Blacks More Likely to Abuse Drugs Due to 'Character Makeup' and 'Genetics,' Says State Rep. Alford

Republican from Kansas cited decades-old racist propaganda to back his claim, then denied he's a racist.

SCREENGRAB VIA THE GARDEN CITY TELEGRAM

A 75-year-old white state representative from Kansas over the weekend cited 1930s racist propaganda in his argument against legalizing marijuana.


According to Republican Rep. Stephen Alford, marijuana and other drugs were outlawed nearly 80 years ago because of Blacks, who were susceptible to drug use thanks to "their genetics and that."

The Garden City Telegram, which posted a video of Alford speaking, on Monday reported that Alford made the remarks on Saturday during a legislative session at a hospital.

"What was the reason why they [outlawed drugs]?" Alford asked a crowd. "One of the reasons why — I hate to say it — is the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs. It's because of their character makeup — their genetics and that. And so basically what we're trying to do, is we're trying to do a complete reverse of the people not remembering what's happened in the past. So basically, I'm against marijuana all the way through."

No one in the audience was Black, The Telegram also reported.

Studies have shown that Blacks use marijuana at about the same rate as whites — however, they are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession (in some states, the disparity is even greater).

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016 Blacks and whites also reported having used illicit drugs at some point in their lives at similar rates. And the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which released the report, also states that "risk factors" and "protective factors" for substance use disorders are multi-faceted.

SAMHSA reports that race can play a role in substance use — but in a societal way rather than genetic: "In society, risk factors can include norms and laws favorable to substance use, as well as racism and a lack of economic opportunity."

The historical events Alford referred to to occurred when a racist man took over the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), which led to the creation of the present-day Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The FBN's first commissioner was Harry J. Anslinger, who headed the agency for more than three decades.

Anslinger prioritized outlawing marijuana and frequently injected racism into his arguments.

"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others," Anslinger was quoted as saying, along with, "Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."

According to CBS News, even the name marijuana is a reference to the role race has played in the war on drugs: "The word 'marijuana' itself was part of this approach. What was commonly known as cannabis until the early 1900s was instead called marihuana, a Spanish word more likely to be associated with Mexicans."

Anslinger also promoted the idea — without basis — that marijuana makes people psychotic. CBS also reported: "The problem was, there was little scientific evidence that supported Anslinger's claims. He contacted 30 scientists, … and 29 told him cannabis was not a dangerous drug. But it was the theory of the single expert who agreed with him that he presented to the public — cannabis was an evil that should be banned — and the press ran with this sensationalized version."

Despite Anslinger's false two-part argument, the effects of his paranoia remain today.

Meanwhile, Alford apologized for his comments on Monday afternoon — after insisting to the Associated Press that he's not a racist.

"I'm not going [to] make any more remarks about that. To me, that's neutral. Basically, I got called a racist, which I'm really not, and it's just the way people — the interpretation of people. To me, I'm trying to look at what's really the best for Kansas," he told the AP.

Also prior to Alford's apology, Darrell Pope, president of the NAACP chapter in Hutchinson, told the AP that Alford is "an idiot" who "shows how oblivious Kansans are to selecting representatives to put someone like that in there to represent them."

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Trump: ‘No Judges or Court Cases’ for Immigrants — Even Though Many Are Fleeing Drug Violence Incited by the U.S.

"Zero tolerance" rages on even for those seeking refuge from nations plagued with violence thanks to drug wars — but the white American drug user crisis continues.

REUTERS

Returning to his racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric, President Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday:

There's no universal description of what “these people" look like, their history, their family and why they are seeking refuge. But the president is largely painting an inaccurate picture of who most of them are.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, "Despite what the president says, the situation at the border is much more nuanced. There's not a flood of people racing across the border. The majority of migrants aren't dangerous criminals. Many are women and families — and many are fleeing gang violence rather than seeking to spread that violence farther north."

No matter who the migrants are, Trump's narrative that people are swarming the border at alarming rates is not based in fact. In 2017, the number of people trying to enter the United States illegally was less than 20 percent of the number recorded in 2000 — 303,916 compared to 1,643,679.

The national dialogue has largely focused on immigration from Mexico, but people escaping violence are increasingly coming from nations in Central America. Immigration from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — a group of countries referred to as the Northern Triangle — has risen by 25 percent between 2007 and 2015, according to Pew Research Center, with the most coming from El Salvador. According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), "Salvadorians make up the second-largest unauthorized immigrant population in the United States."

The U.S. Department of State — Bureau of Consular Affairs does not recommend travel to any of these countries "due to crime."

The Council on Foreign Relations reported, "Migrants from all three countries cite violence, forced gang recruitment, and extortion, as well as poverty and lack of opportunity, as their reasons for leaving."

And it turns out the U.S. is partially to blame. According to Reuters, "More Salvadorans have been killed since the end of the country's 12-year civil war in 1992, than during the entire conflict which killed an estimated 75,000 people."

Reuters further reported:

When the U.S. government pumped billions of dollars into Colombia in the 1990s to combat the country's drug cartels and stem the supply of Colombian cocaine to the United States, the problem shifted to Mexico, experts say.

In response, Mexico intensified its crackdown on the drug trade in 2006, prompting drug traffickers to move their transit routes to parts of Central America.

The incursion of Mexican drug cartels into parts of Central America, in particular El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, helped the maras expand their reach and power.

Although the U.S. has sent money and resources in attempts to aid the Northern Triangle, citizens of those countries remain in a daily violent nightmare thanks to drug trafficking. According to the Council on Foreign Relations:

Drug trafficking adds to the violence. U.S.-led interdiction efforts in Colombia, Mexico, and the Caribbean have pushed trafficking routes into Central America, and U.S. officials report that 90 percent of documented cocaine flows into the United States now pass through the region [emphasis added]. DTOs sometimes partner with maras to transport and distribute narcotics, sparking turf wars. In addition to the drug trade and extortion, criminal groups in the region also profit from kidnapping for ransom and human trafficking and smuggling.

Central American immigrants are less likely to seek entry to the United States for economic or family reasons than other Latino immigrants, according to Pew:

Central Americans were more likely than other Latino migrants to cite conflict or persecution as a reason they left – 13% said that was the main reason they came to the U.S., compared with 4% of other Hispanic migrants [emphasis added], according to the National Survey of Latinos.

Gang-related violence also has roots in America. Mass deportations of gang members in the mid-1990s from the U.S. to Central America resulted in members re-organizing their efforts, notably in El Salvador.

"The violence today is a phenomenon fuelled by the actions of the U.S. government that saw mass deportations of mostly young men," former congressman Raul Mijango reported to Reuters.

"Many of those deported had been part of criminal groups. They knew how to organize themselves and they started to build roots in their communities."

Despite Trump's rhetoric, though, these gang members are largely not the migrants seeking entry to the U.S. today. Members of MS-13 made up less than 1 percent of undocumented people who tried to cross the border.

Coming off the heels of political chaos at the border, Americans are still feeling emotionally affected by Trump's family separation immigration policy.

According to the Washington Post, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant, called the Red Hen, while out to dinner with friends.

"The cheese course was already on the table" when the owner pulled her to the side and asked that she leave because of her political party's policies.

The Post reported that the owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, politely refused to serve Sanders because "Sanders works for and defends an inhumane and unethical administration."

"I'm not a huge fan of confrontation," Wilkinson said. "I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals."

However, the decision to ask Sanders to leave seems to boil down to basic human ethics rather than because of her being simply a conservative.

Just last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen was heckled by a crowd of protesters while eating at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C.

According to CNN, Nielsen was sitting quietly in back of the MXDC Cocina Mexicana restaurant, not too far from the White House, when she began getting booed and sarcastically questioned:

"Aren't you a mother too?"

"How do you sleep at night?"

"Do you hear the babies crying?"

"If the kids don't eat in peace, you don't eat in peace."

Those are many examples of statements that seem to have less to do with being a Republican, and more to do with being undoubtedly immoral.

Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney and political op-ed contributor for CNN, expressed similar observations regarding recent oppositions.

"Let's make it clear, this is not about asking someone to leave or heckling them simply because they are Republicans or conservatives," he wrote.

"That would be wrong. This is about targeting people who are very publicly involved in formulating and defending Trump's immoral policies."

Obeidallah pointed out that people didn't yell, "Get out of here because you're a Republican" but instead made chants that were specific to Trump's family separation immigration policy literally, "speaking truth to power."

Additionally, Trump is just a percentage point away from former President Richard Nixon when it comes to the total of Americans who want him impeached, according to Newsweek.

And though Sanders was offended by Wilkinson requesting that she leave by – ironically – writing, "I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so. Her actions say far more about her than about me," Wilkinson has no regrets.

"I would have done the same thing again," Wilkinson said. "We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one."

REUTERS

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, said that slain civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be "proud" of what President Donald Trump has done for Blacks and Latinos in the U.S.

Bannon was the CEO of Trump's presidential campaign. Trump gained supporters by calling Mexicans rapists, committing to building a wall between Mexico and the U.S., allowing Black people to be physically assaulted at his rallies and lightly disavowing the support of white supremacists.

"Martin Luther King ... he would be proud of what Donald Trump has done for [the] Black and Hispanic working class, okay?" Bannon said on "This Week" Sunday.

On Sunday, King's daughter, Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, re-tweeted a post from The Washington Post reporter Eugene Scott who referenced a similar claim Bannon had made previously. She included a response, simply stating: “Absolutely not."

In May, King tweeted:

Bannon said in March at an event with far-right French politicians that they should "wear" accusations of racism "as a badge of honor."

Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobes," he said. “Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor. Because every day, we get stronger and they get weaker."

Bannon said on Sunday that he was “talking specifically about Donald Trump and his policies."

“His economic nationalism doesn't care about your race, your religion, your gender, your sexual preference," he said.

The Trump administration's “zero tolerance" immigration policy is currently separating children of undocumented immigrants from their mothers and fathers.

King tweeted on Sunday:

After a Typhoon of Publicity, Harvey Weinstein Charged with Rape

Allowed to turn himself in with pre-arranged bail already taken care of.

REUTERS

There was one more red carpet for Harvey to walk down. At 7:30 this morning, the alleged rapist walked into a Lower Manhattan police station surrounded by cameras flashing and reporters shouting his name.

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Teacher Tells Black Student: When You Turn 16, Police Will Shoot You

Malachi Pearson's family had been affected by gun violence in a state more likely to kill Black people unjustly than most.

Malachi Pearson / Screen shot from Fox 4KC News vodeo.

A recent study by Washington University in St. Louis found that Blacks across the country are more likely to have been unarmed when killed by police than any other group of people. This includes incidents where police have killed unarmed Black boys before the age of 16, such as Tamir Rice at age 12.

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'This is America' Video at 74 Million Views in Six Days, up 8 Million Since Yesterday Afternoon

Childish Gambino's insightful, intelligent and powerful observation of our culture inspires layered analysis.

Race, gun violence and U.S. culture are explored in recording artist Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video, which has gone viral. The video has garnered more than 74 million views on YouTube since it was released on Saturday and the buzz continues to grow.

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White Yale Student Calls Police on Black Student for Napping in Dorm

A Black graduate student was harassed for falling asleep while studying.

Lolade Siyonbola/ FACEBOOK

Yale University claims it is committed to "maintaining an inclusive community of scholars." However, there's a glaring error in its practices when a white graduate student is either ill prepared or unwilling to live in a diverse and inclusive environment and continues to call the authorities on Black students.

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