Justice, Drugs and Race

The headline read, "The man who invented the war on drugs owns its true anti-black intentions!"

Please take two minutes to read the article (not  just the headline) covered by many media outlets such as CNN, Huffington Post and Jezebel to name a few.   Without getting tangled in the weeds of the drug legalization debate (I'll own that pun), this is powerful truth about our history and present!  We believe that knowing and owning how we got here empowers us to change where we are going.  It is the very foundation of redemptive relationships and this is a core element of Carpe Ventus.

Nixon's former policy advisor, John Ehrlichman, admitted just one of the many ways that black people in particular have been targeted for oppression in this country post legalized slavery.  In and interview Ehrlichman shamelessly owned the intentions behind the war on drugs:

"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. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news."

As Hilary Hanson at Huffington Post states,

"In other words, the intense racial targeting that’s become synonymous with the drug war wasn’t an unintended side effect — it was the whole point."
 Click through for the original article from the Chicago Reader.

Click through for the original article from the Chicago Reader.

Policies like these have put the label "criminal" disproportionately on non-white people and particularly on young black men, both historically and in the present. For-profit prisons create demand for criminals and produce unjust lobbying. People with a criminal record find it very difficult to get a job... ever. Lack of legal options for legal income drives people to illegal income sources and makes it difficult to be a stable family member, produces violence and reinforces stereotypes.

As a country we created these problems and for the amount of money we are spending to maintain them we could own our past and make changes that will reverse the tide. We need to end for-profit prisons, decriminalize low-level drug offenses and take them off the records of past offenders so they have a better chance of getting jobs. We need to use other means of rehabilitation including better on-ramps to job training and legal sources of income.

We need to live up to our ideal that "all people are created equal" and stop living like some people are inherently worse than others because of how they look. We have some terrible things in our past, but we are blessed with the freedom to redefine our future.

Carpe Ventus is fully invested in breaking the cycle through redemptive, stereotype-smashing relationships and empowerment through sailing, kiteboarding and windsurfing! If you are wondering what to do, come and join us!