Pubdate: Sun, 16 Apr 2000
Date: 04/16/2000
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
Author: Robert Sharpe

It is not surprising that African-American women are
disproportionately singled out for strip searches at airports. Nor is
it remarkable that these searches are not justified by higher rates of
contraband seizures.

The drug war is arguably waged in a racist manner, with blacks bearing
the brunt of zero-tolerance law enforcement efforts. Although only 11
percent of the nation's drug users are black, blacks account for 37
percent of those arrested for drug violations, more than 42 percent of
those in federal prisons for drug violations, and almost 60 percent of
those in state prisons for drug felonies. Minorities are fueling the
burgeoning for-profit prison system.

Support for the failed drug war would end overnight if whites were
subjected to airport strip searches and imprisoned at the same rates
as their African-American counterparts.

Robert Sharpe
Note: Sharpe is a graduate student at George

Washington University in Washington.