Blacks in America
have long been victims of the state and its allies. From slavery
to the war on drugs, laws which prevent a person using his own body
and property as he sees fit, have had terrible effects on generations
of black folk. Initially, the oppression of blacks was widespread
and decentralized. This required a different set of strategies from
the widespread, centralized oppression of today. Many blacks
are concerned when the matter of rolling back the federal government
is broached. It is undeniably true that the various state governments
of the past supported terrible atrocities against black people.
At such a time, political strategies had to be developed to deal
with the most pressing threat. As the political winds have changed,
so too must the strategies change, even for those who believe in
the legitimacy of government.
The war on
drugs is the most pressing legal issue facing black people. Racial
profiling, raids on homes which result in death and oppression,
such as the cases of Kathryn
Johnston and Corey
Maye, are directly attributable to the war on drugs. States
and localities have been moving in the direction of decriminalization
for marijuana for decades. The
federal government has been opposing such measures for the entire
time. A Presidential candidate’s position on the war on drugs
is the first legitimate political litmus test I have seen within
my lifetime. The issue is serious, affecting the lives of millions.
It is something which calls into question the most fundamental of
all human rights: the right to treat your own body as you see fit.
Of all the major Presidential candidates, one, and one alone has
called for an end to this scourge to the black community: Ron
Paul. The other candidates are unconcerned, in favor of the
drug war, or too cowardly to speak. Ron Paul has shown the courage
of his convictions through his unabashed opposition to the drug
drug use are no more justifiable than anti-miscegenation laws. They
are laws which attack the root of the notion that all men are created
equal by establishing that some have the right to rule over others,
and those others have no similar right. What other justification
is there for preventing an adult from inhaling, ingesting, or injecting
the chemical of his choice into his own body? A large portion of
the black prison population is imprisoned because of drug offenses.
Many of those who are imprisoned for other offenses, such as property
crimes and violent crimes are there as a result of the various violent
consequences of the war on drugs. Ron Paul does not claim to be
able to fix all this. As President, he can only Constitutionally
stop the federal war on drugs, not those in which the states engage.
But removing federal support for drug prohibition could have
a tremendous impact nonetheless. First, it would obviously mean
that some people would no longer be imprisoned. No more federal
drug charges and federal prison time for drug offenses. Also, the
timbre would be set for states to follow suit. There have already
been several states which have indicated interest in backing off
the war on drugs, and our neighbors to the north and south have
also indicated this willingness. It is easy to imagine California
and Montana, for example, completely legalizing marijuana, and perhaps
extending that legalization to other drugs as well. Right now, federal
drug raids are a major problem for legal marijuana vendors in California.
on Tavis Smiley’s All-American Presidential Forum, Ron Paul
impressed me immeasurably with his ability to actually address this
extraordinarily important issue. While other candidates either refuse
to show up, or divert attention from their unwillingness to actually
do things clearly within their power as President, Ron Paul spoke
clearly to what he supported. How many other candidates have expressed
any desire whatsoever to actually eliminate a law? How many have
expressed concern over what the government is doing to oppress the
very people it is charged to protect? How many actually criticize
the government for evil which the government itself perpetuates?
The answer is one. The answer is Ron Paul.
A. Wicks [send him mail]
is a Unix administrator in Atlanta.