America’s racial dialogue is cursed by blatant naiveté, a deliberate lack of empathy and interest for the 1.5 million black men who are missing; there is no reason to end the marketing campaign of “black crime,” a cemented false conventional wisdom, because it serves no immediate purpose for a capitalist who benefits from a lucrative American caste system. For all these years, the “Public Enemy No. 1” was, in fact, our very own government.

In a bombshell cover story report by Dan Baum for Harper’s Magazine, President Richard Nixon’s domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichman, admitted that Nixon’s “War on Drugs” deliberately targeted leftist protestors and black people. In other words, mass incarceration was absolutely not an unintended consequence of a failed domestic policy.

From the interview with Dan Baum, here is Ehrlichman’s nonchalant response about the pervasive cynicism in the racist Executive Branch:

“At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? 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. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

This, obviously, further validated Michelle Alexander’s  “The New Jim Crow and Ta-nehisi Coates’ takedown of the infamous Moynihan report.

Nixon declared its war on drugs in 1971, which was pushed even further by Ronald Reagan in 1982. And, in 1992, Bill Clinton “rejected a U.S. Sentencing Commission recommendation to eliminate the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences.” John Ehrlichman, who served 18-months in prison for the Watergate scandal, may have felt compelled to snitch on Richard Nixon. But his potential motive does not make the hard facts and black stories implausible, especially since Gary Webb’s CIA-Crack Cocaine scandal reportage is now public information as well.

Their actions have certainly colored the American canvas with black death. And Michelle Alexander highlighted their dark work in the New Jim Crow:

“Arguably the most important parallel between mass incarceration and Jim Crow is that both have served to define the meaning and significance of race in America. Indeed, a primary function of any racial caste system is to define the meaning of race in its time. Slavery defined what it meant to be black (a slave), and Jim Crow defined what it meant to be black (a second-class citizen). Today mass incarceration defines the meaning of blackness in America: black people, especially black men, are criminals. That is what it means to be black.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates also describes the intentional definition of blackness in the animation video below:  “I think our criminal justice system is working as intended. It is only broken to the extent that our society is broken”

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