This is my response as written on cbsnews.com to Part 2
of the "discussion" between Judge James Gray and David Evans of the Drug-Free America Foundation. When I read the first part yesterday I was bothered by Evans but it was typical prohibitionist rhetoric. Today he made me irate.
I had to take a few moments to calm down otherwise I might have said something that could have caused me some serious trouble.
Evans said that Gray called him a racist. Gray never implied or said that Evans was a racist. He did state the undeniable fact that war on "some" drugs treats the races unequally.
This statement from Evans shows he is either delusional or racist. I hope it is the former.
"Prohibition did not cause an increase in the overall crime rate but there was an increase in the homicide rate. However, the increase in homicides occurred mainly in the African-American community, and African-Americans at that time were not the people responsible for trafficking in alcohol."
Assuming Evans is simply delusional, he must believe that Alphonse Capone, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky and many others were black. These men were all responsible for an untold number of murders solely to gain control of the illegal alcohol market. The only truth in his statement is that blacks were not ones trafficking in alcohol. It's disturbing that Evans attacked Gray for not backing up his statements when he made no attempt to support his statement with evidence. Undoubtedly, many people of all races died during Prohibition for reasons that had nothing to do with the 18th Amendment.
I am a black man of moderate means, who is blessed to have a little family money that allows me to work on political issues that are important to me. My Mother was a hard drug addict during my childhood and remains an alcoholic and tobacco smoker. My late Father was an alcoholic who died of complications related to alcoholic pancreatitis. All of my education beyond high school I have obtained on my own. Although I have been told since I was a child that I have a 90% chance of becoming a hard drug abuser and alcoholic, I have never used anything harder than cannabis and only drink socially. I have been educating people on the horror that is our drug laws since I was 9 and working on political efforts to change them since I could vote. I was forcibly removed from the DARE program because I challenged what the officers were saying. I say all these things because according to Evans, there are not many re-legalization advocates like me. This is one place he is correct, he is just wrong about the reason. There are many, many blacks who come from a similar background and feel the same as I do. I personally know hundreds of them. The fact is the majority of the nation is not politically active, and in the black community in general, we have to be far more concerned about keeping jobs, supporting families and not "fitting the description". Evans states that blacks do not want more drugs in the community. This could not be more true, but drugs are not the problem, dealers and the law which enables them is.
Judge Gray although I take issue with some of the areas in which you agree with Mr. Evans, I applaud your efforts. I voted for your in your senate bid years ago and through your writing here have gained a new level or respect for you. I would have not been able to remain as civil as you did in responding to the misleading, outright dishonest and sometimes downright vicious things Mr. Evans has said.