Tupac's Words are Alive Seven Years Later

by Opio Lumumba Sokoni, J.D.

Instead of war on poverty, they got a war on drugs
so the police can bother me

- Tupac Shakur, "Change"

It has been seven years since Machavelli's exit and his words still rang true in communities of color every day. Case in point - Russell Simmons, P Diddy and a number of other artists recently assembled to protest drug laws that would make any person believe as Tupac did. They were protesting against the Rockefeller drug laws which sentence non-violent, small-time offenders to 15 years to life for a first offense. Tupac's anti-drug war quote points to the racial profile component associated with the war on drugs. He was also speaking of the aggressive law enforcement tactics that has violated the civil and human rights of countless innocent people throughout America’s neighborhoods.

The penitentiary is packed and
it's filled with blacks

- Tupac Shakur- "Change"

This year marks Pac's 32nd birthday (June 16) and the number of people in America's jails and prisons will number over two million. That is more than the European Union (EU) incarcerates for all of its crimes put together. Check this; the EU has a larger total population than the United States - about 100 million more. And the vast majority of people behind bars in the United States are non-violent offenders. Most are also black and brown. While blacks use drugs the same as whites; they are sentenced and jailed in incredibly higher numbers.

For instance, in a small town called Tulia in Texas, 12% of the few blacks that live there were sentenced to anywhere from 20 to 320 years on the word of one undercover cop who himself has a criminal history. The few whites who were sentenced under this sting all had romantic relationships with blacks. Ethan Nadelmann, who is the founder and head of the Drug Policy Alliance (see www.drugpolicy.org (http://www.drugpolicy.org), sums it up beautifully when he says that drug laws that incarcerate people in this manner should be repudiated. We should provide help for those with substance abuse problems and get those who need help into drug rehab programs.

To the sellouts livin it up,
one way or another you'll be givin it up

- Tupac Shakur- "Holla If You Hear Me"

Question: Why would someone spend their time, energy and money fighting for such a cause? First, if the person that would ask this question does not buy the fairness, justice and civil rights arguments - there is almost nothing else that can be said. It usually takes a close personal story to bring such people around. A tragic experience is never far away from people of color in this country. This is true even for those who believe themselves to be far removed from such occurrences. But a real transformation will happen when those who are most affected by these laws take ownership in addressing and changing them.

As Tupac described the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete, the people who must become most active in fighting against the drug war are all as unique and beautiful as flowers.

Just cause you're in the ghetto
doesn't mean ya can't grow

- Tupac Shakur- "Brenda's Gotta Baby"

It's been 7 years since 2Pac passed.. He is supposed to be coming back either on his birthday or the 7th anniversary of his death which would be in September... What are your thoughts on the passing and anticipated resurrection of 2Pac?

Hit me with your thoughts w'ell have your feedback by Monday in time for his birthday..mrdaveyd@gmail.com

[daveyd.com] [hard knock radio][articles] [davey d boards] [what is hip hop? ]
[politics] [record reviews] [photos] [links] [media]

this site is produced by Davey D in association with eLine Productions

Please note.. This site looks and operates best in
Internet Explorer
i.e. You will not see scrolling text and other features in Netscape!