The Drug Enforcement Administration, the top agency in the United States tasked with preventing drug use and sales, advised its agents to avoid enforcing drug laws in rich white areas, according to a former employee, reported Bennorton.com.
Retired Chief Deputy U.S. Marshall and former DEA special agent Matthew Fogg spoke of his experience as a DEA agent in an interview with Brave New Films, comparing the 40-plus-year "War on Drugs" to actual military wars, laden with inherent racism and classism.
Fogg said the agency would use "attack tactics ... that you would use in Vietnam, or some kind of war-torn zone. All of the stuff that we were doing, just calling it the war on drugs."
When he would go into the war room, where teams would set up task forces to determine which cities they planned on going to next, "I would notice that most of the time it always appeared to be urban areas," Fogg said.
"That's when I asked the question, well, don't they sell drugs out in Potomac and Springfield, and places like that? Maybe you all think they don't, but statistics show they use more drugs out in those areas [rich and white] than anywhere," he continued.
But according to Fogg, the special agent in charge warned that more affluent residents know judges, lawyers and politicians, and if the DEA starts locking their kids up, "somebody's going to jerk our chain" and shut the operation down, which would jeopardize their overtime pay.
"What I began to see is that the drug war is totally about race," Fogg said. "If we were locking up everybody, white and black, for doing the same drugs, they would have done the same thing they did with prohibition. They would have outlawed it. They would have said, 'Let's stop this craziness. You're not putting my son in jail. My daughter isn't going to jail.' If it was an equal enforcement opportunity operation, we wouldn't be sitting here anyway."
Jonathan Rothwell of Brookings recently wrote a report that supports Fogg's claims. According to arrest data, "arrests of blacks have fallen for violent and property crimes, but soared for drug related crimes."
"As of 2011, drug crimes comprised 14 percent of all arrests and a miscellaneous category that includes 'drug paraphernalia' possession comprised an additional 31 percent of all arrests. Just 6 percent and 14 percent of arrests were for violent and property crimes, respectively," Rothwell wrote.
Perhaps even more surprising is that blacks are "far more likely to be arrested for selling or possessing drugs than whites, even though whites use drugs at the same rate. And whites are actually more likely to sell drugs," according to Rothwell.