The 1960s and Beyond

“If we hope to sort out why the politics of postwar liberalism waned over this period, we must realize that the nation’s rightward shift had more to do with mass incarceration than we have yet appreciated and less to do with rising crime rates and the political savvy of the Republican party than we have long assumed” (Thompson 705).

The 1960s leading up to modern day can be considered the most active and also the most radical time period of the history of drug use and enforcement in the US.  In an era characterized by political unrest, rebellion, and counterculture, drug use grew exponentially and spread as a fashionable recreational activity amongst young, white middle class Americans.  This set of blog posts will further support the notion that drug policy and enforcement has enacted disfortune upon minorities and further promoted the long standing disparity of opportunity and quality of life between white Americans and minorities.  Heather Ann Thompson provides an expert look into the focus placed upon mass incarceration in this time period and especially how an apparent trend has developed in favor of whites or suburban landscapes and contributed to the dilapidation of cities once thought of as centers for the future whose main populous includes minorities.  Although drug use has soared within whites comparative to other minorities, police enforcement of the War on Drugs has consistently targeted minorities in a blatant procurement of racism within US society.  This final set of posts will address the US’ enforcement of drug prohibition and how certain practices have contributed to a continuation of racism and preference upon race in US society.


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