It’s Time for Silicon Valley To Complete Its Job of Interrupting the Racist Drug War
It Has Actually Been Racist From The Beginning and Bigotry Can not End Till It Does
By– Richard Cowan
Mark Zuckerberg, the Icarus of the Web, is debating his own employees about whether Facebook must be accountable for fixing the lies of particular high ranking politicians. The answer seems apparent, but are they really prepared to select which lies need their individual attention?
Icarus was undone by attempting to fly too high and to be above all of it, however there is another Greek myth that is more ¨ down to Earth ¨ literally.
As I view the apparently limitless torrent of prohibitionist propaganda, I am reminded of the Greek misconception about Hercules and the stables of King Augeas.
The term “Augean stables” means a big mess, because King Augeas had a large number of livestock, which were rounded up into the stables every night, but nobody tidied up after them. (Federal governments always anticipate other individuals to do their grunt work.)
As an effect, the stables overruned with what the Greeks called “drug education.”
As in Hercules’ time, the government supplies the fodder at one end, and the other end– the Greeks called it the “media”– produced the unavoidable product. It stank to high paradise, but it appeared impossible to do anything about it.
You could not smell it from the much better areas, and besides, if everybody who lived near the stables would simply stop breathing, it wouldn’t be an issue.
However, as the story goes, Hercules was provided the task of cleaning the stables, but he had to do it all in just one day. Plainly not even he could shovel that quick, and I understand just how he must have felt.
Being a superhero, Hercules handled the feat, and the method he did it offers me hope. He diverted a couple of rivers to flow through the stables and flushed them out.
On the other hand back in the real life, what does this pertain to the war on us? What are the “rivers” that we can divert?
One clue really comes from the misconception. When King Augeas declined to pay Hercules, as he had promised he would, the king’s boy informed the truth, and was exiled for doing so.
( He was sent out to a location the Greeks called “rehab”, which he said advised him of his father’s stables.)
On the other hand back in the real world, the American people are getting fed up with the stench of the lies that are being told to them– apparently to protect them.
For obvious factors, the existing crisis in the ” criminal justice system ¨is concentrated on race, however it should likewise be obvious that these problems are inextricably connected to what we call the Drug War. Second, the Drug War is a “legacy” of the world that Silicon Valley, aka the Web, has partially disrupted and now it must complete the job.
The Drug War, and Cannabis Restriction, (it’s a ¨ feature, not a bug ¨ )are still supported by a huge propaganda project mislabeled as Drug Education. Just the Drug Czar ´ s office (Office of National Drug Control Policy) has a budget of $3791 million.
Likewise, the 2019 Spending Plan for the National Institute for Substance Abuse was $1,419,844,000 None of this money was for real ¨ law enforcement”. And how would we represent the $3.4 billion to pay for housing federal drug war prisoners?
But the best financial cost of the Drug War would need to be counted in the damage done to the lives of its targets.
In the 2002 research study ” The Impact of Imprisonment on Wage Movement and Inequality,” researcher Bruce Western “found that imprisonment can permanently alter a person’s life course, disrupt crucial life transitions, and ruin access to consistent work. Imprisonment can likewise hugely effect future economic stability and wage earning. The study looked at boys who were jailed in jail or prison between 1979 and 1998.
According to Western’s study, the loss of revenues takes place partially because incomes increase at a slower rate following imprisonment. Not just are incomes basically frozen when someone is put in prison, imprisonment triggers a reduction in the rate of wage growth over the course of a lifetime by about 30%. Western also discovered that a rap sheet– no matter the criminal offense related to the record– lowers callbacks from prospective employers by around 50%.”
And guess what … Blacks are nearly 4 times as most likely to be jailed for marijuana as whites, even though marijuana use rates are very similar. And the history of cannabis restriction is absurdly racist.
Anyone who wishes to discuss bigotry in America, and especially racism and the authorities, need to confront the Drug War and cannabis prohibition or they are just poseurs.
Anyone who talks about defunding the authorities and defending minority neighborhoods without attending to the Drug War, beginning with marijuana restriction, is merely preventing the hard choices that have actually to be made.
There is no group on the planet that has higher actual power over the public discourse than the tech neighborhood. It interrupted the old journalism and the old political order. Now it can not pretend to be against bigotry and yet disregard the method the world really works. If Zuckerberg and Dorsey remain in the headlines, then everyone else should be on the frontlines, or they are AWOL.
Speak, yell, yell, text, Tweet and email but make yourself heard. It is literally within your reaches.
What have you provided for liberty today?
– Richard Cowan is a previous NORML National Director and co-founder of Real Tested CBD. Find more stories from Richard Cowan