Instead of scientific evidence, the law was steeped in racial bias about perceived drug habits between Black and white Americans, treating “Black” crack cocaine as significantly worse than “white” powder. As a result, Black incarceration rates skyrocketed, and sentence lengths increased by 49%! But there’s more.
In 1993, 88.3% of people convicted of federal crack cocaine charges were Black, even though most crack users were actually white! Still, both Republicans and Democrats adopted the dangerously anti-Black “tough on drugs” stance in the '80s.
But there's another drug epidemic on the rise they haven’t been so “tough” on.
Mass incarceration has destroyed Black families, lives, and communities for decades WITHOUT rehabilitating people or ending “crime.” Legislation like this is why it's crucial that we actively fight for a society free from not only laws that disproportionately land us in prison, but prison itself.