A new documentary, “The House I Live In” covers the 40 year history of the so-called “War On Drugs.” The movie is directed by Eugene Jarecki and premiered recently at the Sundance Film Festival.
The documentary feature commentary from “The Wire” creator, David Simon and focuses on the racial inequalities in the judicial system in how the War On Drugs is fought and how people are punished.
The Sundance Channel reports:
The main focus of Jarecki’s film, however, is the iniquities of the legal system in the war on drugs. Thirteen percent of America is black, and thirteen percent of crack users are black, so the vast majority of crack users in America are not black, and yet they represent ninety percent of those handled in the federal system for crack charges. And regardless of intent, defendants with prior drug felonies are often subject to harsh mandatory minimum sentencing, leading to a vicious cycle of incarceration—especially for those in the crack game.
“Crack and powder are the same, but in the 1980s when crack appeared on the scene, woefully divorced from science, claims were made by politicians to make crack activity be punished one hundred times worse than powder,” Jarecki told Sundance Channel. “Whether it was racist in intent or not, it became de facto racist when congress was aware of how disproportionately these laws were putting African-Americans away in jail when other people using the same substance under different conditions were not.”