May 25th, 2012 — 11:52am
(read the book free online – read the Reddit AMA)
As our financial crisis deepens and the schisms between the haves and the have-nots continue to open, American drug laws and the prison system they’ve perpetuated are beginning to gather an increasingly harsh spotlight. But so what. It’s not like the War on Drugs, which started over forty-years ago in 1973, has done anything to increase the growing level of economic disparity in America… right?
A lot happened in 1973.
It was a few years after Nixon slammed the gold window shut, the waning hours of a decapitated Civil Rights movement, and the year we began to disentangle ourselves from Vietnam. But it also marks the genesis of the War on Drugs: the year the Rockefeller Drug Laws were passed. And that same year something funny happened: the income gap between black and white began to widen back out, instead of closing – as it had been up until 1973.
Did the start of the War on Drugs play a significant role in creating our present economic and social realities – where the average black family has eight-cents of wealth for every dollar owned by whites, and a black child is nine-times more likely than a white child to have a parent in prison?
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14 comments » | books, current affairs, domestic terror, news, politics, publishing, racial inequality, terrorism, war on drugs
August 5th, 2011 — 9:31am
(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)
Along the banks of the Mississippi, simmering tensions that should’ve been judicially dissolved over fifty-years ago have recently roiled back to the surface. Due to the growing likelihood of financial dissolution, the school district that governs inner-city Memphis schools recently voted forfeit its charter and force a merger with neighboring Shelby County, a much wealthier and much whiter district.
Families in Shelby County aren’t exactly thrilled, its Board of Education sued to block the merger and referred to the proposed melding as a “hostile surrender.” And Memphis is far from alone.
Since the economy began to tank in 2008, thirty-four states and Washington D.C. have been forced to make cuts in K-12 education, with many of those cuts affecting the poor and disadvantaged. Examples of this include Arizona eliminating support for disadvantaged elementary school kids, California cutting help for high-need students, and Illinois ending a program aimed at reading and study skills of at-risk students.
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