Chamblee54

What World Do You Live In LOL

Posted in Race, The Internet by chamblee54 on August 18, 2013

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It was a lovely sunday morning, until this graphic appeared on facebook. The all caps text proclaims “5 TIMES AS MANY WHITES ARE USING DRUGS AS AFRICAN AMERICANS, YET AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE SENT TO PRISON ON DRUG OFFENSES AT 10 TIMES THE RATE OF WHITES.” Somebody did not want “WHITES” to have peace of mind on this sunday morning. A facebook smackdown comment discussion followed.

Statistics, semantics, and rhetoric are a formula for disrupting a peaceful sunday morning. ~ Mass incarceration can ruin your whole day (Like · 1) ~ See The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (massive documentation) (Like · 2) ~ This should not be a race issue. The war on drugs affects all americans. When you make something a race issue, you make enemies of the white people who should be your allies. ~ I respectfully suggest you read the book or at least a precis before you opine on this issue Luther. You do not know the facts and your ignorance of them is painful to me. (Like · 1) ~ Luther, what world do you live in? LOL

By this time PG was very angry. The sign offended him on a number of levels. All caps is considered yelling. The statistics are tough to believe, and probably improperly used. The semantics of the text are annoying. (Is alcohol considered a drug? If not, why not? Your liver does not know that it is legal.) The text has an insulting racial slant. Why is one group hyphenated americans, and the other group the absence of color? Two wrongs do not make a right.

The racial events of the last year probably multiplied the impact of the sign. Also, the criminalization of some drugs has long offended PG. The fact that tax money is used to house drug criminals affects everyone. The disrespect for other laws that is created by the drug laws is a major problem. To have this seemingly blamed on “WHITES” is just a bit much.

Lets break it down. Is that per capita usage, or the totals consumed by the population? Is that the total numbers sent to prison, or the percentage of the population? Why were the handy numbers five and ten used? How was the data collected and tweaked? Were averages involved? If there were averages used, was it the mean, the median, or the mode? Were any inconvenient numbers ignored by the author of the “massive documentation”? How do we know that Michelle Alexander is a person of integrity? Who paid for the study? Is there another study that came to a different conclusion?

The statistics might be accurate. Black people are incarcerated more than white people. This is a problem for everyone. The people who are “out of town” suffer. The tax payers pay to support them. When the prisoners get out, they are going to be better criminals. The criminalization of drugs has too many problems to list here. While black people may be affected worse than white people, there is plenty of suffering to go around.

Nonetheless, this meme is not helpful. There is little benefit to going for the divide and conquer tactics of race war. The people that will benefit are the ones who support the war on drugs. This includes the alcohol industry, media that sells alcohol advertising, and the prison industrial complex.

White people are tired of being “called out”. While we are not perfect, we are not the devil. When you introduce race into an issue, you are going to alienate white people. If the drug laws are going to be changed, then the support of white people will be needed. You will lose this support when you shout about race. Even if the statistics are accurate, and properly used.

The facebook exchange was starting to get out of control. PG wrote another comment, but chose not to post it. 1- I was a serious pothead for thirty years. All that time I was an outlaw because of the war on drugs. To suggest that I am at fault for this useless endeavor, or that I somehow benefit from it, because I am European American is appalling. 2- I was having a pleasant sunday morning until I saw that horrific graphic. It pushes all my buttons. It is sleazy use of semantics and statistics. It is in all caps, which is shouting. I do not have the time, or the interest, to read a book about this depressing subject. 3- If you consider alcohol as a drug, then the figures will probably be very different. 4- “Luther. You do not know the facts and your ignorance of them is painful to me.” This is an insult. 5- I have seen the damage done by the war on drugs except alcohol. I have quit using the one legal drug, that is endlessly promoted in the corporate media. I do not need to read a book to know this. It is not my fault because I am european american. I do not benefit from it because I am european american.

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4 Responses

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  1. Meme Abuse | Chamblee54 said, on August 21, 2013 at 6:24 am

    […] Sunday, PG had his peace of mind torpedoed by a tacky graphic on facebook. Some would say to just ignore it. While this is a good course of action sometimes, it […]

  2. Aion said, on September 2, 2013 at 1:01 am

    I think that Wilde said it best.

    We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    Are you ? Are you helping people who can’t, look ?

    Are you making it too hard for them to see them ?

  3. […] and videos. Many of the points they make are easily taken apart by logical arguments. A meme is not a logical affair. It is the use of graphic images to influence emotions. They are usually posted by people who […]

  4. BO And JS Promote Privilege | Chamblee54 said, on October 22, 2014 at 11:53 am

    […] country than black people but black people make up a far higher majority of drug arrests.” Holy meme, Batman. The war on drugs hurts a lot of people. POC may indeed have it tougher than PWOC. The problem […]


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