Entertainment mogul Jay Z is calling the war on drugs an “epic fail.”
In a four-minute video for the New York Times, the legendary rapper said that the fight to get drugs out of our communities (the “war on drugs” tag was created by Richard Nixon in 1971) has done nothing but hurt minorities in the county over the decades.
“Judges’ hands were tied by tough-on-crime laws, and they were forced to hand out mandatory life sentences for simple possession and low-level drug sales. My home state of New York started this with Rockefeller Laws. Then the feds made distinctions from people who sold powder cocaine and crack cocaine, even though they were the same drug. The only difference is how you take it,” he said in the video.
Jay Z noted that the war on drugs has caused an increase in the prison population among minorities. Back in 1971, around 200,000 Latinos and African-Americans were incarcerated for drug arrests. Today that figure is 2 million.
“Even though white people used the sold crack more than black people, somehow it was black people that went to prison. The media ignore actual data to this day,” he said. “Crack is still talked about as a black problem. The NYPD raided our Brooklyn neighborhoods while Manhattan bankers openly used coke with impunity.”
Jay Z has openly talked about how he dealt drugs as a teenager to make money.
Watch the entire video from Jay Z here: