The Racialization of the War on Drugs. Persuasive Essay by poloshot2

The Racialization of the War on Drugs.
Analyzes the continuing racialization of "the war on drugs" in the United States.
# 119307 | 1,503 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Apr 18, 2010 in Criminology (Drugs Enforcement) , Law (General) , African-American Studies (General)

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This paper discusses how the illegalization of drugs has disproportionately discriminated against African Americans with the racialization of drug related laws, the three-strike law, and legislative policies, in comparison to their white American counterparts. The author argues that in order to resolve the drug problem the American government needs to increase the social standing of African-American and low income populations.

From the Paper:

"Race has been a major factor in determining who is imprisoned and who is released. Racial inequalities have plagued our country since the founding of our nation. Not every ethnic group started off on the same foot. For example, African Americans were the only ethnic group that endured forced labor. As a result, intense racism developed as a moral defense of slavery in America. Social and economic life is in part organized around race as a social construction. Race is not real. It holds no biological meaning, nor culture (social stratification notes, Professor Isler). Race acts as a sorting mechanism for mating, marriage, and even imprisonment. Race also acts as an organizing device to mobilize, to support, or challenge race based stratification. The social definition of race has changed as economic, political, and historical contexts, have changed.
"Similar, the war on drugs epidemic has become an ethical problem. There is a chain of command through the justice system, in which the upper class places blame and punishment on lower classes. Dominant groups, such as the upper class, have little niches that allow them to control over the subordinate in private (Jackman). African Americans are less likely to have private niches to hide their drug use because they are lower status with fewer resources. They have less institutional coverage, unlike their white counterparts. The law enforcement goes against people who are easily accessed; areas that are lived in by minorities. Ethnic tensions are governed by the institution of prisons. These dominant groups also create organizations where responsibility is fragmented (Jackman). Subordinate groups do not have the organizations to support them through the criminal process of drug charges. They are more vulnerable to society and punishment."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2004 (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Oct. 2005), Table 12, p. 9.
  • Key Recommendations from Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs (Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch, June 2000), from the web at
  • Mokdad, Ali H., PhD, James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Donna F. Stroup, PhD, MSc, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, "Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000," Journal of the American Medical Association, March 10, 2004, Vol. 291, No. 10, pp. 1238, 1241.
  • Professor Mary Jackman, Sociology of Violence and Inequality, winter 2006.
  • Samuel Walker, Popular Justice, Oxford University Press, 1998.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

The Racialization of the War on Drugs. (2010, April 18) Retrieved December 14, 2019, from

MLA Format

"The Racialization of the War on Drugs." 18 April 2010. Web. 14 December. 2019. <>