Not saying this is the be-all-end-all, but for those of you who don’t think the War on Drugs is racist, or pretty much a sham, read the below. This is a good starting point/concise summary. And this is pretty friggin’ short, don’t gloss over it. Source listed at the end (if you’re too lazy, it’s Apocal from Spacebattles).
Easiest way of explaining it: blacks abstain from illicit drugs at a higher rate than the national average, yet are ten times more likely to be imprisoned for drug offenses. Even if you ignore population differences, blacks make up 13% (ODDLY ENOUGH, ABOUT OUR SHARE OF THE GENERAL POPULATION) of drug users, yet 59% of those convicted of drug offenses and 74% of those imprisoned (a combination of higher conviction rates, lower rates of sentence suspension and longer sentences).
Another example is cocaine before the Fair Sentencing Act was passed. In powder form (typically preferred by whites), you need 500 grams on your person, in your vehicle or amongst your belongings to be considered a felony. This felony carries a five year mandatory minimum sentence, 1000 grams or more meant ten year mandatory minimum. In rock form (more preferred by blacks*), five (5) grams was sufficient for felony possession charges (one year per gram), with ten (10) grams getting you ten years mandatory sentence. After the Fair Sentencing Act, it is now twenty-eight (28) grams for the felony and five year mandatory minimum sentence and 280 grams for the ten year mandatory.
I suppose getting twice the sentence for only half of the same shit (which is no more addictive in rock form than it is powder form) is better than getting twice the sentence for two percent of the same shit.
Anyway, looking at it holistically, the War on Drugs helped propel the crack epidemic from being another flash-in-the-pan drug fad to quite literally setting black Americans back to the pre-Civil Rights era in economic and educational terms. It quadrupled the prison population, with a bit under half being black when blacks represent roughly one-in-eight Americans. The massive incarceration rate among blacks nearly wiped out the nascent black middle-class. It led to a gender imbalance so bad that women quite literally lost the ability to set the standards of male behavior, leading to outright misogyny being celebrated and criminal behavior becoming the new cool.
Woodrow Wilson and Nathan Bedford Forrest couldn’t have hoped to do better to fuck black people than the War on Drugs.