The House of Representatives passed a historic bill Wednesday that narrows sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine convictions, which civil rights and civil liberties experts say contributed to the disproportionate imprisonment of African-Americans in recent decades.
I noted that the vote was a ‘voice vote’ so that the members could not be held responsible for voting either way. How’s that for chicken-shit behavior?
Those supporting the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 wanted to punish black crack users without too much damage to users of the white power [whites] in the process. The legislation passed both houses 489-18. I wonder why the 18 voted no.
At the signing of this bill, President Reagan said,
Well, today it gives me great pleasure to sign legislation that reflects the total commitment of the American people and their government to fight the evil of drugs. Drug use extracts a high cost on America: the cost of suffering and unhappiness, particularly among the young; the cost of lost productivity at the workplace; and the cost of drug-related crime. Drug use is too costly for us not to do everything in our power, not just to fight it but to subdue it and conquer it.
Subdue and conquer it. So much for that dream. Seems like that phony ‘war on drugs’ turned out to be as ineffective as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. For those on the right-wing of our political spectrum, their dream of locking up thousands of black men and keeping them out of society seemed to work. Now that the penalty has been reduced, one wonders what their next plan will be to keep the black population in ‘check.’