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Minorities Targeted by War on Drugs

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Minorities Targeted by War on Drugs

Emily Hall, Staff Writer

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The war on drugs, while dying down in places, continues to run rampant in lower class and predominantly minority communities.  

While the war on drugs is said to protect citizens from addicts and street crime while simultaneously saving the addicts from themselves, white people seem to be the anomaly, avoiding hard time and getting slapped with probation or let off with a warning. The war on drugs, while it affects almost everyone in one way or another, primarily plagues lower class people and minority groups, and was once seen as the campaign for mass incarceration.  

While mass incarceration remains a national problem, politicians in office seem to be doing almost nothing to combat the overcrowding in prisons and harsh sentences given for minor offenses. According to the Washington Post, federal prosecutor Steven Cook thinks “the federal criminal justice system simply is not broken. In fact, it’s working exactly as designed” when it comes to the war on drugs, but by the end of 2015, state and federal prisons held over 1.4 million people for drug arrests, almost a million identified as a minority. People like Cook are able to look at those statistics and see no issue in it, which makes the intentions of the war on drugs questionable. As minorities are being piled into prisons and forced into governmental submission, politicians are promoting the continuation of the war on drugs and even promoting more extensive and harsher sentences for those arrested on drug charges. Their passion for imprisoning non violent offenders sparks suspicion of their true intentions, forcing minorities to think the personal bias’ of politicians are spilling over into their political decisions.

Research suggests that the war on drugs seems to target non white Americans and immigrants, and while some consider this a coincidence, others are outraged by the racial bias that seems to plague the minds of police officers and law enforcement. As policeman are being faced with deadlines and quotas for tickets and arrests, racial profiling can seem like the only answer. Whether they are doing it subconsciously or on purpose, racial profiling is becoming a commonly used practice to increase government revenue and monthly pay. Minorities are being denied their freedom because law enforcement officials are being forced to meet a quota for their paycheck. As people are unrightfully being targeted, police officers are being rewarded with increased paychecks.

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