Bernie Sanders Supports Jay Z’s Call to End War on Drugs
On Thursday (Sept. 15), Jay Z published a video essay titled "The War on Drugs Is an Epic Fail" in the New York Times, highlighting the irony of demonizing drug dealers while bigger, more fundamental issues – like the ending of social safety nets and the defunding of schools — were largely ignored. “The NYPD raided our Brooklyn neighborhoods while Manhattan bankers openly used coke with impunity,” Jay says in the near-four minute clip.
The multi-media piece made the requisite rounds yesterday, with Vermont Senator and one time presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders supporting Hov for his stance. "Jay Z is right: We have to end the war on drugs," Sanders tweeted Thursday afternoon.
In the video, Jay uses some pretty compelling statistics to illustrate how the war on drugs has been a waste of time, money and effort. "The war on drugs exploded the U.S. prison population, disproportionately locking away black[s] and Latinos. Our prison population grew more than 900 percent. When the war on drugs began in 1971, our prison population was 200,000. Today, it is over 2 million," he says.
Sanders had gained a good deal of traction in his bid for the Democratic nomination by making such declarations, calling for dramatic changes in the country's domestic social policies.
Sanders' tweet is included below. Photos of Jay with Bill Clinton at this year's Made in America festival sent the Internet off earlier this month, so the Sanders co-sign adds to the rapper's political cache.
Rappers Who Have Endorsed Bernie Sanders