Racism, Classism, and the Drug War
A Discussion With Cliff Thornton
In the United States, African Americans account for 13% of drug users, yet they make up 37% of those arrested, 53% of those convicted, and 67% of those sent to jail for drug offenses. Overall, African Americans and Latinos comprise 80% of people in prison for drug offenses, even though the majority of drug users are white
“Many see the drug war as being supported by three major phenomena; all of which result in unequal treatment based either directly or indirectly on race, class or white privilege:
1) Greed. Drug markets are a dandy source of ‘black’ money which ends up being recycled (laundered) through our banks and other financial institutions and then made available for all sorts of scams.
2) Overt Racism. The malignant racism which justified slavery is definitely not dead. It survived under Jim Crow (segregation) and continues to survive under the drug war. There is abundant evidence that blacks and browns actually have fewer drug problems than whites but you’d never know it from our media.
3) Fear and the intellectual dishonesty that fear promotes in Medicine and the “treatment” disciplines (Psychology and Sociology). This is a very complex issue; but there’s no doubt that the drug war survives partly because Medicine has been so thoroughly co-opted.“
–Clifford Wallace Thornton, Jr.
The following video is a short documentary about Cliff Thornton’s Green Party bid for Governor of Connecticut. SSDP does not endorse any candidates or political parties — the video is simply here to display Mr. Thornton’s experience in grassroots political advocacy.