Do Black Preachers Need to Speak Up On Drug Laws?
The question is, why haven’t black preachers spoken out against drug laws that hurt our community?
Pat Robertson insists that he doesn’t smoke weed, and I believe him.
Of all the wacky things the 700 Club televangelist has declared over the years — from the Haiti earthquake being the result of God’s retribution for a mythical Voodoo ritual to the recent tornadoes being the result of not enough prayer — he wasn’t stoned when he said any of them, and he sounded coherent enough to seem as if he at least took himself seriously.
So this week he stepped out of the box and away from the core middle-aged and elderly white-evangelical demographic he appeals to and said something more radical than he has ever said before: Legalize it.
What!? Robertson, one of the vanguards of the Moral Majority who pretty much believes that doing anything other than watching his show is a sin, is saying that we should decriminalize weed? Never thought I’d see the day when God and Jah agreed, but clearly miracles can happen.
But as we inhale Robertson’s wisdom, we get the munchies for what’s missing as it relates to the African-American community. The preacher is right. Marijuana and other drug laws have served to incarcerate millions of people over the years of the “war on drugs,” but this country has yet to get the monkey off its back and the dope out of its system.
When it comes to African Americans, we are 14 percent of regular drug users but 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses, according to the Drug Policy Alliance. In addition, black males are 6.5 times more likely than white males to be incarcerated, according to a report from Project America.
I don’t know of a single black neighborhood in these United States that has actually benefited from drug laws or prisons. Has New York’s Rikers Island ever put a kid through college? Has Pelican Bay State Prison in California ever saved a family home from foreclosure?
SOURCE: The Root