The Political And Economic Factors Of The War On Drugs

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According to Michelle Alexander, why and how has the “war on drugs” developed over the last 40 years? What are the main political and economic factors that led to the war on drugs, and what are the main political and economic factors that shaped it as it developed over the last four decades? Draw on material from the Foner textbook chapters 25 through 28 to supplement Alexander’s discussion of the political and economic context.

Many people in the United States believe that there is full equality in this country between races but they do not realize what some African American’s still go through today. An enormous number of African Americans cannot vote because a felon cannot vote. Hundreds of thousands of African Americans have served time in prison as a result of drug convictions and are branded felons for life. Voting is also barred for those currently incarcerated. Alexander uncovers the system of mass incarceration: a system comprised of laws, rules, policies, and customs that control criminals both in and out of prison. The greatest instigator of mass incarceration is the War on Drugs. Rather than combat drug activity, the War on Drugs has served as a deliberate strategy to control people of color and remove them from the political process, which is racist in both application and design. Alexander suggests that the War on Drugs and mass incarceration constitute a "rebirth of caste" in America. Beginning with slavery and continuing with Jim Crow segregation, mass
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