That is one of several possible explanations for the Glenn-Beck-quality Neil Munro "story" Obama uses racial politics to justify marijuana legalization. It jumps into the early lead for most poorly written news report, or most poorly argued opinion piece (God help the person who tries to deduce whether a Neil Munro effort was intended to be one or the other) of the new year, and for our purposes will serve as example of just how far afield a conservative wag has to wander in order to find something to be feverish about these days.
President Barack Obama says he backs limited marijuana legalization because it could help reduce the number of African American and Hispanic men who are jailed for drug offenses.Continue below the fold for more on the Daily Caller's "story."
“African American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties,” Obama told the New Yorker’s top editor during a series of interviews published on Friday.
Well, yes. Yes, he did say that sentence, though to read through the vast and meandering New Yorker interview and decide Obama has teh racism is what you're going to go with is evidence of being high on something considerably more powerful than The Pot. It seems a rather uncontroversial assertion to point out yet a-freaking-gain that yes, America, minorities suffer disproportional penalties for drug offenses. Pointing that out is "racial politics" only if you think that those statistics are inconsequential or—worse—reasonable, possibly even expected. The supposed White House correspondent indeed seems to want to use the piece as vehicle for questioning whether or not American minorities are simply predisposed to worse behavior:
But the report shows that some of most disproportionate arrest rates occur in jurisdictions run by Democrats or African Americans, such as Washington D.C., New York, Maryland and Illinois, Baltimore and Prince George’s county in Maryland, as well as the cities of Memphis and Philadelphia.Um, what? That little premise is so poorly argued (or rather, non-argued) that it is difficult to unpack, especially after Munro goes on to note that "young African American men comprise only one percent of the population, but commit 27 percent of the nation’s murders." Is the murder bit tossed in there as evidence of a genetic predisposition for African Americans to commit "worse" crimes than the nice white folks, or perhaps a suggestion that perhaps black Americans are doing the marijuana in a "worse" way than the David Brookses of the world, or what? Are we supposed to presume that disproportionate arrest rates even in jurisdictions "run by Democrats or African Americans" are because black folks just get crazy when there's more of them around? What the hell is being argued here, by this White House correspondent?
The high-ranking for jurisdictions where African Americans are influential or dominant suggests that the data merely shows that different behavior by different groups may yield different consequences, not that the nation’s laws are unfair or racist.
In his interview, Obama softened the racial angle by wrapping it in economic rhetoric. “Middle class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said.As in, none of them were related to race? Yes, you might instead say that he was talking primarily about the economic angle, and only an obsessed stain on humanity would imagine Obama to be stoking some sort of racist flame in any of this.
He also hedged his endorsement of legal marijuana by endorsing some curbs that aren’t related to race.
Instead, it may reflect his usual strategy of zig-zagging towards his goal of imposing more control of Americans’ economic and civic life by university-credentialed progressives.And that is what brings me to my original question: whether or not the Daily Caller has a large ceramic bowl of cocaine powder placed somewhere in the office with a sign above it saying please snort before writing your story. That sentence, right there. That sentence is a sobbing cry for help, a near-plea for an intervention. What do we make of this continued conservative obsession over Obama even mentioning race?