Sentencing Commission to consider making the cocaine sold in black neighborhoods only slightly more illegal than the cocaine sold in white neighborhoods:
The commission is taking up one of the most racially sensitive issues of the two-decades-old war on drugs. Jurists and civil rights organizations have long complained that the commission’s guidelines mandate more stringent federal penalties for crack cocaine offenses, which usually involve African Americans, than for crimes involving powder cocaine, which generally involve white people. The chemical properties of the drugs are the same, though crack is potentially more addictive.
The Bush Administration, of course, opposes the plan, despite the fact that:
Nearly 86 percent of inmates who would be affected by the change are black; slightly fewer than 6 percent are white. Ninety-four percent are men.
I realize, it’s not quite this simple, but wouldn’t it do the black community a world of good to have that many men, many of them surely nonviolent offenders and fathers of young children, back home again? Y’know, “family values” and such.