"Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers" - Voltaire
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self" -Hemingway
point being: since whites outnumber blacks by a factor of 6 to 1, it is dishonest to use raw numbers to make a claim that whites are bigger drug users, when all the evidence clearly shows that regardless of race, people in the US use illegal drugs at about the same rate.
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville
In Order to Address Racism, We Must Confront the Drug War | Drug Policy Alliance
Revealed throughout the Zimmerman trial, as Trayvon Martin’s character was scrutinized for signs of how threatened Zimmerman may have felt by him, was the uncomfortable truth that racism results in black men being commonly viewed as menacing simply for being human.
From clothing to intoxicants, what is normal and innocuous in another context becomes sinister when associated with black men and boys. Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie is a sign of millennial individuality and irreverence, whereas Trayvon’s hoodie is a sign of being a “wannabe gangster.” From Martha Stewart to Justin Bieber, marijuana is becoming increasingly socially acceptable. And although no one recommends marijuana use by teenagers, when was the last time someone made a case for justifiable homicide of a suburban white kid by noting trace amounts of THC found in their system, as was done in the case of Trayvon?
Being black means living a life saturated by double standards. When the skin you live in is viewed as inherently suspicious, anything you do can provoke fear and hostility. It takes a special effort to convince people of the humanity and worth of a young black man in a way that is not required for others. The day after the Zimmerman verdict, a friend and I went to see the film “Fruitvale Station,” a poignant and powerful account of the life of Oscar Grant, a young black man from Oakland, and the events leading up to his death at the hands of a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer in 2009.
Trayvon and Oscar were from opposite sides of the country and in many ways lived different lives but in the aftermath of their murders, as arguments were put forth for why they could have been seen as suspicious or potentially threatening, a history of involvement with drugs was cited. Drugs remain an enduring part the collection of social and historical biases commonly summoned to put the character of young black men under a microscope. The underlying assumption seems to be it is not so much a matter what you do but who you are.
From caffeine to nicotine to aspirin to alcohol, when was the last time most of us have experienced a truly “drug free” day in our lives? By and large, we regularly consume some sort of substance that alters how we feel or offers pleasure instead of pain. This is why drug prohibition has been such a pernicious tool for perpetuating bias, corruption and bigotry. When the power is granted to selectively criminalize behavior that everyone engages in, unequal applications of law and social judgment are inevitable. This is why civil rights advocate and academic Michelle Alexander calls the drug war “The New Jim Crow.”
Frank conversations about race at the national level are long overdue. If any good is to come from the Trayvon Martin tragedy, hopefully it will include bringing this dialogue to the forefront. But we absolutely cannot talk about race without talking about the war on drugs. This failed social experiment not only leads to the disproportionate targeting, arrest, conviction and incarceration of people of color, despite equal rates of drug consumption across race, it fuels the underlying thread of judgment, stigma and marginalization that permeates how we value human life and enable acts of violence.
If FAR more whites are using illegal drugs than anyone else in this country, and illegal drugs are being used at the same rates .. then how is it that non-white people are the icon for drug use?
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK
I'm not sure they are.If FAR more whites are using illegal drugs than anyone else in this country, and illegal drugs are being used at the same rates .. then how is it that non-white people are the icon for drug use?
Results from the 2010 NSDUH: Summary of National Findings, SAMHSA, CBHSQ
Figure 2.10: who is at the top of the chart?