Black leaders speak out

Jesse Jackson, Black Leaders Are Right About Ending the War on Drugs by Dr. Boyce Watkins in the Huffington Post

Powerful stuff:

Jesse Jackson said it best during the recent forum on the drug war.

“This is a crime against humanity. War on drugs is a war on Black and Brown and must be challenged by the highest levels of our government in the war for justice,” said the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson.

“This is government-sponsored terrorism,” Jackson said. “It raised the price on Black existence; it is an attack on the Black family; it has destroyed a generation. Those who are the least users have paid the most price because of race; those with money and attorneys have paid the least price. Those without attorneys remain behind bars today.”

“I’m here to tell you that one of the most fundamental pillars of what we see going on in our communities, this combustible caldron of genocide and death, is this war on drugs,” said Ron Daniels, CEO of the Institute of the Black World, which held the forum at which Rev. Jackson was speaking. “Why? It’s because it’s a racist war on drugs…I know many people are out there saying, ‘Why are you Negroes still talking about racism?’ That’s because we’ve been targeted for the police action – the war on drugs is a war on us.” [...]

It’s time for all of us to wake up and attack the problem of mass incarceration and the drug war. If there were ever a set of realities that are reflective of the persistent racial divides that continue to plague America, this one would be it. As a man who’s biological father and older brother figure both spent time in prison, this issue is personal to me. I, like so many millions of black people across America, have experienced the hurt and pain that is caused by mass incarceration. It’s time for this system of Americanized apartheid to be brought to an end.

This is just part of a recent trend – Al Sharpton has been on news shows speaking out against the drug war. The fact that LEAP’s director Neill Franklin can speak as both a police officer and an African American is powerful as well.

Getting the black community to mobilize against the drug war is a potent step.

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