NAACP President: American Drug War’s Toll on Liberty Greater Than Apartheid

Ben Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, appeared on Current TV’s “Viewpoint” Tuesday night to explain why he and 174 other celebrities and activists signed an open letter sent to President Barack Obama this week urging him to take decisive action on drug war reforms.

“For about 40 years, we’ve decided that [prison]is how we solve almost every problem, whether it’s homelessness or drug addiction,” he said. “We’ve gotten to a place where black men in this country are three times more likely to be incarcerated than black men in South Africa during apartheid when they were the world’s leading [jailer].”

“So not only have we taken over this spot, quite frankly the last two countries that held it no longer exist — the Soviet Union and the former South African republic — we’ve taken it to a whole other level because we decided that incarceration was a panacea,” Jealous continued. “What we now know is, for instance, for drug addicts, rehabilitation is seven times more effective dollar for dollar than incarceration.”

– Read the entire article in Raw Story.



  1. mad matt on

    The USA was hardly “built on the backs” of African slaves. They would love to believe that, but really, nothing of the sort is true. Jews were one of if not the largest groups of slave-traders but you never hear that either. Guess who you’re hearing the negativity from? Those who see it from the negative angle.

  2. gutrod on

    America: a country without conscience or at least it’s government. They all owe many of these black inmates ancestors on which who’s backs the country was built on, creating many wealthy people from the evilness of slavery. Blacks and Hispanics are still condemned by the very descendants of those slave masters.

  3. Goofstr on

    The results of the drug war are available for everybody to see. But few know little about the source, and reason, for the current war.

    This conversation can be verified in the Nixon WH tapes. It is about the Shafer Report, and the creation of the CSA.

    Nixon’s aid John Ehrlichman, said during an interview with Dan Baum, author of Smoke and Mirrors. He told Baum, “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue for the Nixon White House that we couldn’t resist it.”