Rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter narrated a very personal short film with the help of artist Molly Crabapple and the New York Times
The nearly 4-minute video targets the War on Drugs, calling it an “epic fail.”
Jay-Z can be heard speaking on the history of the drug war as well as racial disparities in the criminal justice system as a result. The rapper briefly mentions the severe impact that certain kinds of legislation on prison populations, increasing the incarcerated population while not effectively combating drugs on the street..
In March, former Richard Nixon staffer John Erlichman admitted that the War on Drugs was promoted to combat the administration’s enemies: “the antiwar left and black people.”
D.C.-based entrepreneur Nicholas Cunningham, owner of Kush Gods, spoke of the racial hypocrisy of drug legalization in an earlier interview with Rare. “White guys, of course, move to Colorado and open up dispensaries and it’s not a problem. They’re a business man, they’re a business owner, they’re an entrepreneur, but I’m a drug dealer.”
Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), who has teamed up with Democratic Sen. Corey Booker (N.J.) to support criminal justice reform, makes a point to call out the racial disparities of drug war. Paul has even taken his message to the national debate stage, saying that black and white teens use drugs at similar rates, yet black teens are more likely to be arrested.