- Opening with the summary of the origins and aftermath of the War on Drugs in relation to the crack epidemic in urban communities, Alexander takes a closer look at the disproportionate incarceration rates of minorities. Alexander notes that “the War on Drugs began at a time when illegal drug use was on the decline.6 During this same time period, however, a war was declared, causing arrests and convictions for drug offenses to skyrocket, especially among people of color. (p. 6)” Though drug-related transactions are illegal no matter who engages, minorities became the focal point of the drug war due to heavy drug use spreading in Black communities. She goes on to mention how illegal drug activity has not been exclusive to black and brown communities — “Studies show that people of all colors use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates. (p. 7)” and furthermore “In some states, black men have been admitted to prison on drug charges at rates twenty to fifty times greater than those of white men. (p. 7)” With minors having higher chance of ending up in prison for drug charges, it does not mean they are the only group engaging in drug activity.
2. Alexander mentions “whites, particularly white youth, are more likely to engage in drug crime than people of color. (p. 7)” Seeing who is in prison for drug crime — which would be significantly more people of color — may not be a total representation of who is engaging in drug activity.
3. To me it expresses how disproportionate the incarceration rates are directed at blacks and minorities as a whole. Not to mention, overall, the American penal system has higher incarceration rate of people overall in comparison to other countries.