These photos from the 1992 riots in LA depict chaos and anarchy that had been building up for the better part of two decades. The riots of LA are a prime example of how the once noble war on drugs quickly turned into a corrupt effort with racist intentions. It is easy to look at these photos of the L.A. riots and think: police brutality, Racist white cop and Racial profiling which would all be correct reasons to why LA erupted in 1992. One common misconception of the LA riots is that they were sparked by the beating of Rodney King, although this is true it is a small part of the much larger picture. The tipping point of the LA riots was when four police officers were acquitted by a jury of using excessive force, If you where to watch the video of King being beaten in the middle of the street like an animal there is no logical reason to why the four cops got off with little to no legal trouble, but the problem was much deeper than what meets the eye. The reason nothing happened to the cops is because they were doing their job, the cops were following protocol of what they had been taught to do. The reason police officers had been trained to use such harmful tactics is the war on drugs. Cops had been taught that drugs can make someone a super human and if they suspected someone to be under the influence of drugs the only way to subdue them was with excessive force, and that if they did not uses such tactics then they would be the ones on the receiving end of the beating. The war on drugs painted drugs as "public enemy number one" but as it prolonged American's would soon come to find out that the war itself was the real enemy.
Nancy Reagan’s campaign to curb American drug consumption during the 80’s was highly publicized and ultimately doomed to fail. Reagan released a series of PSA’s all based on her “just say no” slogan. She Reaches out young americans with a personal anecdote describing how she helped other young americans deal with the dilemma of being presented with drugs. This of course is what her whole campaign is based on the “just say no” club as if the whole drug epidemic could be solved with those three words. Nancy Reagan’s just say no campaign perfectly embodies everything that the war on drugs, which started with Nixon and is being reignited by trump, had done wrong. The war on drugs has been raging on longer than any foreign conflict because the government has refused to treat it like the foreign conflict it is, this is perfectly exemplified by Nancy Reagan whole campaign which is based off of the idea that her three words will help solve the drug problem. If the Reagan’s really did care about the drug problem in the united states they would have done something to fix the communities it was raveging like the black community. Instead of giving opportunities to kids in underprivileged communities to further their education they decreased spending on public education and resorted to mass incarceration which essentially added fuel to the fire forcing young americans to resort to drugs in order to sustain their families.
White lines by grandmaster flash offers a perspective of the war on drugs that is often projected as the main fault with the war on drugs, which is its effect on the black community. This song is from inside the perspective of an african american male who lived during the peak of the war on drugs. Not only does Grandmaster describe the abuse that A.A. community was subjugated to because of the war on drugs but he drugs can take over people’s lives and create a vicious unbreakable cycle with lyrics such as “Pay your toll, sell your soul, Pound for pound, costs more than gold” he describes how the drugs manipulate people’s and create a vicious cycle with no turning back. He also talks about how the war on drugs was incredibly racist in nature with verses such as “A street kid gets arrested, gonna do some time, He got out three years from now just to commit more crime, A businessman is caught with 24 kilos He's out on bail and out of jail, And that's the way it goes”. Obviously this is describing the racial bias in the legal system when it comes to drug charges, but it also depicts the cache 22 that crime is just a way of life in the poor communities. It was no secret that the war on drugs was embedded with deeply racist values but what puzzles people to this day is why politicians kept funding the war on drugs when it had little popularity with anyone.
Summary and Reflection: Narcos is a Netflix Original series that takes place in 70’s 80’s and 90’s Colombia. This series depicts the daily lives of two american DEA agents fighting the various cartels in Colombia. The series is based solely on true events that occurred during the Americans time fighting the drug epidemic head on. Throughout the series the DEA agents fight not only the cocaine kings but also the corruption that lies in the Colombian government and police force. The agents also witness firsthand that Pablo Escobar and other kingpins are willing to destroy everything in order to sustain their respective kingdoms, even if that does entail killing everyone in their way. The fact that the show is still prevalent in our society shows that the drug war still has a lasting impact. The Series not only exposes the corruption of the Colombian government but also the corruption among the United states own government. The fact that there were American agents in in Colombia shows just how far reaching the Americans war on drugs was. This is also a problem with the whole concept on the american war on drugs, the fact that the AMERICAN war on drugs was spearheaded mainly in Colombia while the only real domestic efforts to halt the flow of cocaine through the states was mass incarceration from drug charges which increased tenfold after the beginning of the corrupt war on drugs.
Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump seem to be reigniting the Drug war that had faded away with the clinton administrations. The author goes in depth about the faults of the past war on drugs and how Sessions seems to be on a destruction course to repeat their same mistakes. Unlike the past generations of administrations who were dealing with mainly cocaine, Sessions is hell bent on taking out marijuana, which ironically seems to be on its path to country wide legalization. Another key difference between this war on drugs is it seems like this conflict will be solely fought on U.S. soil. Jeff Sessions is on a dangerous path and has shown in the past that he is not one to back down from controversies. This drug war that Jeff Sessions is waging has what many see as the potential to become not a war on drugs, but instead a war on minorities. Sessions has been around the political world for awhile, and racist accusations have followed him everywhere he goes, and mysteriously he has done relatively nothing to shed that image. In retrospect, if you look back at sessions career it is obvious that there are some things Sessions despises. The first thing being marijuana, Sessions has always gone after marijuana and according to colleges joked that he thought the KKK were “okay, until he learned they smoked marijuana”, which leads perfectly into Sessions’ next greatest repugnance, minorities, Obviously he would never publicly declare himself a racist as that is political suicide, but his actions speak for themselves, whether it was recently filing a lawsuit against sanctuary cities which give refuge to immigrants and shields them from sporadic deportation, or in his past trying to bring down civil rights activists on debatable legal premises. You may be wondering what this has to do with drugs at all and the answer is, absolutely nothing. The fact of the matter is that the drug war in America has undeniably hurt minorities the most, with tactics such as no-knock search warrants and minimum sentences for drug convictions, which Sessions has already expressed interest in bringing back, it is impossible to wonder is Sessions reigniting the drug war for the right reasons.
After thirty-five years and $500 billion, drugs are as cheap and plentiful as ever. This article by Wallace-Wells perfectly exemplifies how the U.S. not only lost the war on drugs in the way that there are still drugs flowing through the streets but also all of the financial losses the U.S. faced during their decades long proxy war on drugs. Not only did he delve into the american aspect of the conflict, he also went into detail about the Colombian side of the affair and how the United States war on drugs tore apart Colombia. Eventually leading to the execution of numerous politicians and also the years of terror that the citizens of Colombians were subjugated to. The war on drugs not only wreaked havoc on some of America’s communities but it also ravaged Colombia bringing them to the brink of collapse. The United States has a long history of armed conflict involving colombia, It all started in the late 50’s when the U.S. was fighting communism all over the world. It just so happens that the U.S. was also fighting communism in Colombia. This U.S. war against communism destabilized the Colombian government which lead to the cartels to start to build up their businesses as the Colombian government did nothing to stop it for a multitude of reasons, The most important aspect was that the narcotics industry produced the much needed cash flow to help sustain the economy, ironically much of that cash flow was coming from the U.S., secondly they were fighting domestic wars with rebel groups such the FARC who posed a much greater threat as the cartels where relatively peaceful if you consider the fact that Colombia was essentially in the middle of a civil war. Ever since the 60’s the United states used the Colombian military and police force as a buffer between themselves and whoever they were interested in taking down, early on it was communist rebels, and in the 90’s it transitioned into cartels. Since the Colombian conflict escalated 55 years ago there has been 220,000 deaths and arguably the U.S. is to blame for a large majority of them. Although the United states had good intentions the war on drugs that was waged in Colombia will go down as one of the countless examples of how the U.S. overstepped its boundaries in the affairs of foreign countries