by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
The Drug War has been a forty-year lynching".
"the corporate/GOP response to the peace and civil rights movements.
It's used the Drug Enforcement Administration and other policing operations as a high-tech Ku Klux Klan, meant to gut America's communities of youth and color.
It has never been about suppressing drugs. Quite the opposite.
And now that it may be winding down, the focus on suppressing minority votes will shift even stronger to electronic election theft.
The Drug War was officially born June 17, 1971, (http://www.drugpolicy.org/new-solutions-drug-policy/brief-history-drug-war) when Richard Nixon pronounced drugs to be "Public Enemy Number One." In a nation wracked by poverty, racial tension, injustice, civil strife, ecological disaster, corporate domination, a hated Vietnam War and much more, drugs seemed an odd choice.
In fact, the Drug War's primary target was black and young voters.
It was the second, secret leg of Nixon's "Southern Strategy" meant to bring the former Confederacy into the Republican Party.
Part One was about the white vote.
America's original party of race and slavery (https://zinnedproject.org/materials/a-peoples-history-of-the-united-states-updated-and-expanded-edition/)was Andrew Jackson's Democrats (born 1828).
After the Civil War the Party's terror wing, the KKK, made sure former slaves and their descendants "stayed in their place."
A century of lynchings (at least 3200 of them) (http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1979/2/79.02.04.x.html)efficiently suppressed the southern black community.
In the 1930s Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal social programs began to attract black voters to the Democratic Party. John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson's support for civil and voting rights legislation, plus the 24th Amendment ending the poll tax, sealed the deal. Today blacks, who once largely supported the Party of Lincoln, vote 90% or more Democrat (http://blackdemographics.com/culture/black-politics/).
But the Democrats' lean to civil rights angered southern whites. Though overt racist language was no longer acceptable in the 1970s, Nixon's Republicans clearly signaled an open door to the former Confederacy (https://www.thenation.com/article/why-todays-gop-crackup-is-the-final-unraveling-of-nixons-southern-strategy/).
But recruiting angry southern whites would not be enough for the Republicans to take the south. In many southern states more than 40% of potential voters were black. If they were allowed to vote, and if their votes were actually counted, all the reconstructed Democrat Party would need to hold the south would be a sliver of moderate white support.
That's where the Drug War came in.
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