By Jerome R. Corsi
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The first article in this two-part series established that President Obama implemented public policies regarding drug crimes in America that have fanned the flames of a national drug epidemic, making more difficult the jobs of federal, state, and local law enforcement seeking to enforce U.S. drug laws.
Specifically, the first article explained how President Obama used the pardon authority to release drug offenders from prison, while encouraging the states to pass laws decriminalizing marijuana. This was the first step toward a broader drug decriminalization.
This article traces the ideological origin of Obama’s drug policies to the millions of dollars George Soros’ Open Society Foundation has poured into creating “social action” organizations dedicated to implementing a disinformation campaign aimed at advancing a socialist view of criminal justice.
Since the beginning of the Obama administration, Soros has launched a well-funded propaganda campaign to convince the American public that the enforcement of drug laws is nothing but a social-control mechanism through which the repressive, capitalistic U.S. government has used law enforcement to discriminate against racial minorities, to criminalize immigrants, and to punish children as adults.
George Soros and the “Incarceration Nation”
In August 2009, the Open Society Foundation published a major policy paper establishing a Criminal Justice Fund to advance the idea that the United States is an “Incarceration Nation.”
The paper began by noting that in 2008, the prison population grew by 25,000, bringing the total to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 were in local jails. The result was that in a nation of 230 million adults, one in every 99 people is behind bars. Taken together, the report began, “these statistics paint a disturbing picture of an ‘Incarceration Nation.’” Soros’ goal was to describe the United States as engaging in a policy of “mass incarceration” by perpetuating a “culture of punishment that permeates every aspect of our justice system.”
In the following paragraph, the Soros’ Criminal Justice Fund imposes a socialist race and class basis for what are perceived as law enforcement “zero tolerance” practices that lead to “mass incarceration” of racial minorities, illegal immigrants, low-income community residents, the mentally ill, and the drug dependent:
Our country’s over-reliance on incarceration and correctional control is driven by a culture of punishment that includes heavy-handed law enforcement practices, lack of adequate legal assistance, and criminalization of immigration status. A belief that public safety is achieved through the incapacitation of those who commit crime has led to harsh and excessive sentences, including the death penalty and life without the possibility of parole, which have been the drivers of this problem. Well-documented, too, is the fact that these policies are borne most by individuals and communities already pushed to the margins of American life – residents of low income communities, racial and ethnic minorities, and individuals suffering from mental illness and drug dependency.
As the report advances, the Soros’ Criminal Justice Fund targets what is seen as “racially biased” law enforcement, identifying the following as abuses inviting racial discrimination: “the increasing use of police in schools and the corrosive impact that has on the educational environment; racial bias in the stopping and frisking of individuals in major cities, the vast majority of which lead to no arrest; and the extreme racial disparity in marijuana and low level dug arrests of blacks and Latinos in New York and nationally, notwithstanding similar levels of marijuana use among whites, and the damaging effects of these arrests and criminal records on this group of largely young men of color.”
The report carried these themes forward, attributing racial bias to creating racial disparities regarding prosecutorial decisions, including whether to prosecute, what charges to file, and appropriate pretrial disposition of cases, as well as likelihood of conviction and severity of sentencing.
Throughout the report, the theme persists that “drug reform” at the state and federal level can be driven by supporting organizations aimed at moving the debate away from criminalization, “towards a public health/harm reduction frame.” Consistently, Soros stresses that “drug prosecutions continue to drive the growth in incarceration and have disproportionately resulted in the punishment of racial minorities.”
On the Open Society Foundation’s website, under the title “Global Drug Policy Program,” Soros’ global “drug reform” policy is articulated as follows: “The vast majority of research indicates that in countries which have ended the senseless criminalization of people who use drugs, crime and addiction do not increase.” Consistently, Soros’ organizations argue that drug abuse is a health issue, and that “diverting low-level offenses from the criminal justice system has proven to be incredibly successful at helping individuals and communities.”
Understanding Racial Disparity in Drug Offenses
The argument from the political left on race and drugs can be summarized in the argument made by CNN commentator Van Jones. “African-Americans don't use drugs [at a] higher level than whites. [It's] about the same percentage; about 12 percent. But we wind up getting arrested, not 50 percent more. We wind up going to prison six times more because there seems to be some institutional bias. Doesn't that bother you?"
The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that among persons aged 12 or older, the rate of illicit drug use was only slightly higher for African-Americans – 10.5 percent among blacks, compared to 9.5 percent among whites.
Surveys conducted by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, however, show distinct racial patterns in the use of drugs. Blacks are far less likely to have used marijuana, cocaine, and hallucinogens in their lifetimes, and more likely to have used marginally more crack. Whites, however, especially with regards to marijuana, are more likely to give up the drug use over time.
But, when it comes to death rates, in the late 1980s blacks experienced death rates from illicit drugs approximately six times as frequently as whites – a rate that has dropped to three to four times more likely as of 2010. As the opioid abuse crisis escalated, the number of deaths related to heroin overdose doubled from 2010 through 2012, with the highest rate in 2013 being among whites age 18-44. In 2000, blacks had the highest rate for drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin.
Finally, Nazgol Ghandnoosh, a research analyst for The Sentencing Project, an advocacy group based in Washington, estimates that the black imprisonment rate for drug offenses is approximately 5.8 times higher than it is for whites, affirming the Politifact.com conclusion that Van Jones was “mostly accurate.”
“Relative to their numbers in the population and among drug offenders, black Americans are disproportionately arrested, convicted, and incarcerated on drug charges,” concluded Jamie Fellner, senior counsel with the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch. But there is a reason for this. Fellner cited former New York Police Commissioner Lee Brown, who explained the phenomenon as follows:
In most large cities, the police focus their attention on where they see conspicuous drug use—street-corner drug sales—and where they get the most complaints. Conspicuous drug use is generally in your low-income neighborhoods that generally turn out to be your minority neighborhoods . . . It’s easier for police to make an arrest when you have people selling drugs on the street corner than those who are [selling or buying drugs] in the suburbs or in office buildings. The end result is that more blacks are arrested than whites because of the relative ease in making those arrests.
Michael Tonry, professor of law at the University of Minnesota, explained to Politifact.com, "Whites are more likely to sell to people they know, and they much more often sell behind closed doors. Blacks sell to people they don't know and in public, which makes them vastly easier to arrest." This led Politifact.com to conclude:
Blacks arrested for drugs are more likely to be sent to jail because they're more likely to have had a previous run-in with the law. Police tend to patrol high-crime areas more aggressively, which tend to be the poor areas, which have a higher proportion of minorities. Thus, they're more likely to be stopped for something and have a rap sheet once a drug charge comes along.
Every experienced police officer knows by experience the sociological and demographic facts that low-income areas tend to be high-crime areas and that low income tends to be associated with minorities.
In 2005, blacks accounted for 13 percent of the population of the United States but were the victims in nearly half of all homicides. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, among 10- to 24-year-old African-Americans, homicide remains the leading cause of death among black young men, with young black men 10 times more likely to be murdered than their white counterparts.
The “Ferguson Effect”
“Blacks commit violent crimes at 7 to 10 times the rate that whites do. The fact that their victims tend to be of the same race suggests that young black men in the ghetto live in danger of being shot by each other, not cops,” wrote Jason L. Riley, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, commenting on the tragedy in Ferguson over the 2014 Michael Brown shooting.
“Nor is this a function of ‘over-policing’ certain neighborhoods to juice black arrest rates. Research has long shown that the rate at which blacks are arrested is nearly identical to the rate at which crime victims identify blacks as their assailants,” Riley continued. “The police are in these communities because that’s where the emergency calls originate, and they spend much of their time trying to stop residents of the same race from harming one another.”
In her book The War on Cops, journalist Heather Mac Donald describes what she calls the “Ferguson Effect,” where police back off from protecting minority communities for fear that any one incident with a minority could destroy their careers.
Mac Donald notes that the tragedy of the “Ferguson Effect” is that law-abiding minorities depend on active and aggressive police work to keep them safe.
The facts as Mac Donald cites, are hard to refute:
· In Chicago, blacks compose 35 percent of the city’s population, but account for 76 percent of all homicides and 78 percent of all juvenile arrests. Whites, who are 29 percent of the city’s population, were responsible for 4 percent of the homicides and account for 3.5 percent of the juvenile arrests.
· In Los Angeles, blacks compose 10 percent of the population, but are responsible for 42 percent of all robberies and 34 percent of all felonies. Whites, who are 29 percent of the city’s population, commit 5 percent of the robberies and 13 percent of the felonies.
· In New York, blacks compose 23 percent of the population, but commit 75 percent of all shootings, 70 percent of all robberies, and 66 percent of all violent crimes.
These are statistics those on the political left endorsing George Soros’ socialist explanation of U.S. law enforcement as a racist social-control agent of an imperialistic capitalist state find inconvenient to comprehend.
“The point is, the Obama administration has been far-reaching in its intrusions into local law enforcement, and it doesn’t stop with consent decrees or collaborative reform agreements,” wrote retired police chief Jeff Roorda in his book entitled The War on Police.
“Every police department in America that patrols communities of color trembles at the thought of having Uncle Sam’s boot on their neck, and as a result, they have all backed away from proactive policing,” Roorda warned.
“That, more than anything else, explains the precipitous spike in violent urban crime we have seen in the post-Ferguson era,” he explained. “These jaunts into local policing by the feds are meant to pander to Black Lives Matter and African-American voters, but because blacks are disproportionately the victims of violent crime, the result has been a stunning loss of life, mostly black lives. How does that make their lives ‘matter’ more?”
As this article makes clear, the drug epidemic is equally a problem for both black and white America. What is also clear, however, is that the Soros socialist approach of demonizing law enforcement in America as a racist social-control agent of a corrupt capitalist state only makes the problem worse. Rather than empowering police to attack the problem of drug traffickers that prey on black and white communities alike, Soros’ socialism only ends up decreasing law enforcement where they are urgently needed to keep black communities in America safe.
It’s truly sad to contemplate that President Obama, in his supposed desire to bring “fundamental change” to America, chose to champion Soros-funded causes like Black Lives Matter, perhaps in the tragic belief that racial conflict in the U.S. needed to be “rubbed raw,” as Saul Alinsky taught revolutionary radicals in the 1960.
Mature, rational thinkers, concerned about the human damage drugs inflict upon America, can only applaud the new dawn of a Trump administration that celebrates those brave law enforcement officers who daily patrol our communities, risking their lives to fight a war on drugs that we might yet win, should we resolve to do so.