Kansas politician has some very racist ideas about Black people and weed4 months, 11 days ago
Kansas state Rep. Steve Alford( R) has a few theories about why marijuana is bad for his state–and they largely involve racist and inaccurate analogies about Black Americans’ relationship with weed.
While speaking at an event, Alford argued strongly against decriminalize marijuana, stressing that doing so would rob” clean air” and a “clean atmosphere” from the public’s sidewalks. But when a constituent brought up Colorado’s handle on legalized marijuana, that’s when Alford doubled down, stressing that marijuana” is an entry narcotic into higher medications .” And he thinks it’s one that Black Americans are susceptible to enjoying.
” What you really need to do is go back in the’ 30 s when they prohibited all types of drugs in Kansas, across the United States, what was the reason why they did that ?” Alford said, according to footage obtained by the Garden City Telegram .” One of the reasons why–I detest to say it–the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically reacted the worst off those drugs just because their character makeup, their genetics, and that .”
Of course, Alford’s beliefs are unbelievably racist. For one, he’s assuming most marijuana users are Black. According to the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Service, white Americans between 18 to 25 smoke more weed than Black citizens from the same age group. However, the ACLU reports Black Americans are over three times more likely to face an arrest for possessing marijuana than white people, indicating the very laws he defends actually have taken part in racial profiling in order to feed an ongoing broken prison system.
And it’s not just Alford’s beliefs on marijuana the hell is cause for concern. It’s also the route he talks about Black people. In short, Alford essentially believes Black Americans are delinquents, citing some fictitious flaw in their psychological build and genetics. That entails, in Alford’s eyes, Americans need statutes to keep Black people in check. Worse, he thinks if Americans back away from the racist, puritan laws of the 1930 s, the country will slide into decline.
” Basically what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to do a complete reverse with people not recollecting what has happened in the past ,” Alford said, according to the Telegram .
There’s a lengthy history of racists using the same various kinds of rhetoric as Alford’s. Back in 1994, scientist Charles Murray suggested in his volume The Bell Curve that” genetic changes” between white and Black Americans led to white people becoming wealthy and powerful while Black people suffered. Murray’s work is still recommended by white supremacists today, and racist eugenics regularly emerge in discussions around police barbarism from white cops against Black Americans.
In short, by claiming Black people’s ” character” and “genetics” predispose them to employing marijuana, Alford is drawing on some age-old stereotypes suggesting Black people are biologically inferior to whites. And that, at the very least, is unbelievably demeaning to Black people. At it’s very worst, it injuries entire households and communities through incarceration and the legitimatizing of racism.