The Institute of the Black World 21st Century Declares War
On The “War on Drugs”
A Petition to Recruit an Army of Advocates and Organizers To End a Failed Strategy and Create Just and Humane Alternatives
The “War on Drugs” is a War on Black People!
Forty-two years after President Richard M. Nixon declared a “War on Drugs” under the guise of halting trafficking in drugs in the United States,the evidence is clear: The War on Drugs has been a “war on us,” a politically motivated, racially biased strategy which has disproportionately targeted African Americans and other people of color. The unwarranted mass incarceration of millions of mostly young Black males has disrupted families, decimated communities and rendered America´s “dark ghettos” zones of desperation, desolation and despair – neighborhoods where persistent poverty, unemployment, underemployment, inferior education, crime, violence and fratricide abound – conditions borne of decades of blatant neglect of the social and economic needs and unfulfilled aspirations of urban inner-city residents. It must be understood that the “War on Drugs” was a choice, a policy decision to utilize “zero tolerance,” paramilitary policing strategies, “get tough” laws and mandatory sentencing to pacify “out of control” Black communities, rather than focus on social, racial and economic justice.
The results have been nothing less than disastrous
- African Americans make up an estimated 15% of drug users, but account for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison.Federal prison sentences for Blacks averaged 41% longer than those of Whites.
- At the end of 2007 1 in every 9 Black men in their twenties — the prime age for marriage –was in prison or jail, and 1 in18 adult Black men was under correctional supervision control.
- Black adults are 4 times more likely as Whites and nearly 2.5 times more likely as Hispanics to be under correctionalcontrol and 6 times more likely than Whites to be incarcerated.
- A jail/prison term is now equivalent to a life sentence because formerly incarcerated persons are often denied access to jobs, social services, housing and prohibited from voting in a number of states; while yet being required to pay monthly supervisory fees they risk being re-incarcerated for not paying timely. Having been victimized by a racially biased policy, the formerly incarcerated person bears the mark of prison/jail for a lifetime!
How is it that 85% of drug users are non-Black but 74% of those convicted for drug offenses are Black? The “War on Drugs” has been a War on Black People!
The Counter Offensive
10 Point Action Agenda to Create Just and Humane Alternatives
- Eliminate the 18:1 disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine offenses and make the current changes in the law retroactive
- End mandatory minimum sentencing schemes which prohibit judges from considering the individual merits of a case
- End unscrupulous legislation proliferating prison slave labor pools which are dependent upon drug arrests to fill prison bed quotas benefitting major United States and Canadian Fortune 500 corporations and New York Stock Exchange investors
- End the criminalization of drug abuse which disproportionately impacts people of color and the poor and utilize a public health model to create just and humane alternatives to the War on Drugs
- End racial profiling which results in Blacks being stopped, frisked and arrested more often than other races, causing the disproportionate criminalization and incarceration of Black people
- End mass incarceration which disrupts families and communities and depletes government budgets without making communities safer
- Support the promotion of evidence-based approaches to address drug policy, including treatment instead of incarceration, harm reduction and decriminalization models
- Support changes in laws and policies to allow people with felony convictions and criminal records who have served their time to be gainfully employed, adequately housed, successfully reintegrated into society and have their voting rights restored
- Support a dialogue on the pros and cons of the regulation of drugs to decrease crime, violence and fratricide in Black communities
- Focus on root causes and prevention of crime by adopting a holistic “Domestic Marshall Plan” type social, economic and jobs initiative to create wholesome urban inner-city communities
Join an Army of Advocates and Organizers to End the War on Drugs
The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW 21) is calling on you to join a multitude of affected and concerned Black people in the to fight to end this war on Black people!We need fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, the currently and formerly incarcerated, and all others who are the victims of this failed strategy to demand an end to the war now!
I want to be an Advocate to End the War on Drugs
By signing this petition I agree to receive regular updates from IBW´s Drug Policy Reform Initiative with information on the fight to end the War on Drugs and respond to Action Alerts to contact private and public agencies and political leaders to support just and humane alternatives to a failed strategy as reflected in IBW´s 10 Point Action Agenda
- I would like sign-up for orientation and training to become an Organizer to end repressive “War on Drugs” policies and practices in my City/State.