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11/9 Blog Post

The movie Just Mercy gave insight into the flaws that affect the criminal justice system today. The reality is that despite claims of equality, the courts remain biased against people of color, who are way more likely to get incarcerated for a crime that they did not commit or receive a way larger sentence than a white man or woman who committed the same crime. This is deeply wrong, and it makes me curious about what can be done to start changing this. The innocence project is on the right track, but due to resources, is only able to help a tiny percentage of those wronged by the criminal justice system. How do we as a nation, help to  expand the work they are doing?

Something I took away from the reading was the misconception of the phrase “War on Drugs”. When we hear this, we associate it with positive things. Helping everyone by stopping drugs which are bad. Yet this war on drugs brought a lot of harm with it, especially to the colored community. It needs to be acknowledged that everyone grows up in different communities, and are taught different things, and have different opportunities. Although this may seem as unintentional discrimination, I think that Nixon needs to be looked at under a harsher microscope, as he wanted to criminalize heroin and associate that criminilazation with the community of people of color.

Before reading this, if I had heard the term “War on Drugs” I would’ve had a much different reaction then I now do after reading the article. What other terms like this are sugar-coated where it is known as something different from reality? How can we start to change the systems that are rigged against people of color, concerning both drugs and oversentancing?

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  1. Madeline Orr Madeline Orr

    I agree that the War on Drugs has brought harmful and serious consequences that still exist today. I think that a change in drug policy is necessary and could help limit negative interactions of minority populations with the police over drug problems. However, I don’t think that this would fully change the deep racial discrimination and biases that exist throughout the country when linking drugs to minority populations. I think that the nation needs to realize and act on the deeply problematic system that is biased based on color, status, and wealth.

  2. Thomas Bennett Thomas Bennett

    While the War on Drugs sounds as if it would help improve the problems that certain dangerous drugs can have on society, it is clear that its true effects have overall been negative. Treating drug addiction as a criminal, rather than medical, issue has had arguably more destructive outcomes than the drugs themselves. Per usual, the War on Drugs unfairly persecutes people of color. From my understanding the phrases “War on Drugs” and “Being Tough on Crime” were slogans that politicians used to get elected rather than because they would actually be the most appropriate solution to the problem. In order to maintain their place in the political hierarchy, politicians had to back programs like these despite their extremely harmful affects on minorities. Whenever politicians say whatever it takes to get elected, the very people they are meant to represent , particularly minorities, always end up getting screwed.

  3. Mohamad Kassem Mohamad Kassem

    I was also surprised by the term “War of Drugs” as I didn’t know what it actually meant. I thought that the criminalization of drugs protects the community but as we see the effects of it are far more harmful than good to our society especially that it affects people of color most. I agree with you and I think that this system needs to change and the bias based on people’s color needs to stops.

  4. Henry Groves Henry Groves

    I too was shocked that the “War on Drugs” brought a lot of harm. I always thought of it as the prevention of drugs and not a tool to discriminate against minorities. I also agree that the war on drugs has led to problems and division that still occur today

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