Editorial: RESOLUTION AGAINST THE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

By Agozino, Biko | African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies : AJCJS, April 2011 | Go to article overview

Editorial: RESOLUTION AGAINST THE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS


Agozino, Biko, African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies : AJCJS


The meeting of the African Criminology and Justice Studies Association which owns this African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies adopted this draft resolution in November, 2010, San Francisco. A similar draft resolution was submitted to the Association of Black Sociologists (and published in their newsletter, 'Resolution Against the War on African Americans' in The Griot: Newsleter of the Association of Black Sociologists, September, 2010). It was also submitted to the National Council for Black Studies for possible approval but only the African Criminology and Justice Association has approved it so far. This draft resolution was also posted as a Press Release on AfricaResource.com where it has received more than 1000 hits. I present a slightly updated version of the resolution and call for action to bring about the implementation of the relevant policies around the world to avoid the increasingly oppressive repression of people of African descent, the poor generally and minority ethnic populations around the world.

Towards scholar activism to actualize the resolution, I suggest that every meeting of professional associations with a focus on people of African descent should include a March For Social Justice calling for an end to the war on drugs because it is an undisguised war on people of African descent and the poor generally even though they do not use drugs more than other categories of people. I suggest that such Marches for Social Justice should proceed to a local prison and picket it with placards denouncing the racist war on African people, then march to a local court to organize a sit-in to enlighten the general public about the pyrrhic lose-lose effects of the war on drugs.

Finally, I call on scholar activists and members of the community to work together to get the issue of drugs decriminalization on the ballot in every jurisdiction and campaign for the voters to pass the proposition and end this unjust war which has been wasting tax resources, damaging the lives of individuals and destroying communities while more dangerous substances remain legal and are marketed to the people with government subsidies:

Contrary to the claim by Times magazine that the war on drugs, the longest war that has cost American taxpayers $2.5 trillion over 40 years, has "no clear enemy",1 the NAACP in 2010 rightly condemned the war on drugs as a racist war against African Americans and against the poor generally.2 Californian voters have also proposed the legalization of marijuana to avoid the unnecessary criminalization of otherwise law-abiding responsible adults, aid the sick who need the drug and create fair employment opportunities and wealth for the people and tax revenues for the state.3

The intensifying violence among poor urban youth across America, the Caribbean, South America, South East Asia and Africa have all been linked to struggles over the control of the lucrative illicit drugs trade that governments could tax for revenue to support education, health and social services while saving on unnecessary repressive enforcement. The attempt to arrest a single drug lord in Jamaica for extradition to the US resulted in the death of nearly 80 innocent Jamaicans in 2010 and the war on drugs in Mexico has claimed more than 30,000 lives in three years while a similar attempt to make Thailand "drug-free" in 2003 resulted in the extra judicial killing of 2800 people. Not surprisingly, three former South American presidents, including the eminent sociologist, Dr. Cardozo of Brazil, issued a policy statement in 2009 denouncing the war on drugs as a costly failure that should be abandoned.

The Drug Czar of the Obama administration, Gil Kerlikowske, in 2009 announced that the war on drugs was inconsistent with the goals of a democratically elected government that should be serving the people and not waging war against its own citizens but insisted that there is no need for a change in policy except the stopping of the raids on medical marijuana dispensers in states that approve of the legal prescription of the drug for patients and promised only a change in language. …

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