The Drug War: The Primary Reason There Are ‘1.5 Million Missing Black Men’

On Monday, the New York Times published a deeply upsetting piece titled, “1.5 Million Missing Black Men.”

According to the Times, “Black women who are 25 to 54 and not in jail outnumber black men in that category by 1.5 million. …For every 100 black women in this age group living outside of jail, there are only 83 black men. Among whites, the equivalent number is 99.”

The primary reasons 1.5 million men are missing from their communities is because they are behind bars or because of early death, the story noted. The numbers are shocking and offensive. The Times states, “One out of six black men who today should be between 25 and 54 years have disappeared from daily life.”

While the article makes clear that incarceration is a major reason so many African Americans are removed from their communities, it doesn’t identify the role of the war on drugs in mass incarceration. Roughly 500,000 of the 2.4 million people behind bars are there for a drug offense. America is the number one jailer in the world, with under five percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.