practices.

How much truth is there to this?
I would say close to 100%. I learned this from youtube-recorded lectures of one Prof. Chomsky, who is a genius by the way. It's a system of violence, intimidation, incentives, reward and punishment, made-up charges, labor costs close to zero, old excuses replaced by new ones, legal definitions and interpretations changed on the fly, whatever. Just my 2 Euros.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

I should add, I jumped immediately to the war on drugs as this is where the current racial enslavement got its legal teeth. 1970 saw the signing of the controlled substances act, which made substance that were popular with Blacks and Latinos not just illegal but a felony with prison time. In 1984 (funny enough) a second bill was signed that super charged all of this, and the prison population sky rocketed.

Betcha didn't know the same drugs are given different penalties based on whether black-slang or white-slang was used when selling them.
Or that "Recovery Programs" (where you pay to not go to jail) are almost always offered to whites, but rarely blacks. Almost like an escape hatch was built into the system.

Best yet, you can film it then package what amounts to government sponsored slave sweeps as "cleaning up the streets" for Fox Channel Viewers. Don't forget to buy some beer, the legal white drug of choice.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

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Originally Posted by Ari View Post
beer, the legal white drug of choice.
Figures we would get the crappiest drug. :kickcan:
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

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Originally Posted by Ari View Post
The War on Drugs is just the government's excuse to kill brown people.
That's quite a claim. Do you have any evidence? Or even a motive? What do they gain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari View Post
Both the government and large corporations have backed the more violent Mexican Cartels under the premise that they will keep the violence across the border and directed at other mexicans (well the official reason is the bs idea that giving the most violent group control will reduce violence).
Maybe the most violent group is the most likely to come out on top, thus reducing violence in the long term once their cartel competitors are eliminated?

Just a guess.

Makes more sense than implementing a policy to "kill brown people" for no reason. Don't "brown people" equal a cheaply employed labor force?
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

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Originally Posted by Ari View Post
I should add, I jumped immediately to the war on drugs as this is where the current racial enslavement got its legal teeth. 1970 saw the signing of the controlled substances act, which made substance that were popular with Blacks and Latinos not just illegal but a felony with prison time.
What was the conspiracy behind the 18th Amendment?
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

Apparently prisoners mow the grass where I teach. Not sure how that works when anyone else that sets foot on the property has to have a criminal background check.

Just another reason why we homeschool our kids instead of sending them to the local testing and prisoner employment center.

Also note well when this upward trend in prisoner numbers really takes off, in 1980.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

I guess when we get the prison labor force up around 12-15 million, put them to work hoeing fruit and chopping broccoli, the brown people from south of the border will go home.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

Ah, modern history. Apparently not covered well.

Southern strategy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


COINTELPRO - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.aclu.org/prisoners-rights/private-prisons
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Kyuss Apollo View Post
Also note well when this upward trend in prisoner numbers really takes off, in 1980.
Correlation doesn't equal causation.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Qingdai View Post
Those don't really explain why the government and corporations would be interested in killing minorities. There's a difference between discrimination and extermination.

Also note COINTELPRO went after the Klan and other white-power groups. Interesting, that. Sort of the opposite behavior one would expect if the thesis is true.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:27 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

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That's quite a claim. Do you have any evidence? Or even a motive? What do they gain?
Just take a look at the news or the Fuck da Police thread for evidence of the government killing brown people based on drug laws. They arrest them too.

I'm pretty sure white racists gain fewer brown people, oh and Profit!
However we don't need to know a motive to know it happens.

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Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
Maybe the most violent group is the most likely to come out on top, thus reducing violence in the long term once their cartel competitors are eliminated?
That was the "theory", but since that was a few years ago and the violence has only increased, I think it was a failed theory.

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What was the conspiracy behind the 18th Amendment?
That's for a whole new thread about prohibitionists and the women's movement.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Ari View Post
Just take a look at the news or the Fuck da Police thread for evidence of the government killing brown people based on drug laws. They arrest them too.
Ah, but you haven't demonstrated that the laws were created for the express purpose of giving a pretext to kill and arrest racial minorities. That's your burden. Otherwise, all you've got is police killing and arresting people for violating the law. Which is their job. They're dumb laws, but until they are changed, they're still laws.

In your narrative, why 1970? Weren't those drugs enjoyed for many decades before that time? Way back into the really racist, but post-slavery days? Yet they weren't illegal then.

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I'm pretty sure white racists gain fewer brown people
Only the most virulent racists, like Klan members and Neo-Nazis, would want that. Do you believe they have a strong influence in government and law enforcement?

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Originally Posted by Ari View Post
oh and Profit!
Connect the dots for me, please. How.

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Originally Posted by Ari View Post
However we don't need to know a motive to know it happens.
But you need to know a motive to support your claim. Otherwise it's just something that happens.

Is methamphetamine illegal so there is a pretext to go after poor white people in trailers?

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Originally Posted by Ari View Post
That was the "theory", but since that was a few years ago and the violence has only increased, I think it was a failed theory.
Then that makes it a mistake, which governments make all the time, not an oogie boogie racist conspiracy.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

If your interested I can give a much more indepth reply later (this may be an area of interest or something) but it seems like you are just coming up with assorted what-if scenarios without a good grasp on the history or the overall complexity of the issue.
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In your narrative, why 1970? Weren't those drugs enjoyed for many decades before that time? Way back into the really racist, but post-slavery days? Yet they weren't illegal then.
Yes and no. This gets into a much longer discussion about the creation of the FDA.
Drugs have become illegal in stages, Marihuana was targeted in the 20s and 30s with the blatantly racist message of "Eeek, Mexicans!"
The 1970s act did everything that you think of today as the standard War on Drugs. It created the federal scheduling system, with its teared levels of illegality, penalties for possession as well as import and sale, the DEA and other federal drug task forces, etc.
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Only the most virulent racists, like Klan members and Neo-Nazis, would want that.
You know this how?
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Then that makes it a mistake, which governments make all the time, not an oogie boogie racist conspiracy.
Whatever you decide to call it doesn't change the very real fact that there is a countries worth of predominately Black and Latino men who are locked up for at least one or more drug charges. Nor does it change the fact US agents have used military tactics in other countries to kill people (or have helped fund and train those that do) for producing certain chemicals and plants.

"The drug war is totally about race." -Matthew Fogg Former DEA agent
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:47 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

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Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
In your narrative, why 1970? Weren't those drugs enjoyed for many decades before that time? Way back into the really racist, but post-slavery days? Yet they weren't illegal then.
They didn't need backdoor racist laws before the 1970s.

They could make explicitly racist laws.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuss Apollo View Post
Also note well when this upward trend in prisoner numbers really takes off, in 1980.
Correlation doesn't equal causation.
I am talking about causation. Reagan's "War on Drugs" and policies he signed into law caused the spike in incarcerations.

Quote:
The presidency of Ronald Reagan marked the start of a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration, largely thanks to his unprecedented expansion of the drug war. The number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997.
Reagan declares 'War on Drugs,' October 14, 1982

Quote:
Speaking at the Justice Department, Reagan likened his administration’s determination to discourage the flow and use of banned substances to the obstinacy of the French army at the Battle of Verdun in World War I — with a literal spin on the “war on drugs.” The president quoted a French soldier who said, “There are no impossible situations. There are only people who think they’re impossible.”
From the NPR Special Series the Forgotten War on Drugs April 2 2007 Timeline: America's War on Drugs

Quote:
1984: Nancy Reagan launches her "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign.
Quote:
October 1986: Reagan signs the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which appropriates $1.7 billion to fight the drug war. The bill also creates mandatory minimum penalties for drug offenses, which are increasingly criticized for promoting significant racial disparities in the prison population because of the differences in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine. Possession of crack, which is cheaper, results in a harsher sentence; the majority of crack users are lower income.
DARE, which Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign operated in conjunction with, has been shown to have no affect in drug use and is a huge waste of taxpayer's money. This Newsweek article from 2003 marked the twentieth anniversary of the program:

Quote:
Although an entire generation of Americans has now been raised on Nancy Reagan’s simple anti-dope “Just Say No” mantra, they’re still just as likely to say yes. Not that the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program hasn’t attempted to do its bit in the government’s war on drugs. D.A.R.E., which turns 20 this month, boasts of several outward signs of success. The most widespread school anti-drug program in the country is now taught in 80 percent of school districts nationwide and, by some estimates, enjoys upwards of $700 million in federal aid.

BUT THE PROGRAM ESTABLISHED in 1983 by former Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates has come under fire recently. A January report on D.A.R.E. by the government’s General Accounting Office concluded that the program has had “no statistically significant long-term effect on preventing youth illicit drug use” and that students who participate in it demonstrate “no significant differences” in their “attitudes toward illicit drug use” compared to children who had not been exposed to the program. In 2001, the U.S. Surgeon General categorized it as an “Ineffective Program.” There have been other studies too: In 1998, a University of Illinois survey of 1,798 elementary school students found that there were no differences with regards to illicit drug use among D.A.R.E. graduates and non-graduates six years after completing the program.

D.A.R.E., which puts police officers into elementary school classrooms to warn kids about the dangers of drugs, is a proponent of the “gateway” or “stepping stone” theory. The program teaches that milder illicit drugs—like marijuana—lead directly to experimentation with, and addiction to, hard drugs like crack cocaine and heroin. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of a drug policy reform advocacy group called Drug Policy Alliance, proposes ditching D.A.R.E. for what he claims to be a more enlightened drug education approach, comparable to how sex is now taught in schools. NEWSWEEK’s Brian Braiker spoke with Nadelmann, who holds a JD and Ph.D from Harvard and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, about how D.A.R.E. operates and why he thinks it is flawed.
But it has resulted in police "school resource officers" being stationed in many US schools. According to a recent NYT article:

Quote:
As school districts across the country consider placing more police officers in schools, youth advocates and judges are raising alarm about what they have seen in the schools where officers are already stationed: a surge in criminal charges against children for misbehavior that many believe is better handled in the principal’s office...

Yet the most striking impact of school police officers so far, critics say, has been a surge in arrests or misdemeanor charges for essentially nonviolent behavior — including scuffles, truancy and cursing at teachers — that sends children into the criminal courts.

“There is no evidence that placing officers in the schools improves safety,” said Denise C. Gottfredson, a criminologist at the University of Maryland who is an expert in school violence. “And it increases the number of minor behavior problems that are referred to the police, pushing kids into the criminal system.”

Nationwide, hundreds of thousands of students are arrested or given criminal citations at schools each year. A large share are sent to court for relatively minor offenses, with black and Hispanic students and those with disabilities disproportionately affected, according to recent reports from civil rights groups, including the Advancement Project, in Washington, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, in New York.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

Please explain all of American racial history to me.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

We have so many prisoners because we have a lot of useless laws(see drugs war) that the two party corporate agenda supports
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

They could pay the prisoners well above minimum wage, but then deduct the cost of housing and feeding them from their wages...

So, it's really just an accounting exercise what rate they decide to pay.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
They could pay the prisoners well above minimum wage, but then deduct the cost of housing and feeding them from their wages...

So, it's really just an accounting exercise what rate they decide to pay.
That would actually be better because company profits wouldn't be taxpayer subsidized and it could cause outside wage competition. Add to it, immediate voting and gun rights reinstatement after timed served and you could neuter some of the long term affects of the laws.

Didn't the warden in The Shawshank Redemption have to shoot himself in the head after getting caught doing the same thing? He was a bad guy right?
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Slavery in the U.S.?

Even some Reagan-Republican fluffers recognized at the time that the drug policies and fear campaigns that began in 1980-1 and gathered steam over the next 10 years were basically racist incarceration policies and dog-whistle PR. Case in point, P.J. O'Rourke (Parliament of Whores, p. 112).
Quote:
If hysteria is no good, how about racism? Read the following sentences:

Crack is ruining America's inner cities.
Crack is killing policement, overburdening courts and filling jails beyond capacity.
Crack is devastating thousands of families.
Crack is putting the lives and well-being of our children at risk.

Now delete the words "crack is" and insert the words "niggers are." Isn't this the secret message of the drug-free America campaign?
Now, O'Rourke isn't proving that this is so. He was just alive at the time, and paying attention, and only 94% an obtuse doofus.
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