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Standing Room Only – Racial Prejudice and the Drug War, Part 2

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On Tuesday November 5th a forum on the drug-war was held in the City Council Chambers in Bloomington . The NAACP is the primary sponsor of a forum which examined the effects of the War on Drugs and alternatives to it. IU Professor Audrey McCluskey served as moderator, and discussed the racial injustice of the drug war using the book “The New Jim Crow.” Chad Padgett will represent Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). Matt Pierce, district representative for Bloomington and Joe Dillon, Vice-President of the National Organization for the Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML). The public is invited, and will join in the discussion. Recorded on location by Community Access Television Services for Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

Standing Room Only – Racial Prejudice and the Drug War: Part 1

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On Tuesday November 5th a forum on the drug-war was held in the City Council Chambers in Bloomington. The NAACP is the primary sponsor of a forum which examined the effects of the War on Drugs and alternatives to it. IU Professor Audrey McCluskey served as moderator, and discussed the racial injustice of the drug war using the book “The New Jim Crow.” Chad Padgett will represent Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). Vice-President of the National Organization for the Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) will also speak. The public is invited, and will join in the discussion. Recorded on location by Community Access Television Services for Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

Local NAACP branch to sponsor open forum about the War on Drugs

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Bloomington’s NAACP branch continues to take on the War on Drugs, and its effects on the local black community.

The branch will sponsor a second public forum on the war a week from Tuesday. The NAACP of Monroe County sponsored a first forum in April, during which some three dozen suggestions were generated to solve some of the negative effects of the War on Drugs.

The upcoming forum will consider three of the strongest of those suggestions at its second forum. William Vance, Jr. is president of the Monroe County branch of the NAACP.

“We want to send a message to the community, to law enforcement and anyone that has anything to do with the law that there is a definite disparity in the sentencing of individuals that commit drug crimes,” Vance says, “Why is that? We will get a feel from the community on whether or not the solutions we suggest seem workable.”

Former President Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1971. The so-called war institutionalized and coordinated drug prohibition efforts on a federal level that began as far back as 1914.

Vance mentions Michelle Alexander’s bestselling book “The New Jim Crow.” In it, Alexander characterizes the War on Drugs as a war on young black men. Vance adds that an in-depth study conducted by the local NAACP branch indicated a pattern of discrimination against young black men moving through the Monroe County court system over the years.

He did say that in his nine years at the helm of the local NAACP, the number of overall discrimination complaints has fallen dramatically, inspiring him to declare Bloomington a relatively good place for blacks to live in.

Still, he says the nationwide War on Drugs has caused collateral damage locally.

“Once you’ve been arrested for a drug offense, whether you’re in there for a year or ten years, it’s almost impossible to assimilate back into society because it’s even more difficult to get a job,” Vance says.

The forum with be held in the Bloomington City Council chambers on Tuesday, November 5, at 7 p.m. Free parking is available in the City Hall lot on North Morton Street.

Daily Local News – October 24, 2013

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Bloomington City Council discusses changing the city’s rules regarding historic districts because of a state law; Bloomington’s NAACP branch continues to take on the War on Drugs, and its effects on the local black community with a forum; Eight Medical Corporation has relocated its offices from St. Paul, Minnesota to Bloomington; the Third Annual Bike Summit, a yearly event the City of Bloomington holds to bring the local bicycle community together, takes place this Saturday; this weekend in sports.
FEATURE
Indiana University and the Bloomington Homeless
Due to growing concern among students at Indiana University, a number of students have come together to stop the injustices they feel have been committed by their university. These students hold meetings, and some of their testaments have been featured on WFHB’s weekly program The Strike Mic, which usually airs on Tuesdays. Earlier this week a member of the group sat down with us while reading their manifesto to the university and its students, as well as to the IU police force and the Bloomington police force, about the local homeless population, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREETS
Our weekly public opinion feature Voices in the Street asks you about health care.

CREDITS
Today’s headlines were written by Mike Glab, Yin Yuan, and Yvonne Cheng,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley with correspondent Maddie Glenn.
Our feature today was produced by Harrison Wagner,
Our engineer is Sarah Hettrick,
Our Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

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