I'm a firm believer in the old adage "Actions speak louder than words." By that measure, many of those anti-bigotry protesters and mainstream pundits who are expressing outrage about recent events in Charlottesville are guilty of rank hypocrisy.
Imagine a big protest in 1859 in Charlottesville in which people are carrying signs saying, "Peace and love" and "Racism is bad" while, at the same time, not one single person is carrying a sign saying "End slavery."
Imagine a big protest in 1965 in Birmingham in which people are carrying the same types of signs while, at the same time, not one single person is carrying a sign saying "End segregation."
I'd say that if that were the case, those "Peace and love" and "Racism is bad" protests would ring hollow. What import would such slogans have had given that the protestors were too cowardly to speak out directly against such government programs as slavery and segregation?
That's the case among many of those anti-bigotry protesters and mainstream pundits who are puffing out their chests in self-righteous indignation over bigotry and racism in America.
Take a close look at their signs, editorials, comments, op-eds, and interviews. I haven't seen one express any opposition to the one of the most racist and bigoted government programs in U.S. history — the war on drugs. Protesting in favor of "peace and love" and against racism while remaining silent about the drug war is no different from people protesting in 1859 and 1965 in favor of "peace and love" and against racism while remaining silent about slavery and segregation.
The drug war is racist to the core. We all know that. The noted scholar Michelle Alexander calls it the "new Jim Crow."
But in actuality, the drug war is worse than segregation. Under segregation, the government kept the races separate but at least permitted blacks to continue living in the community. With the drug war, the government removes blacks entirely from the community and relocates them to state and federal penitentiaries, while also, conveniently, taking away their right to vote.
Why is this racist, bigoted government program still in existence? Why hasn't it been repealed? Why aren't thousands of people leading protests against it rather than simply protesting in favor of "peace and love" and against bigotry? It's the height of hypocrisy to be exclaiming against racism and bigotry while remaining silent or, even worse, supportive of this manifestly bigoted and racist government program.
Here is what the Drug Policy Alliance says on its website:
The drug war has produced profoundly unequal outcomes across racial groups, manifested through racial discrimination by law enforcement and disproportionate drug war misery suffered by communities of color.
Although rates of drug use and selling are comparable across racial lines, people of color are far more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated for drug law violations than are whites.