The Mo’Kelly Report


Stopthedrugwar.org Rebuts The Mo’Kelly Report

Very good piece by Associate Editor Scott Morgan.  Here is an excerpt:

Our marijuana laws have never, and will never, be enforced fairly. The brutality of modern drug enforcement reaches every community, but if young white men were given criminal records and subjected to profiling and police harassment at the same rates as people of color, the criminal justice system would quickly come to a crashing halt. The drug war was built on a foundation of fundamental unfairness, and mitigating its catastrophic impact on communities of color requires measures far more drastic than telling police for the millionth time that there’s more to their job than searching young black men all day and night.

No, legalizing marijuana won’t solve the problem. Not even close. But what it will do is remove one of the primary justifications police rely upon when stopping and searching people in urban communities.

Full Editorial HERE.

The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at The Huffington Post and www.eurweb.com.  It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://mokellyreport.wordpress.com.  Mo’Kelly can be reached at mrmokelly@gmail.com and he welcomes all commentary.

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The NAACP: Smoking Blunts While Celebrating W.E.B. DuBois

UPDATE: 2:35pm PDT – Sacramento minister blasts NAACP for public support of controversial marijuana decriminalization measure.

Click HERE.

UPDATE: 2:15pm PDT - Mo’Kelly just received a call from Mr. Hillary O. Shelton Director, NAACP Washington Bureau / Vice President for Advocacy today.  There will be a follow up to this piece as Mr. Shelton was kind enough to elaborate and clarify the position of the national office on this issue.

Hillary Shelton

__________________

Black people…don’t fall for the okie doke. Things are what they are, not what they’re often times manipulated to be.

African-Americans…don’t fall for the banana in the tailpipe. It’s official, the NAACP (the California chapter at least) has sold its soul. The debate continues as to whether marijuana should be decriminalized and in some ways has taken an unexpected turn with the California chapter of the NAACP coming out in support of decriminalization. Alice Huffman, president of the state conference offered this in justification of the organization’s stance:

“We are joining a growing number of medical professionals, labor organizations, law enforcement authorities, local municipalities and approximately 56% of the public in saying that it is time to decriminalize the use of marijuana.”

Don't fall for it...

Huffman also said that prohibition has a taken a “heavy toll,” if not disproportionately so on African-American communities.

Stop.

Stop right there.

Did you see it? Did you catch that? If you weren’t paying close attention, you might have missed it.

It’s at this point many may fall for the okie doke. It’s at this point others will fall victim to the banana in the tailpipe. The NAACP has the unmitigated gall to suggest that the legalization of marijuana is now a “civil rights” issue…with racial overtones.

A civil liberties issue? Absolutely. A civil rights issue…hell to the naw.

Before anyone starts in on their predictable comparisons of marijuana to alcohol and tobacco, let’s deal with this singular issue before proceeding any further. “Civil liberties” should not be confused with “civil rights.”

Voting is a “civil right.” Rolling a blunt at the crib would be a “civil liberty.”

Don’t confuse the issues.

Presently there is a measure in California that is set to be voted on in November which would allow individuals age 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

The California chapter of the NAACP also cited statistics from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, showing that in 2009, 62% of the state’s marijuana arrests were of nonwhite suspects and that 42% were under 20.

Going further, the NAACP argued that the arrests of African-Americans ranged from double to quadruple that of Whites across the state, although the rates of usage skewed more to Whites.

The NAACP is both very shrewd and sickening; couching this debate within the context of racial inequality. It’s illogical, it’s misguided and ultimately patently offensive. The California chapter of this nation’s oldest civil rights organization has no business leading this parade. It shouldn’t be on any of the floats and shouldn’t even be playing in the band bringing up the rear.

The issue of decriminalizing marijuana is a separate and distinct discussion from the inherent inequities of the criminal justice system. Both are legitimate issues, but not meant to be commingled.

You do not send the NAACP to fight to decriminalize marijuana any more than you would have them fight for Ebonics in the public school system because “African-Americans are faring poorer in English.” You don’t send the NAACP to fight to decriminalize marijuana any more than you would have them fight for the Lotto because African-Americans are disproportionately suffering from poverty. You don’t send the NAACP to fight to decriminalize marijuana any more than you would have them fight to legalize speeding if African-Americans received a disproportionate amount of speeding tickets.

The NAACP walking point in this debate reeks of a political shell game with the aromatic stench of back room deals and lobbyist quid pro quo. All at the expense of the tradition of the Civil Rights Movement.

This is akin to arguing violent crime statistics would go down…if you would just legalize murder. It’s attaching the wrong solution to the wrong problem.

The underlying issue of racial inequality is inextricably linked to the criminal justice system and the prison industrial complex. On that we should all agree. If the real issue is the disproportionate number of African-Americans arrested relative to Whites, then the answer is in the disparate enforcement and sentencing guidelines related to the law, not the law itself.

Voting is a “civil right.” Rolling a blunt at the crib would be a “civil liberty.”

Don’t confuse the issues.

I’ll listen to every argument and review every pie chart you have on the dangers of alcohol and how they supersede those of the chronic.

I get it.

I’ll let anyone wax rhapsodic on the documented historical failure of prohibition or the death legacy of cigarettes.

I get it.

Just don’t confuse THESE issues. Compare your alcohol and tobacco “apples”

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

to weed “apples” all day, every single day. Knock yourself out.

But when you start including the civil rights “oranges”…that collective rumbling sound you hear would be W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and dozens of others log rolling in their graves.

“Civil liberties” are not the same as “Civil rights.” They “sound” similar but they are not the same. Civil liberties deal with the supposed excessive government intervention in the private lives of its citizens. Civil rights have to do with the essential tenets of American citizenry, which can not be denied along the lines of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation.

When Whites can roll a blunt, and African-Americans can not…then and ONLY then has this become a civil rights issue. A disparity in arrests is an argument of the thinnest order that such is presently taking place.  Attack the enforcement practices and sentencing guidelines.  Anything else is a ruse.  Don’t fall for the banana in the tailpipe.

The NAACP, the nation’s oldest CIVIL RIGHTS organization walking point on the CIVIL LIBERTIES issue of marijuana legalization is a farce and an embarrassment. Let the ACLU do what it does…so the NAACP (in California and beyond) can deal with real CIVIL RIGHTS issues, such as the immigration law in Arizona…for starters.

If the issue is purely statistical in nature, (i.e. the disproportionate arrests of African-Americans in related to marijuana,) then attack enforcement and sentencing guidelines. Attack it in the way that the Senate recently passed a bill to reduce crack-to-cocaine sentencing ratio from 100-1 to 18-1. (Under current law, it takes only five grams of crack cocaine to earn a mandatory minimum five-year federal prison sentence, but 500 grams of powder cocaine to garner the same sentence. )

This is a dishonorable fight by the NAACP, be it a local chapter or national body. It is in the same basket as the aforementioned Ebonics and “saving” the N-Word.

If we as African-Americans allow the battle to legalize marijuana co-opt and misappropriate the legacy and tradition of the Civil Rights movement…

Shame on Us.

In college I had to read Stolen Legacy by George G.M. James. Maybe it’s time to write the sequel, Misappropriated Legacy, turn it into a Reality TV show and put it on BET…with malt liquor commercial breaks.

Shame on Us.

From the Sacramento Bee:

Stephen Gutwillig, California director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said the state NAACP is “the first mainstream civil rights organization to endorse marijuana legalization.

“This represents the expansion of the … alliance of forces across the political spectrum from the progressive left to the libertarian right that agree we have to junk this disastrous prohibition policy,” he said.

Roger Salazar, a Democratic consultant working with “Public Safety Now,” a group opposing the marijuana initiative said the NAACP endorsement is “unusual.”

He added: “Reasonable people can argue about the merits of legalization … But the unintended consequences of this initiative will be a disaster for all California communities.”

The NAACP endorsement isn’t necessarily a harbinger of the African American vote.

In 2008, the organization opposed the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. But African Americans voted overwhelmingly for the initiative.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/06/29/2856141/california-naacp-backing-of-pot.html#ixzz0sHRptpXc
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at The Huffington Post and www.eurweb.com.  It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://mokellyreport.wordpress.com.  Mo’Kelly can be reached at mrmokelly@gmail.com and he welcomes all commentary.

http://twitter.com/mrmokelly

Subscribe to The Mo’Kelly Report HERE



California NAACP Backs Legalization of Marijuana
06.28.2010, 3:43 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Mo’Kelly’s not so sure about this one.  I’m going to have to really meditate on this one.  My first inclination is to be angry with the NAACP.  Lowering the bar so some of us can step over is not something I wish to support.  My first read says that “because more African-Americans are put in jail for this…we should change the law.”

Does that mean raise the speed limit if a disproportionate number of African-Americans get speeding tickets?  The question is not who goes to jail, the question (and answers) are in how we choose to enforce the laws and what responsibility is on the citizen.  Not only that…Mo’Kelly is clearly uncomfortable with couching the legalization of marijuana as a “civil rights” issue.

___________

From the L.A. Times

June 28, 2010 | 12:24 pm

Saying that prohibition takes a heavy toll on minorities, leaders of the NAACP’s California chapter announced Monday that they are backing passage of a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

The war on drugs is a failure and disproportionately targets young men and women of color, particularly African-American males, said Alice Huffman, president of the NAACP’s state conference.

The group cited statistics from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice showing that in 2009, 62% of the state’s marijuana arrests were of nonwhite suspects and that 42% were under 20.

The pattern was consistent in the state’s 25 largest counties, with arrests of African Americans at double, triple and quadruple the rate of whites even though studies show that blacks use marijuana at lower rates than whites, NAACP officials said.

“We are joining a growing number of medical professionals, labor organizations, law enforcement authorities, local municipalities and approximately 56% of the public in saying that it is time to decriminalize the use of marijuana,” Huffman said in a prepared statement.

November’s measure, if approved, would allow people 21 and older to legally possess an ounce of cannabis. Marijuana sales would be taxed, potentially raising billions of dollars for government services. Opponents say legalization would increase crime and drug dependency.

– Catherine Saillant

The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at The Huffington Post and www.eurweb.com.  It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://mokellyreport.wordpress.com.  Mo’Kelly can be reached at mrmokelly@gmail.com and he welcomes all commentary.

http://twitter.com/mrmokelly

Subscribe to The Mo’Kelly Report HERE




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