Another Black Man in Prison. Who’s to Blame?

Yesterday a childhood friend of mine was arrested. The rest of his young life will be spent behind the chains that our ancestors fought to free themselves of. He was engaged in activities that are against the laws of the nation but the laws of the streets have no boundaries for survival. His crime? Supplying “pharmaceuticals” to the teachers, lawyers, and suburbanites. Yes, the “whites” come to the streets to get high.

Now my childhood friend is another statistic and another number in the slave prison system. He will have his number stamped on him just like the Jewish people in Hitler’s internment camps. What does the American prison systems and Hitler’s concentration camps have in common? They dehumanize people! Their parents assign them names and the prison’s strip them of that humanness and call them “inmate number…”

My childhood friend, however, was aware of the consequences of distributing narcotics. But he took his chances. Was it his disobedience for the law? Was it his inability to survive in a society that fosters innumerable marginalization and stigmatization on black males? Was it because he didn’t want to work hard and wanted things the easy way? Only he knows.

African-American males make 900,000 of the 2.2 million people currently incarcerated. The war on drugs can be to blame for this. For those of you that don’t know, the majority of African-American men are imprisoned due to selling drugs. When Nixon declared  war on drugs he was in effect going to war with African-American males. The drug laws, such as the Rockefeller Drug laws, have its biases. It targets narcotics that are primarily distributed by African-Americans and punishes them with the harshest prison sentences; at least seven years in prison. Even though whites distribute narcotics to the same degree as African-Americans, because of white privilege and the difference in the narcotics they distribute, their punishments pale in comparison.

Who’s to blame for this problem? The United States Government? They seem to target blacks from its inception. They initially didn’t want blacks to be free anyway. Is it the environment? African-Americans in the inner-city like to drive the nicest cars, wear the latest Jordans, and rock the most expensive fashions. The easiest way to attain that fly guy status is to sell drugs. Is it society? Still in 2011 society have its biases and prejudices towards African Americans. African-American males make up 17.5% of the unemployed and the teenage males account for nearly 41%.

I blame my childhood friend for where he is today. We had the same history, past, but our present became our separator. But I do feel that other forces are responsible for his fate.