Thursday, April 24, 2008

High Times

About 10,000 mostly white students gathered for a massive pot smoking session at the University of Colorado on Sunday as part of the annual "4/20" celebration at the college. The event, also featured concerts and no arrests or citations by police.

In the news business we call that a "straight lede." The five W's get answered in two sentences or less, and readers can decide immediately whether the story is newsworthy enough for them to continue. In fact, because of it's simple brillance, nobody who read that lede should be surprised by my next statement:

Are you fucking kidding me?

I know I complain a lot, and if you read this blog regularly it might seem like I go out of my way to find things to be outraged about. But, I really don't. Actually, I try very, very hard to avoid outrage because I don't need that kind of strain on my already overburdened heart.

Yet, some things just defy logic. More than 10,000 people showed up on a public campus and started getting high and nobody got arrested or cited? In America? Seriously, everybody who thinks this type of display would have been tolerated at Howard University, Morehouse College or Tuskegee University please raise your hands at your desk right now. PUT YOUR HAND DOWN BEFORE I SLAP YOU FOOL!

What was it Tupac said again?

It's war on the streets and the war in the Middle East/
Instead of war on poverty/ they got a war on drugs
so the police can bother me

If anybody ever needed proof that this nation's drug laws are enforced differently based on the color of the criminal's skin they need look no further than this story. Sure, the article says that in the past the police harassed revelers and gave them citations and whatnot, but apparently things have changed.

The local police chief now believes it's a waste of his manpower to ticket and arrest weedheads. Not only is he willing to let the young kids get blasted at school, but he's also turning a blind eye to the old fogeys getting lit in other parts of the city.

Is this Bizarro World?

I'm really struggling to get my bearings because even a cynical, race card-playing bastard like myself didn't think this type of arrogance was possible. This is like white folks giving everybody else a massive middle finger, while bending over and mooning us all. This is such a blatant double-standard I almost expect the folks from Candid Camera to jump out from behind the walls of my cubicle, right now.

.....Hello, are y'all there?........I'm waiting.........

Damn, it's real.

This is incredibly disheartening. I know some people might see this as a really random issue to latch on to, but it's actually not. The way this event was handled by the media and the police gets to the very heart of the inequality and injustice that infuse every aspect of life in this country.

How can we brashly condemn other countries for failing to provide their citizens with equal treatment under the law, when we have failed in that respect ourselves. Narcotics arrests are the driving force behind the prison population explosion in this country, and stories like this only prove that many of those arrests are based on a choice by law enforcement officials to focus their energies on certain communities.

Some police officers would probably claim that they spend so much time in black neighborhoods becase residents want them there, and because that's where most narcotics violence is focused. Some of y'all might even be nodding along at that logic.

However, one of the most commons comments by the police after a drug-related homicide is that they can't prevent someone who wants to commit a murder from committing one. That directly contradicts the reasoning that the unfair focus on black communities when it comes to arrests for narcotics possession and distribution is designed to keep violent crime down.

Police can't have it both ways. A democratic society cannot have different sets of rules for different people. If all men are created equal, then some men cannot be more equal than others.

What are they smoking?


WNG said...

I hate to pile on, but it happens all over the country at major colleges and universities every 4/20 and at most places the police just turn a blind eye. I personally think that criminalizing marijuana use is stupid, BUT if you're going to have the law on the book then enforce it fairly across the board. Not that I'd expect that any time soon...

-=Topper=- said...

Yea me neither. I have been having this fight with my own about racial imbalance in this country and some misguided individuals just don't see it. Their greatest giveaway to how dense they really are is when they claim "I don't see color". They can't even look at the disproportion of black and whites in prison.

Oh I hate this country.

BTW big man recheck your "reading level" you have stepped it up a notch. I have been checking the right wing pundits and they have been around junior high school level. Which really doesn't surprise me.


Big Man said...

Topper and WNG

Like you, I'm rarely suprised at injustice in this country, but when I read that 10,000 people gathered to smoke weed in the open and none of them even got a citation, well that kind of shocked me. And the police chief had the nerve to say he couldn't arrest folks because he didn't have the manpower. That's BS.

Every major black public celebration I've ever been to has been bristling with police presence. And they crack heads and arrest folks when they are doing illegal stuff. That was a huge, HUGE cop out by the police because they didn't want the hassle and bad press of arresting white college kids. Just like when white kids riot after their colleges succeed in sports and it's only called a "disturbance." There is a massive double standard.

Truthiz said...

“a democratic society”_?...“if all men are created equal”_?


Big Man, my brutha….if I may ask? _what are YOU smoking?_lol!

Seriously though, I hear ya and share some of your frustration…..

I also have a slightly different take on this subject_ but I ain’t in the mood today to be the skunk at the party _so “yall go head_keep da party goin”_lol.

Deacon Blue said...

@ -=topper=-

I found out what the reading level of my blog was and was surprised to find myself at the junior high level last I checked.

I know I use some bad language and stuff, but I like to *think* my content is a bit more advanced than junior high.

Bottom line: I'm not sure what the reading level is based on, but I'm not impressesed. for the topic of today's post, it's the same thing that makes communities want to roll out a bunch of cops when a ton of black people want to march somewhere to make a point. If it's white people, it's a parade or a march...if it's black people, it might be an aggressive action.

The only place America allows black people to smoke weed openly with minimal fear of arrest is in the rap, hip-hop and raggae music world.

The Dude said...

Hey man, hopefully by the way things are moving on, weed will become legal in a few years. I'm happy everytime somebody gets left alone to smoke their weed, if 10,000 people now had the opportunity to get high together then that's better then nothing.

I do feel however that everybody should enjoy this right and I agree that it is unfair that white smokers are left alone while black ones are not.


dewfish said...

Marijuana will never be legalized. There is too much money involved in it being illegal.

jelana said...

The only place America allows black people to smoke weed openly with minimal fear of arrest is in the rap, hip-hop and raggae music world.

or a George clinton concert!

MODI said...

Big Man, thanks for this and great article. I didn't know about this and will probably run with it. This shit is insane.

Raving Black Lunatic