The most commonly understood example of a fake war would probably be Vietnam, as there has been plenty for time for the establishment to separate itself from the creation of that monumental waste of human resources. Some of us who are willing to admit it, can tell you that the Global War on Terrorism is bull-crap as well, but conservatives won’t agree because they’re worried that exposing some truth will result in someone taking their jobs or guns. But what about our fake domestic war called the War on Drugs? And what would it take for the right-wing element of this country to finally divest itself from this war? Unfortunately, for some people in this America, righteous indignation is the best you can expect.
On a regular basis, I see members of conservative echo chambers joining hands to sing their praises for punishing people with drug offenses. People with privilege who barely know what it’s like to be truly desperate, hold their snooty noses at poor people who tried to feed themselves by selling some weed. They look down at people whose broken lives led them into the squalor of crack neighborhoods. And when someone goes to jail, they celebrate. These people are so disgusting as they take pleasure in human suffering, so you can see why they would be very reluctant to admit that their holy war on drugs was all a lie in the first place.
We learned last year, thanks to a recently released 22-year old interview with one of President Nixon’s advisers, that the war on drugs was started to disrupt the communities of black people and anti-war white people. For some reason, nobody cared about this; must have been the election? I guess it wasn’t important because it didn’t benefit Clinton in some way? This is about as plainly as you can explain an incredibly corrupt and racist plan:
“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Conservatives find it super hard to admit that Nixon was racist, because it calls into question the way that Nixon focused his support to white people, his “silent majority.” Sound familiar? The Silent Majority is back; and they want these black people and hippies dealt with. Nixon may have been the one to start this; but conservatives and neo-liberals have been using it ever since to bring chaos to the black community and stifle those who would *actually* seek world peace. And I don’t need just a quote from a racist to make the case.
The war on drugs has been a massive boon to white supremacy, because the power structure has allowed them to disproportionately punish Black and Latino people. And before they even get to the punishment part, they disproportionately charge us with possession. In places like New York, where people are supposed to be liberal but are really more moderate, we saw stop-and-frisk laws turn cops into minority hunters, and that was just a repeat of the action under Governor Rockefeller long ago. Stop & frisk is a solid strategy for racists who are surrounded by moderates, because the greatest weakness of a moderate white person is their desire to stay quiet and left alone.
Don’t forget that the fake drug war was necessary to justify the crime and welfare reforms that were heralded by Bill Clinton and supported by Hillary. This is exactly why the democratic party is such a failure right now: the people go to sleep when a “liberal” is in office, and allow them to do just as much damage (if not more sometimes) than a republican would have done! These “liberals” have a huge problem with Trump banning somebody, but had no problem with Obama drone-bombing the same people in their country? I’d like to believe that you all were just asleep. Please wake up so I can finish dressing down these right-wingers. Now, where was I…
With the “just say no” movement proven wrong and disgraced, it’s time for conservatives to start facing some hard truths. I am so tired of hearing right-wing snowflakes complaining that everyone calls them racist, while they refuse to denounce such policies that are proven to be justified by such. But recently, I read something where people in a poor town were complaining about losing their jobs when the nearby private prison was closed down… ah, that’s it. Not only does the war on drugs give police departments plenty of excuses to buy military equipment they don’t need; it’s big business!
Private prisons are among the most corrupt institutions that man has ever created. Someone builds a prison, and then makes an agreement with the government that they need to keep a certain number of prisoners in it. If there isn’t enough crime/prisoners, the government has to pay penalties to the private prison for not using enough capacity. This is like, impossible to defend without sounding like a fascist, but that was the farthest thing from the minds of these people. And I don’t blame them; they are poor and they are desperate. But I also learned that over 40% of their town was addicted to drugs. Did they all want to go live in that jail then?
Anyone who has known a true drug addict/alcoholic can tell you that it is a sickness. Being a drug addict should not make you a criminal, but for some reason, alcohol is the only drug you are allowed to be addicted to. Everything else is illegal so it can always be an excuse to criminalize more poor people or minorities. That’s why the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries want to keep weed illegal. And they don’t care if that means that more people will have their lives ruined by the drug war. Just like defense contractors don’t care how many people lose everything in the false overseas wars.
So this so-called war on drugs is really just an assault on freedom. It feeds the pharma, tobacco, and alcohol corporations. It feeds mass incarceration and the subversion of poor communities throughout the country. It feeds racial tension and pits members of the 99% against each other while elites enjoy these things with no consequences. So next time you take a moral high ground against drug offenders, at least make sure your favorite beer/cigarette company is compensating you.