Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Charles F. Hanna
American drug laws, critical criminology; the other; disenfranchisemen, racial inequality
Presently, approximately 4.7 million Americans are unable to vote, a population which is disproportionately black and stripped of their civic rights because of their status as present or former felons. I propose that unequal drug laws which provide different sentences for crack cocaine, used more often by poor blacks because of its cheapness and availability in poor neighborhoods, and powder cocaine, used more often by upper class whites, punish blacks for their status as Other. Disproportionately punishing them for a habit in which people of all races participate has created a class without the ability to participate in the system which would allow them to call for changes in these policies. Drug laws target the outcomes of poverty, a poverty disproportionately experienced by blacks, and as a consequence disenfranchise poor black voting populations. The elimination of these disparities should be sought to alleviate divisive racial tensions in the United States.
Dorsey, H. (2006). Disenfranchising the Black Other: A Critique of American Drug Laws (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/496