Sadly TCPalm has published an editorial that shows a lack of understanding of drug prohibition and meanwhile continues advocacy for jailing minorities for victimless crimes.
The editorial staff highlights a recent drug bust in Saint Lucie County that officials tout as a $10.4 million dollar operation. Usually those numbers are inflated as law enforcement officials will value the drugs seized based upon the value at it’s smallest weight. It’s PR ploy to make themselves seem better for spending their time locking up and imprisoning people for victimless crimes while murders and shootings in Saint Lucie County remain unsolved.
TCPalm starts their promotion of violence upon the non-violent by falling back to the errors of alcohol prohibition.
If there was any doubt that drugs continue to be a problem for the region — and a source of some of the gang gun violence, including deaths — the investigation and the arrests should have erased any such doubt.
Perhaps the editorial board at TCPalm missed history class when alcohol prohibition was taught.
Alcohol prohibition created a black market for alcohol that fueled mob violence. By criminalizing non-violent action of consumption and trade of alcohol this did not suddenly eradicate demand. It merely criminalized the action of innocent people. Further it exacerbated problems with alcohol as moonshine was invented to get stronger product into the same volume quantity. Alcohol percentage by volume increased due to alcohol prohibition due to the risk of being caught smuggling alcohol.
Economist Dr. Mark Thorton points out the problems with alcohol prohibition:
Prohibition made alcohol illegal, but it did not eliminate it. Illegal producers known as moonshiners sold their illegal product to illegal distributors known as bootleggers, who in turn sold it to illegal retail establishments known as speakeasies. Everything had to be secretive. The process was overseen by organized crime syndicates and street gangs who paid bribes to corrupt politicians and law enforcement. Respect for the law sank to an all-time low.
In the world of this black market, property rights were protected with machine guns rather than judges and juries. The stigma against young women drinking in bars at night was displaced by the allure of an exciting night out on the town drinking and listening to jazz. Instead of these profits going to competing entrepreneurs, the money was going into the pockets of thugs and wannabes. Social order was replaced by chaos. This cultural decay was the ironic fruit of the puritanically-motived prohibition movement.
Yet TCPalm supports the continuation of the failed policies of prohibition in the 1920’s as we get closer to 2020.
Sadly Saint Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara supports the continued prohibition of drugs and the accompanying war that government wages upon non-violent people. Mascara is happy to wage a war on people til the end of time in vain attempts to eradicate demand. Listen as Mascara champions aiming weapons and murdering non-violent offenders in the name of drug prohibition.
Mascara said, “To the gang members out there that use drugs to make money to fuel their activities, you’re in our sights. There’s no doubt that drugs, gang members and gun violence are all connected to our community and we’re here to put a stop to it.”
Law enforcement profit by the unjust drug war through seizure of assets of those accused regardless of innocence. The Sun-Sentinel reports the monetary gain of the Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s office for the years 2008-2012. Almost $10,000 of that money has gone into weapons and gear with which to launch SWAT team raids on the accused while $500 had been spent on community programs. Another $52,000 went to spying on citizens and almost another $40,000 on buildings thanks to the war on local communities.
Sadly what used to be an office for peace officers is now held by aggressors with badges who openly boast of aiming their gun sights on non-violent citizens.
TCPalm then moves on to the issue of whom the war on drugs affects the most- minorities.
Drugs are an ongoing blight on the community and, particularly, in the northwest area of Fort Pierce, with its high rate of poverty.
It is unquestionable that the war on drugs affects minorities the most and at a rate of 4-10x it does white people though the usage between racial groups is roughly even. The ACLU point this out in their report “The War on Marijuana in Black and White.” Drug Policy Alliance points out:
The drug war has produced profoundly unequal outcomes across racial groups, manifested through racial discrimination by law enforcement and disproportionate drug war misery suffered by communities of color. Although rates of drug use and selling are comparable across racial lines, people of color are far more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated for drug law violations than are whites. Higher arrest and incarceration rates for African Americans and Latinos are not reflective of increased prevalence of drug use or sales in these communities, but rather of a law enforcement focus on urban areas, on lower-income communities and on communities of color as well as inequitable treatment by the criminal justice system. We believe that the mass criminalization of people of color, particularly young African American men, is as profound a system of racial control as the Jim Crow laws were in this country until the mid-1960s.
This allows white-collar drug users like former Congressman Trey Radel out of jail while poor minorities are locked behind bars, even for life.
Jacob Hornberger writes:
My beef is with the fact that countless blacks and Hispanics don’t get the same treatment and never have and never will. America’s prisons are filled with poor blacks and Hispanics who have been convicted of non-violent drug offenses. Because they’re not white, prominent, influential, and powerful, they didn’t receive the same sweetheart deal that Radel received.
…The real question though — the one so many statists refuse to ask — is: Why should it be a criminal offense to possess, ingest, or distribute illicit drugs? Or to put it another way, why should this be any business of law enforcement?
We don’t bust people for possessing beer or liquor or for being alcoholics. We don’t bust them for smoking. Those things do much more damage to a person than illicit drugs do. Why don’t we criminalize them?
Instead advocate for prohibition wage war on entire communities as Mark Thornton points out:
Drug prohibition is the “sword of the state.” The state must be willing to use force against its citizens and it must occasionally demonstrate this willingness by harming, arresting, imprisoning, and even killing its citizens. Prohibition is the perfect instrument because it is typically used against distrusted minorities and poor people. Such groups have little political clout and are naturally lured into participating in illegal markets by the large amounts of money involved.
The war on drugs is literally a street war. Smugglers, drug dealers, and street gangs—who make their money selling drugs—are armed to the teeth with high-powered weapons. The police counter with machine guns, bullet-proof vests and helmets, and even tanks. The collateral damage to innocent people has been enormous.
…The war on drugs has led to the militarization of the police, a vast increase in police power, and a prison system with over 2 million prisoners, a significant number of which are imprisoned due to prohibition and smuggling. The war has also led to a significant decrease of our constitutional rights and a substantial increase in what the police, investigators, and the court system can do to limit or infringe on our rights.
The prohibition of drugs and the war on drugs is nothing but institutionalized racism which TCPalm editorial board cannot get enough of and in fact seems to threaten people with do as we do or suffer assault or kidnapping:
Until residents in poverty recognize that drugs, gangs and guns are a dead-end street and see hope for a better life on the right side of the law, problems may be eased but not resolved.
…If people refuse to turn around, the community must support the efforts of law enforcement to take the problems off the streets and out of our neighborhoods.
TCPalm tells the community to support violence, assault, kidnapping and even murder of non-violent people in the name of continuing the failed policies of alcohol prohibition.
It even points out the community of northwest Fort Pierce that TCPalm supports law enforcement waging a war in your neighborhood to do so.
A war that affects the lives of bystanders as William Norman Grigg points out in his article “The Baby Burning Stormtroopers of Habersham County, Georgia.”
“I stand behind what our team did,” insists Habersham, Georgia County Sheriff Joey Terrell, referring to a 3:00 a.m. no-knock SWAT raid in which a 19-month-old child was severely burned by a flash-bang grenade. “There’s nothing to investigate, there’s nothing to look at,” continued the sheriff, relaying the conclusions of the County DA’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “Bad things can happen. That’s just the world we live in.”
The world Terrell inhabits is one in which police – acting as righteousness incarnate – kick in doors at 3:00 am and hurl incendiary devices into homes in order to arrest people on suspicion of non-violent drug offenses. If an infant receives life-altering burns as a result of that incursion, this can’t be laid at the jackbooted feet of his officers, the sheriff maintains. The fault resides with the alleged drug dealers, whom the sheriff denounced as people “who want to do the domestic terrorism and sell dope and make the money.”
..“Everyone’s sleeping,” recalled Alecia Phonesavanh, the mother of the infant victim, describing her family’s encounter with Terrell’s ministering angels of divine justice. “There’s a loud bang and a bright light. The cops threw that grenade in the door without looking first, and it landed right in the playpen and exploded on his pillow right in his face.”
The Sheriff has indicated that any criminal charges arising from the burning of the infant would be added to the indictment against the alleged drug dealer. He has also insinuated that the parents are responsible for the near-fatal injuries suffered by their baby. This is in keeping with the “Collateral Murder” model of deflected responsibility: When the Regime’s hired killers slaughter or mutilate children, it’s the fault of the parents for living in a targeted neighborhood.
As a result the local community has been TCPalmed for decades as minorities are preyed upon by drug prohibition and the local community turned into a battlefield.
Somewhere behind an MRAP coming to your neighborhood is TCPalm’s editorial board cheerleading the violent and unwinnable war waged on non-violent peolpe with the sights of guns set on minorities while killing Marthin Luther King’s Dream.
The struggle for progress was never going to be easy – but even Martin Luther King would not have thought that, 50 years after his speech, life for black people would actually be getting worse.
Obama and others have recognised the disastrous effects of absent fathers. It’s time America addressed the cause. Until the catastrophic failure of the War of Drugs is recognised, King’s hopes for equality will remain unfulfilled.