but it's not a war on drugs

It's a war on colored folk.

A 57-year-old Harlem woman preparing to leave for her longtime city government job died of a heart attack yesterday morning after police officers broke down her door and threw a concussion grenade into her apartment [at 6 am], the police commissioner said. They were acting on what appeared to be bad information about guns and drugs in the apartment.
Commissioner Ray Kelly apologized to the woman's family, and the NYTimes article says, "Neighbors and several elected officials questioned the department's tactics."

But this obscene tragedy is not about police tactics, and it's not about strategy. It's about the so-called "war" itself. It's about an ill-conceived moral crusade which became a racist boondoggle. There is no war on drugs. There is only repression of the powerless.

Had Alberta Spruill the sense to be white and to live in a more prosperous neighborhood, she'd be alive today, regardless of whether her neighbors bought or sold drugs not manufactured by our major corporations. People on my own block operate in markets both legal and illegal, but the constabulary doesn't throw grenades at them.

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Published on May 17, 2003 3:12 PM.

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