EUGENE JARECKI – THE HOUSE I LIVE IN –
The film is clear, at times slightly long, maybe repetitive,
but clear as crystal. The war on drug was first declared by Richard Nixon in
1971 in the midst of the final sinking phase of the USA in Vietnam, of course
to hide the shameful defeat in a war in which the USA should never have put
their nose. But this process of declaring war on something that is as badly
defined as drugs, heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, etc., or on
something as emotional and sectarian as terrorism meaning Islamic terrorism,
meaning Islam, has been a central characteristic of American politics for a
very long period of time and as soon as they get out of one war they have to
get themselves into another one.
They got out of WW2 thanks to the useless crime against
humanity of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and they rushed into Korea. They more or
less did not win the war in Korea and they rushed into the war in Vietnam. They
lost the war in Vietnam and they rushed into Granada, an easy one; into
Nicaragua, one more they lost; into Panama, an easy one; into Kuwait, a not so
difficult one; into Afghanistan supporting the Talibans against the Soviet, a
catastrophic one in the long run; into Somalia, and they lost it; into
Afghanistan again, and they have not been able to get out of the quagmire yet;
into Iraq and it was a catastrophe that brought Daesh, Syria, the Kurds, Iran,
and so many others; and yet they are ready to start all over again in the China
Seas or in the Indian Ocean, or who knows where.
This documentary concentrates on one war waged inside the USA,
the war on drugs.
With 5% of the population of the world the USA have 25% of the
incarcerated population of the world. And most of the incarcerated people are
for drug related offences, most of the time possession of small quantities of
some drug or personal private use. The Black users of crack in America are 13%,
just the same proportion as the black population in the USA, and yet they
represent 90% of the incarcerated people for crack connected offences. The easy
conclusion is that it is a war on drugs that targets the blacks. Wrong.
Absolutely wrong. It is not the primary objective. It is the vicious
consequence of the primary objective of the war on drugs.
First the American society has been under a vast transformation
of gentrification of many urban areas and the rejection of those who cannot
afford these urbanized areas into derelict and dilapidated urban zones that become
real ghettos for the poor, not racial ghettos, but ghettos of the poor. There
can even be some whites, and in the apocalyptic de-industrialized urban areas
in the USA, ex-blue-collar working class neighborhood the white population may
be the majority of these abandoned, unemployed people.
It is just a consequence of this ghettoization of rundown
urban areas in which the poorest population find themselves locked up and under
constant police surveillance if not harassment, the only economic activity is
producing, distributing and selling drugs, and the only compensation for the
feeling of complete abandon is using drugs.
Add to that the fact that mandatory sentences have been
instated for drug offenses by the various state legislatures and by federal
Congress, under Democrat or Republican congressional majorities or Presidents, that
make drugs the main cause of imprisonment and the guarantee that you will spend
a great number of years in prison for a nonviolent offense that does not draw
blood from anyone, except in a metaphorical sense.
Even worse they have established extremely heavy (twenty
times heavier, sentences for smokable cocaine (crack) as compared to powder
cocaine, and there a social preference is clear that becomes racial. Crack is a
street drug essentially used by the poorest in a society, hence in the poor
ghettos where the majority of the population is black. Just raid these ghettos
and you’ll get your victims. Powder cocaine is middleclass and upper class,
hence mainly white.
Even worse. The policemen in the various Police Departments
get extra premiums for the arrests they make: a raid on drugs in one ghetto is
going to bring an easy fifty or more arrests, fifty or more premiums shared by
the various cops, whereas the Crime Investigation Service might make only one
arrest in one week or one month. They do not wear uniforms, they are paid
better, but premium-wise they do not have the proper end of the stick. That encourages
the uniformed policemen to arrest as many drug offenders as possible, even for
possession when they find one gram of crack in a pocket after searching someone
who was just passing by.
The last vicious element is that they are building prisons
for an ever and fast increasing population. Once the prisons are built, they
have to be filled. They are often Public Private Partnership managed as
industrial units by the private partner who guarantees a vast profit shared
between the local public authority and the private partner and becoming the first
employer of the community, hence and thus untouchable.
Here you have the full recipe for success: let’s get rid of
the poor by putting them away in concentration camp called prison where they
can generate a profit for the community and some private concerns, where they
will stay for long periods of time and come back after a short recess of
freedom, and the vast majority of the population in these prisons will be
black: a vengeance of the USA on their ex-slaves, five generations later, on
these rowdy people who dare demonstrate and fight for human rights and civil
The war on drugs is the way the USA are eliminating the poor
by incarcerating them, with the secondary effect of hitting the black
population first of all and thus de-structuring that population thus forever
doomed in their Post Traumatic Slavery Stress Syndrome. And Trump has just said
it: no discrimination will be tolerated but this is not discrimination. This is
the war on drugs and crime, hence a holy war at least at the same level as the
war against Islamic terrorism, as Trump as said again. And God is on his side,
he said too.