I know that it is against the standards of research to detail your assumed reason why a point of research is as it is. At the same time - I am not a professional researcher. This blog is only my hobby.
While I don't claim to be "balanced" I believe that I am "fair". My unbalance comes from the critical state that I see my community in and the power that the forces who would tend to oppose my views have in their entrenchment upon my people's consciousness. Fairness is a very different characteristic, however. Fairness, unlike balance is rooted in intellectual honesty. If I don't strive for fairness in discussing the issues at hand then I won't render a credible solution because I am not fully modeling the real world experience by leaving out all critical forces because of my ideological bias. Thus I would be no better than my ideological adversaries as I point out their lack of fairness in discussing that which impacts our community.
I am a consumer of news from many sources as I shape my opinions. I believe that I can render my opinion regarding what I believe is the reason why things are as they are based on all that I know rather than depending on the national numbers that point to a certain disproportion but does not speak to the underlying reasons why. In this situation RACISM is the universal catchall that is used to explain that which the facts don't club us over the head to indicate as the real culprit.
I will detail my plans for research in advance though.
It is my opinion that the reason why there are more Black people in jail serving time for drug crimes is because the "drug life" is fundamentally different between "White America" and "Black America". Rather than looking at the aggregate numbers and making a conclusion - it is important to look at the law enforcement and prosecution district and make note of the prevailing views on crime and drugs in that particular district. Certainly a district that is being "overrun" with drug use that is spilling over into crime, broken families and measurable impact on the communities is going to elicit a different police response as compared to a community that has stronger ties in the areas of law enforcement, civic and religious interdiction and plain ole financial resources that can be used to reach the drug addicted person before the law enforcement system does.
The cry of RACISM would hold most strong when you have one district (police, district attorney and judiciary circuit) with White and Black defendants being brought in on the very same charges yet having a fundamentally different set of outcomes take place with regard to their rate of conviction and sentencing.
As we move across political boundaries the link to straight up racism changes fundamentally. I will agree fully that the "conservative" ring city next to the "inner city" community who is aware of "those people" in the inner city - upon seeing the slightest sign that "those people" are attempting to bring their drug culture into this pristine city - they will likely apply racial prejudice in this manner. I am not saying that there is no racism embedded in these incarceration outcomes. It would be surprising if this was not the case. At the same time I don't believe that it is the straight up racism of the past where the judicial rulings have no logical explanation as it relates to due process.
The television series "American Gangster" on BET has been a phenomenal history lesson about our community and the impact that gangs and drugs have had on it from the late 60's to the present. This show has brought to life certain characters that have rose to the top of the game with respect to drug centered violence within our community. By no means were these single individuals the only individuals operating the drug machine within these communities. Instead they are evidence of the wide conspiracy and racketeering that had been going on in these communities during this time.
I have a recording of the "American Gangster" episode detailing the exploits of Lorenzo "Fat Cat" Nichols playing in the background as I write this segment. Nichols was a big time crack dealer in the Queens New York City area during the late 1980's. His exploits were brought to national attention when he had a NYPD police officer assassinated while idly sitting in his police car. The two key points that this episode details better than the others is the fact that crack had destroyed many communities as it made people into "zombies" and that the violence that accompanied the drug distribution gang BOTH served to turn the microscope and heat up upon these specific communities. It is simply not possible to disconnect this justified attention from the law enforcement agencies from the drugs and violence that serve as the undercurrent for all of this. Only possible the gangland style killings by the Italian Mafia (and now I might add Mexican drug gangs) comes close to the systematic killings and drug related damage that has been done by these operatives within nearly every large Black community in America. Aside from possibly motor cycle gangs what other force had the same means of attracting attention for their violence that could be associated in the Anglo-American community?
I will merge this drug incarceration research into a larger research project that I had already been working on. Currently I am working to compile a data base that could be called "Where do Black people live". This is a listing, by county of districts where African-Americans reside. Any county with a minimum of 50,000 African-Americans will be included on this list. I was originally going to focus on the vital statistics contained within these counties - income levels, employment rates, crime rates, and school quality. From there I am developing a standard formula to document the "Partisan Intensity" of that specific county to answer the question "how much Democratic or Republican representation is present to which these statistics - good or bad can be attributed to?". With this current question of drug arrests I will add these points of data onto the existing structure.
Again - my theory is that areas that are over run with drugs and violence prompt a different response from the police, judges and law makers. I will update this entry as my research progresses. I will allow the data to speak for itself - FAIRLY - one way or the other.
My goal is not to impugn my people. My goal is to make note that the need for INTERNAL, ORGANIC change has never been greater.