I’ve heard rumblings about the disproportionate number of black people that are imprisoned for drugs compared to whites. Honestly, I had never given it much thought. We’ve all seen those movies with the ghetto scene. You know, where there’s a kid with baggy pants standing on every corner peddling dope? It made sense to me that these people would be getting busted and going to the joint. Disparity satisfied. Right? Right.
Just the other day a friend sent me a link to an interview. The interviewed were two of those high dollar university lawyers. They contend that the War on Drugs is actually a mechanism to undermine the civil rights movement. They maintain it’s a covert attempt to perpetuate a cast system.
They made some good points. It got me to thinking about it again. Thinking about it enough to do some of my own research.
Admittedly, I’m a bit ignorant on the subject of civil rights. Oh, I know who Dr. King is- Rosa Parks and the bus… I’m not a complete dummy! I did have to look up, “Jack Crow Laws.” I had no idea. So I did some more poking around.
The numbers I’m about to quote are from drugwars.org. They note their sources on the website. I won’t bother to here. By all means, feel free to check my work.
The 2000 census tells us there were 194,552,774 white folks in the U.S. There were 34,287,731 black folks.
Out of those whites 8.2% are dopers. The blacks, 10.1% (different source).
Ah Ha! you say. There’s a 2% spread there already! Hold on to your baggy trousers. I’m just getting started. Those numbers mean that 15,953,327 white people are involved in illicit drugs. 3,428,731 blacks. If I’m not screwing up the math that would be a ratio of 4.65 white dopers for every black. Did I get that right?
Now here’s the bomb.
Of those incarcerated for drugs 62.7% are black. 36.7% are white.
One black man out of every twenty is in jail for drugs.
One white man out of every 180.
I’m no statistician and my math skills are a bit lacking. I don’t think a person need be a rocket surgeon to see there truly is a disparity though (duh). I would find it difficult to argue against the high dollar university lawyers’ contention.