Keywords that are most important to the documentary are, War on Drugs, incarceration, drug involvement/abuse, and racism. All of these words are loosely or heavily connected to each other. The words drug involvement/abuse highlight the purpose of the film, and the reasons for the War on Drugs and numerous laws created to fight drug abuse that cause death and destroy abiding citizens of communities. Furthermore, the War on Drugs simply labels the struggle against drug use and the governmental involvement to enforce anti-drug laws. The word incarceration and racism also link together to explain how as a result of the War on Drugs, the U.S. is one of the top countries with the highest imprisonment rate and more African-Americans or low-class minorities are convicted of drug crimes than any other ethnicity or social class. Since, the majority of African-Americans live in areas of drug involvement, they are more likely to be racially profiled and investigated. This has created an uneven ethnic ratio in prisons and produced stereotypes that affect children that prevent them from becoming abiding citizens. …show more content…
The House I Live In, is a documentary that visually represents how the War on Drugs affected drug dealers, parents of those who took drugs, enforcers of the drug laws, prisoners convicted of drug violence or drug dealing, poor neighborhoods, and historical recordings about the war. All of these were captured through clips of interviews by those imprisoned due to drugs, experts from academic institutes, and police personnel. Moreover, it is a discursive narrative, since the film exhibits conversation of past and current results of the War on Drugs. Additionally, it has been a ‘hot button’ topic actively discussed by victims and authoritative enforcers of the war, outlining how ineffective it has
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Racial Profiling” as it’s known today was started in 1980’s under President Ronald Reagans’ “War on Drugs” (a war Reagan declared while drug use and crimes were both on the decline (4). Regan’s “War on Drugs” was a partisan show of force that he, Bush Senior and Junior and subsequent Presidents used to try and convenience people they were concerned with public safety and American citizens who had fallen victim to crimes committed by drug users and drug dealers. (Even, while it was widely reported Ronald Reagans’ son, Ronnie junior and former President George Bush Senior’s son, former President George Bush Junior were both smoking weed and snorting cocaine (4). While the “War on Drugs” was based on political motives, (that is not the full story) as the “war on drugs” in hindsight proved itself to be a social containment strategy and ultimately a “war” on black and brown surplus people ().
Her central thesis is that mass incarceration is “The New Jim Crow,” or the new system of control used by the government to uphold racial class in the U.S. This book will be helpful to my research because it directly discusses the topic of race and the criminal justice system. Amnesty International. (2003). United States of America: Death by discrimination
For this semester, we read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. The book talks about how minorities face, especially black men, being treated like second-class citizens by the criminal justice system and this leading to our modern mass incarceration problem. Alexander goes as far as to say “We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it” (2). This is shown by the War on Drugs.
The video that I have chosen is Jayz War on Drugs (Epic Fail). This video informs you on how the war on drugs was started by Richard Nixon in 1971. It also describes how the war on drugs had a negative effect on the African Americans rather it be their families, communities, and schools. The movie The House I live in, describes the war on drugs as black hats vs white hats basically the good guys against the bad guys. In both videos it was discussed how poor neighborhoods were the target for drug bust areas.
The racial disparity can be accounted for through the mass incarceration of black offenders in terms of sentencing with mention of a racial caste in place, not allowing those of color to move from their position. As such, mass incarceration has led to prisons being filled with an overpopulation of those who are black than any other race. Interesting enough, it has been proven through surveys that those who are white are more likely to engage in drug crime rather than those who are black. I found this to be an interesting point to discuss as it raises the question as to just why are more people of color incarcerated at a growing rate than
Michelle Alexander, similarly, points out the same truth that African American men are targeted substantially by the criminal justice system due to the long history leading to racial bias and mass incarceration within her text “The New Jim Crow”. Both Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Michelle Alexander’s text exhibit the brutality and social injustice that the African American community experiences, which ultimately expedites the mass incarceration of African American men, reflecting the current flawed prison system in the U.S. The American prison system is flawed in numerous ways as both King and Alexander points out. A significant flaw that was identified is the injustice of specifically targeting African American men for crimes due to the racial stereotypes formed as a result of racial formation. Racial formation is the accumulation of racial identities and categories that are formed, reconstructed, and abrogated throughout history.
In his article, “Toward a Policy on Drugs,” Elliot Currie discusses “the magnitude and severity of our drug crisis” (para. 21), and how “no other country has anything resembling the American drug problem” (para. 21). The best way to describe America’s drug problem is that it is a hole continuously digs itself deeper. America’s drug issues were likely comparable to other country’s at one point in time, but today it can be blamed on the “street cultures” (para. 21) that continue to use and spread the use of illegal drugs. These street cultures transcend the common stereotype of drug users, such as low income communities in cities or welfare recipients, and can be found in every economic class and location. They are groups of people who have
Like it is mentioned in the movie 13th “The so called war on drugs was a war on communities of color”. So, now black people are being arrested much more than White people even though the drug use is close to the same as Angela F. Chan points out in her article for the Huffington Post. “Even though Black people use drugs at the same rate as White people, they are incarcerated for drug crimes at 20 to 50 times the rate of White people in some states”. A law that was passed during the war on drugs was mandatory sentencing.
Provocative and eye-opening, The Stickup Kids urges us to explore the ravages of the drug trade through weaving history, biography, social structure, and drug market forces. It offers a revelatory explanation for drug market violence by masterfully uncovering the hidden social forces that produce violent and self-destructive individuals. Part memoir, part penetrating analysis, this book is engaging, personal, deeply informed, and entirely
Nevertheless, millions of African Americans still live mired in poverty, susceptible to poor living conditions in underserved inner cities. The War on Drugs, which began in the 1980s, is a leading cause of the high rate of incarceration among African Americans, especially males. Today, criminal gangs have spread throughout the country and into the prisons. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with over 1.6 million dwelling in prisons. Of this number, a fairly large amount are African Americans.
The publication by Christina M. Gaudio is critical of the War on Drugs and focuses on its effects on juveniles. She takes time to outline the issues that are present with our current system, and specifically how the system is particularly unjust to juveniles. Gaudio details how the juvenile justice system operates state and federally, then she gives a brief history of the Drug War, the Drug Wars effect on Juveniles, its overall effectiveness, and possible solutions to what she sees as the problem. The Drug War is extremely costly to the taxpayer and is in many respects failing.
“African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population.” The majority group of this statistic are people who come from african american backgrounds. The fact that black people are to make up nearly half of the prison population alone, really conveys the rate at which they are being arrested. Black men are often victims of racial profiling by police. They are targeted by police officers, and security guards, and are accused of crimes unrelated to them, simply on the basis of their skin color.
The Huffington Post says, “The U.S. incarcerates nearly seven times as many people, measured as a share of population, as Canada does. People of color are disproportionately represented in the American prison population and are typically punished more severely than white peers for the same crimes” (Daniel Marans). Racism against people of color has caused them to be represented poorly in society as potential criminals, especially black. MIT informs its viewers that “according to the United States census Bureau, blacks are twice as likely to be poor compared to other races, and eight times as likely to be imprisoned. Blacks are also three times more likely to be convicted of drug violations than whites.
The legalization of drugs has been at the center of interminable debate. Drugs have widely been perceived as a dominant threat to the moral fabric of society. Drug use has been attributed as the source responsible for a myriad of key issues. For instance, it is believed that drugs have exacerbated the already weak status of mental health in the United States in which some individuals suffering from mental illness administer illicit substances such as heroin or cocaine in an attempt to self-medicate. Moreover, drugs are blamed for turning auspicious members of the community into worthless degenerates.
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world with about 2.3 million people in prison. According to Vitanna.org’s statistics, an estimated one million of these prisoners are African American. 12.3 percent of the population is black, yet over 43 percent of America’s prisoners are black. This disparity is certainly unnatural, seeing as how African Americans are no more likely to be criminals than whites. Black men are overrepresented in prisons because of the unfortunately common stereotype that they are all remorseless criminals.