Jay-Z has criticised the current ‘war on drugs’ calling it an ‘epic fail’ particularly regarding racial justice in a passionate opinion piece.
In the video produced for the New York Times, the rapper says that government policy unfairly targets the Black and Latino communities and needs to change.
“Rates of drug use are as high as they were when Nixon declared this so-called war in 1971,” states the singer in the video illustrated by Molly Crabapple.
“Forty-five years later, it’s time to rethink our policies and laws. The War on Drugs is an epic fail.“
The video then highlights that the US incarceration rate is currently higher than China, Cuba, Iran and Russia, with sentencing laws that see so many people handed mandatory life sentences.
Copyright: [New York Times]
"The war on drugs exploded the U.S. prison population, disproportionately locking away black[s] and Latinos. Our prison population grew more than 900 percent,” Jay-Z explains in the video.
“When the war on drugs began in 1971, our prison population was 200,000. Today, it is over 2 million.”
The video has already been labeled as ‘groundbreaking’ by pro drugs reform commentators who have said that the video will ‘educate millions’.
US Senator Bernie Sanders has also given Jay Z his backing, agreeing that the war on drugs needs to end.
Jay-Z recently criticised the police shooting of two black men, releasing his track Spiritual for the victims.
The song was accompanied by a note in which he stated that he was considering releasing the track in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death, saying:
‘This issue will always be relevant.’ I’m hurt that I knew his death wouldn’t be the last. I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America – we should be further along … Blessings to all the families that have lost loved ones to brutality.”