Thao Tran Professor Aboulian English 1C 21 March 2017 The War on Drugs: A Rhetorical Analysis The War on Drugs, which was declared by President Nixon in 1971, efforts to control drug use and sales in inner-city neighborhoods. The government has been recently targeting poor communities of color. In 1980, the skyrocketing drug arrests reflected a surge in illegal drug activity. In The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, the author also stated that “huge cash grants were made to those law enforcement agencies that were willing to make drug-law enforcement a top priority” (73).
isn’t the only thing people believe needs to change; the reasons for arrests have been criticized by many. America incarcerates more citizens for drug related crimes than any other place in the world. Of the roughly 200,000 in federal prison, 52% are being held for drug crimes and only 8% are for violent crimes, such as: murder, assault, and robbery (Waldman, 2013). Many believe that the “War on Drugs” must become less aggressive because of its large contribution to the prison population. The distribution of prisoners by race has also raised concern among Americans.
In 1972, former President Richard Nixon made his infamous statements regarding crime and drug abuse. In this speech, he declared a war on crime and drugs and intended to decrease the number of people using drugs and the amount of crimes that were committed. Since this declaration, incarceration rates in the U.S. have gone up by 500%, even though the amount of crime happening has gone down. One of the reasons why I feel our rates have risen, is because sometimes, we put people in jail when they don’t need to be there in the first place.
In the early 1980s, the United States declared an all-out war on drugs and over the past several decades the United States of America has traveled down a dark road when it comes to sentencing for drug offenses. One of the major tools that they used in this war on drugs is the mandatory sentencing laws. These laws were enacted in 1984 to help combat and get violent drug dealers off our streets. What these laws did was set a mandatory minimum sentence that stated if you are arrested for fifteen or more grams of crack cocaine, you would be charged as if you had five hundred grams of powder cocaine thus getting you a minimum of a ten year sentence in prison. If you are arrested for growing 100 marijuana plants under these draconian laws, you would be charged as if you were possession of 100 pounds of marijuana which carries a minimum of a five-year
While America holds 10% of the world's population, America also holds 25% of the world's jailed population. That number is baffling because one in every 4 people are jailed. This comes rise in jailing trickles down to the war on drugs in the early 70’s. In June of 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs”. He increased law enforcement agencies and mandatory sentences for people charged with drug related crimes.
Essentially, the war on drugs has demonstrated to be an exorbitant expense. The federal government in 2002 alone spent $18.822 billion in the form of expenditures such as treatment, prevention, and domestic law enforcement (CSDP, 2007, p. 54). However, given that the drug war has garnered meager results, this investment may be interpreted as a waste of taxpayer dollars. Alternatively, the money that has been allocated to arrest and detain drug offenders may also be a source of contention. CSDP (2007) “Of the 1,846,351 arrests for drug law violations in 2005, 81.7% (1,508,469) were for possession of a controlled substance.
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
Their Escape from the War The Vietnam War was a difficult time for soldiers and the people on the home front. The soldiers were experiencing a completely different type of war, guerilla warfare. It was complete chaos and there were no organized battles or anyway to get a good attack on the Vietnamese soldiers, or the Vietcong as they were called. The soldiers were having to do unethical things and go against their will by killing these people.
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Alexander, M. (2012). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Rev. ed.). New York, NY: The New Press. Michelle Alexander in her book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" argues that law enforcement officials routinely racially profile minorities to deny them socially, politically, and economically as was accustomed in the Jim Crow era.
Michelle Alexander - The New Jim Crow In “The New Jim Crow”, author Michelle Alexander argues that the war on drugs is just an excuse to target African Americans and keep millions of black people in poverty or in jail. Alexander thinks that racism is still very prevalent in today’s world. She believes that the criminal justice system uses the system of mass incarceration to control black people and exclude them from the political process. Many African American people are not allowed to vote because they have gone to jail and they are labeled felons for life.
In 1995 Bill Clinton escalated the seriousness of drug crimes by establishing the “three strikes, you’re out” policy, The “three strikes, you’re out” policy declared that any person with three violent crime charges would be put on trial for a life sentence, moreover it stated that any drug felony is equivalent to a violent crime. So, with possessing marijuana, crack, or cocaine being reclassified as a felony, these minor drug offenses could turn into a lifetime sentence. From 1983 to 1989 the American prison system increased from 14,301 inmates to nearly 40,000, a 180% increase. For race, by 1989 the arrest rates for whites was 365 for every 100,000 while for blacks the rate was 1,460 per 100,000, thus the incarceration rate for blacks was four times higher
Slavery was different for America then it was for the rest of the world. For the rest of the world, it wasn’t a race thing they just enslaved the people that they had conquered. They did not care what the color of their skin was it was just about the need for labor. In the article “New of New World Slavery” it explains how slavery was different in America than in Europe. “Slavery in the classical and the early medieval worlds was not based on racial distinctions”.
Throughout history, the rate of incarceration among African American men has been significantly higher than that of other races. Since the 1970’s, it seems that serving time in jail is the rite of passage for an African American male. One of the contributing factors lies in the disparities of sentencing in the Criminal Justice System, especially during the drug war.
In The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in The Era of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, she begins by points out the underlying problem in our Criminal Justice system. The problem being prioritizing the control of those in this racial caste rather than focusing on reasonable punishment and efforts to deter crime. Alexander begins by speaking of her experience as a civil rights lawyer and what soon became her priority after seeing a poster that mentioned how the war on drugs is the new jim crow when it comes to the application and outcome of it. As Alexander points out the correlation between the war on drugs and it being the new jim crow, she discusses the mass incarceration that is prevalent in our society and the number of African American
The prohibition of drugs has been practiced in the United States since President Nixon’s administration; however, does it really maximize utility of the United States’ citizens? If so, it should continue to be practiced with force, but if not, it is time to end the war on drugs once and for all. Even though some consider it not to be a victimless crime, prohibition of drugs does not maximize utility because the war on drugs has flooded United States’ prisons with inmates who have not committed violent crimes, we have no right to keep someone from their lifestyle choice of doing drugs, and it is giving rise to the cartel monopoly. Utilitarianism is a moral theory established by John Stuart Mill that says we should seek not the individual’s