Donald Trump hasn’t answered many questions regarding his campaign promises, even going so far as to delete his pre-election promises from his website. But he’s doing a very good job answering the question he asked of Black people when asking for their vote.
“What do you have to lose?” he asked incredulously. With his appointment of Jeff Sessions to the office of Attorney General, his attack on the Affordable Care Act and his claims that government funding for HBCU’s is unconstitutional, we can easily see that Black people stand to lose a whole lot.
And the hits just keep on coming with Sessions.
On Thursday it was announced that Sessions will be overturning the criminal charging policies of former attorney general Eric Holder. He ordered federal prosecutors to charge defendants accused of the most serious, provable crimes that carry the most severe punishments.
We are returning to the enforcement of the laws as passed by Congress, plain and simple, Sessions said. If you are a drug trafficker, we will not look the other way, we will not be willfully blind to your misconduct.
This is directly contrary to a memo sent out by Holder in 2013, instructing prosecutors to avoid charging certain drug offense defendants in a manner that would trigger mandatory minimum sentences. Defendants that did not belong to a large drug trafficking organization, including street gangs and cartels, would qualify for lesser charges and could avoid longer prison time.
This was meant to alleviate the congested prison system and to reverse the generational disasters of the War on Drugs. But Sessions’ memo immediately rescinds the prior order.
These are not low-level drug offenders we, in the federal courts, are focusing on, Sessions said. These are drug dealers, and you drug dealers are going to prison.
Terms like “drug dealer” have long been a conservative, neo-confederate dogwhistle for Black or Hispanic. If he were talking about a comprehensive plan to prosecute big-time drug importers and those who enable and protect their enterprises, then perhaps it would be worthy of some praise.
But as it stands, this is just a thinly veiled attempt to bring back the proven and admitted institutional racism of Nixon’s Drug War.