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The Origins of America’s Longest War: Drug Use, Racism, Propaganda, and Prohibition Before the War on Drugs

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The United States’ War on Drugs declared in 1971 by President Richard Nixon and revamped by President Reagan in the 1980s has been an objectively failed initiative with origins based in racism and oppression. After exploring the repercussions of this

The United States’ War on Drugs declared in 1971 by President Richard Nixon and revamped by President Reagan in the 1980s has been an objectively failed initiative with origins based in racism and oppression. After exploring the repercussions of this endeavor for societies and individuals around the world, global researchers and policymakers have declared that the policies and institutions created to fight the battle have left devastation in their wake. Despite high economic and social costs, missed opportunities in public health and criminal justice sectors, and increasing limits on our personal freedoms, all the measures taken to eradicate drug abuse and trafficking have been unsuccessful. Not only that, but militarized police tactics, mass incarceration, and harsh penalties that stifle opportunities for rehabilitation, growth, and change disproportionately harm poor and minority communities. <br/>Because reform in U.S. drug policy is badly needed, the goals of America’s longest war need to be reevaluated, implications of the initiative reexamined, and alternative strategies reconsidered. Solutions must be propagated from a diverse spectrum of contributors and holistic understanding through scientific research, empirical evidence, innovation, public health, social wellbeing, and measurable outcomes. But before we can know where we should be headed, we need to appreciate how we got to where we are. This preliminary expository investigation will explore and outline the history of drug use and prohibition in the United States before the War on Drugs was officially declared. Through an examination of the different patterns of substance use, evolving civil tolerance of users, racially-charged anti-drug misinformation/propaganda campaigns, and increasingly restrictive drug control policies, a foundation for developing solutions and strengths-based strategies for drug reform will emerge.

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2021-05

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White Parents’ Color-Blind Racial Ideology and Implicit White Preference as Predictors of Children’s Racial Attitudes

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This study examined relations between White parents’ color-blind and implicit racial attitudes and their children’s racial bias as well as moderation by diversity in children’s friends and caregivers, parental warmth, child age, and child sex. The sample included 190 White/Non-Hispanic

This study examined relations between White parents’ color-blind and implicit racial attitudes and their children’s racial bias as well as moderation by diversity in children’s friends and caregivers, parental warmth, child age, and child sex. The sample included 190 White/Non-Hispanic children (46% female) between the ages of 5 and 9 years (M = 7.11 years, SD = .94) and their mothers (N = 184) and fathers (N = 154). Data used were parents’ reports of color-blind racial attitudes (Color-blind Racial Attitudes Scale; CoBRAS), parental warmth, and racial/ethnic diversity of children’s friendships and caregivers, direct assessment of primary parent implicit racial attitudes (Implicit Association Test; IAT), and direct assessment of children’s racial attitudes. Results supported hypothesized relations between parent racial attitudes and some child racial bias variables, especially under certain conditions. Specifically, both mothers’ and fathers’ color-blind racial attitudes were positively related to children’s social inclusion preference for White children over Black children and parents’ implicit White preference positively predicted child social inclusion racial bias, but only for younger children. Fathers’ color-blind racial attitudes positively predicted children’s social inclusion racial bias only when children’s pre-K caregivers were mostly White and were inversely related to children’s implicit White preference when children’s caregivers were more racially heterogeneous. Finally, parental warmth moderated relations such that, when mothers’ warmth was low, mother color-blind attitudes were negatively related to children’s racial bias in social distance preference and fathers’ color-blind attitudes positively predicted children’s social inclusion bias only when father warmth was low or average.

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2020