The House I Live in (extra Credit)

Published October 23, 2014 by djlwsu

In space below, list 10 things you learned from film? 300-400 words.  Give specifics and details from film.  Finish with a paragraph of how you see your own experience in relationship to film.  Be clear, I will be looking for specifics, examples, quotes, and examples from film; I will be looking for originality and your reflecting on how the film impacted to you.  You can earn UP TO 25 points added to exam

Last day, November 6


35 comments on “The House I Live in (extra Credit)

  • • First thing I learned was that the war on drugs is clearly associated with race which I knew somewhat already but had no idea how serious it was.
    • Second is that 1 gram of crack cocaine has the equivalent sentence to 100 grams of powder cocaine.
    • Three is that the only difference between crack and powder cocaine is backing soda and that is baked to harden.
    • Four is that originally the fight against drugs was used to take down certain races that were threatening American jobs, such as the Chinese with opium, Mexicans with pot, and the blacks with cocaine.
    • Five was while people of color where being arrested for the use of cocaine, at the same time it was a sign of wealth when whites used it without punishment.
    • Six is whites are slowly starting to catch up to people of color in the war on drugs, meaning since times are tough whites are beginning to fall into the same situations that plagued the African Americans for years.
    • Seven is there are mandatory sentencing laws depending on the amount and which kind of drug it is, so young kids who don’t know any better get caught and have no hope in fighting the charges.
    • Eight is that if you get caught with drugs and then released after your sentence then get caught selling drugs later, you automatically get sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
    • Nine when funds go to prisons meant to update facilities, these funds will go to doors and locks before they go to rehabilitation classes or programs designed to help the inmates.
    • Lastly is that even for a small offense as a child if you are caught and sentenced for drugs, you will have to live the rest of your life with that felony over your head which make everything later in life harder, such as jobs and housing.

    This connects to me personally because I had an uncle who was in prison for 23 years, he is out now on parole and is doing great. But this is not common for inmates who have been in for as long as he did. So when I saw the art on the inmates looking for help so they could go back to the real word and be able to function it really hit me because he had to do all of that for himself in order to get his parole. No one cared if he came out or not, he was not a person in their eyes. The craziest part of it all is that if you meant him in person not knowing he was an inmate, you would never be able to tell. Which just shows me these people are not all bad some of them could have just been in a bad situation.


  • 1. The United States has 5% of the population of the world but has 25% of prisoners of the world
    2. That police departments are technically paying officers for drug arrests statistics which causes drug arrests to increase and the ability of solving murders to go down
    3. Police departments are being funded by the money they are seizing from their arrests
    4. There’s a minimum sentencing for crimes involving drugs
    5. Police can seize people’s cars and money without charging them for a crime.
    6. Politicians made opium illegal just to get rid of Chinese workers so they could stop taking white Americans jobs away.
    7. War on drugs has become class based rather than race based
    8. If you have to prior drug charges and then get charged for drug trafficking you automatically get life in prison without parole
    9. When a new drug comes out in public you can say the craziest facts about it and people believe you but say that about another drug that’s just old news people just look at you crazy
    10. Presidential candidates rather show that are going to be hard on the drug war rather than drug addiction or preventing drug addiction

    After watching this film it reinforced many of the things I already had learn from parents about how police profile minorities because we fit the description of criminals. When the marshal even admits that police profile people and if you don’t you’re not law enforcement. This is probably one the biggest factors that starts and continues the cycle of minorities being arrested. Also this film has made it clear to me why minorities are profiled and arrested more for drug possession. Racial profiling and trying to get rid of minorities was the reason for making drugs illegal. When Chinese workers were taking jobs away from white Americans they politicians made opium illegal. The same thing happened to Mexicans with marijuana. This film really showed how racial profiling and drug arrests of minorities go hand and hand.


  • 1 gram of cocaine has the equivalent sentence to 100 grams of power cocaine.

    The difference between crack and powder cocaine is backing soda and that is baked to harden.

    War on drugs is clearly associated with race.

    Even for a small offense if you are caught and sentenced for possession of drugs, you will have to live the rest of your life with that felony over your head which will make everything complicated later in life, like finding job and housing privileges.

    Prisons use their fund to upgrade locks and doors instead of using it for rehabilitation classes or other programs to help the inmates.

    United Sates has 5% of the population but it has 25% of prisoners of the world.

    Police can seize car and money without charging them for a crime.

    Since 1977 war against drugs has cost 1 trillion dollars.

    Today 2.7 million American children have a parent in jail.

    War on drugs was never about drug, what drugs did not destroyed – war against drugs destroyed it.

    The fight against drugs was used to take down specific races that were threatening American jobs, for example Chines with opium, Mexicans with pot, and blacks with cocaine.

    Whites are slowly starting to catch up to people of color in the war on drugs, since times are tough and whites are beginning to fall into the same situations that African Americans went through for years.

    If one is caught with drugs and sentenced for that and when they are out completing their sentence and caught again with drugs then they automatically get sentence to life in prison without parole.

    What hit me was inmates looking for help so they could go back to real world and be able to function with it – they had to do lots of things to be able to get their parole. Majority of people don’t even see inmates as a person in their eyes. There is not much to relate myself to the story but what I can say is that if my parents or I was born in those places or had to deal with those situation I might or my parents might have been a dealer or in prison. I just acknowledge not all people are bad but some of them just had been in bad situation.


  • 1- Police run profiles on anyone who looks suspicious in New Mexico- no matter the race.
    2- In Baltimore the number of arrests for rape and murder have gone down by half but drug arrests have doubled.
    3- Drug dealers/lords are looked upon as superheroes in their communities or someone with respect because they help out the people in their communities by buying little kids shoes or helping out with a payment.
    4- U.S. is the leader in prisoners- U.S. holds 25% of the worlds prisioners but only makes up 5% of the total population.
    5- Police and civilaians have no trust for each other. Police believe that the people in ‘ghettos’ are living off of drug money and the civilians believe that the police are out to destroy the community.
    6- housewives back in the 1800-1900’s used to smoke opium.
    7- Back when the U.S. was being built Chinese would smoke opium. Chinese were then arrest for smoking opium because they were taking up too many ‘white’ jobs.
    8- Nixon had a huge impact on the drug war. One of his main campaign focuses was to end the drug war. His wife, Mrs. Nixon, had a campaign against drug use called “Just Say NO”.
    9- 90% of crack cocaine users who are in jail are black.
    10- Meth is the new crack cocaine. Meth is cheap and potent which makes it a very addictive and easy to use drug.

    After watching the video I realized how many people use drugs on the daily. Both people I know personally and people I have heard about or are acquaintances with. Most of the drug use I see is weed but occasionally the line of coke in the bathroom is seen at a party every once in a while. I have always wondered how people were able to get ahold of the hard drugs but, now watching the video, I realize its very easy to get ahold of some if you know where to go. I think its sad how the ‘ghetto’ communities are so run down and desperate to get a little bit of extra money that they have to risk their freedom by selling drugs. Drug dealers in my home town were always looked down on and treated like they were losers, but now I understand why they did it. All of the drug dealers in my home town were all really nice people who came from really poor communities. They all worked normal teen jobs and did well in school, but I guess the strain for money pushed them to make a little extra cash so they could afford stuff they needed. To be honest, the people I know who sell drugs or are associated with that kind of stuff, seem too nice and friendly to fit the description of a criminal. Its sad how our society pushes the poor to do illegal things just so they can get by.


  • • The US holds 25% of the prisoners in the world
    • Disproportionate amount of black are incarcerated. This started in the 1950’s
    • 2 million incarcerated, 1 million of them are African American
    • 2.7 million children in America have a parent behind bars
    • The phrase “the war on drugs” was coined by Nixon during his time as president
    • Opium (Herion) was associated with the Chinese and Weed was associated with the Mexicans
    • Blacks are confined to poorer areas because of the history of redlining which caused them to have to create their own economy, leading to drugs.
    • Crack cocaine has a higher sentence than pure cocaine. 5 grams of crack and 500 grams of cocaine is 5 years in prison. Many judges tried to get this law changed but the Supreme Court did not change it.
    • Only 13% of African American who use crack and 90% of blacks are sentenced for using crack
    • Drug users become ostracized because there are laws that only apply to them which is why these people become the poor
    • Economic policies, social policies, history and misunderstandings, creates a cycle of pure hopelessness for these people
    • Drug users are ordinary people left with unfortunate circumstances.


  • • More than 2.7 million children have a parent behind bars
    • Majority of prisoners are in prison for non-violent charges
    • Black Americans are disproportionately represented
    • Mandatory Minimum sentences are when the judges cannot sentence people below a certain amount of years
    • Police can seize a car and its contents without filing charges against the person
    • Opium was the first drug to be banned; it wasn’t banned because of it being opium, it was banned because the people that were dealing it were Chinese.
    • When blacks came out of slavery, they moved north during the great migration
    • The chain of destruction had five parts: identification, austrasizm, confiscation, concentration, enilation
    • Minorities are targeted by the mandatory minimum
    • “War on Drugs” was born in the late 60’s under president Nixon

    After watching this film, it really hits me on why many people do actually use drugs and how history, as well as the judicial system had been unfair to minorities. It always occurred to me that people used drugs because they wanted to. I always thought it was a choice, but after watching this film I realized that a lot more contributes to the reasons why people are using drugs. For example; when Anthony Johnson was first introduced, I thought he was just a drug dealer but when they explained his story I came to the understanding that he was just a lost person without a true, assertive figure to look up to since his dad was a drug dealer (Anthony was a drug dealer, his dad was a drug dealer, his grandfather was as well). With no father figure to look up to, he started looking up to one if his friends named Tay; in which Tay was the one who got him into drug dealing; he “showed [Anthony] how to get money without working.” The story of Anthony makes me think that many drug dealers come from similar backgrounds: the ones that lack someone to look up to. When it comes to unfairness in the judicial system, the sheriff even said that police do profile vehicles as well as the people driving them, though it is discouraged during trainings. As a result, many officers are scared that the respect for cops and the drug laws themselves are dwindling. This film just reassures the fact that the judicial system is an unfair one when it comes to minorities. From the 100-1 disparity in powder cocaine and crack cocaine to more blacks being put in prison because of cocaine, even when more whites are doing it, the only difference being that rich white people do powder cocaine in private offices and black people doing crack cocaine in public housing. I do believe that “if [they] kill[ed] the [drug] war, we’d all be better off” since it’s doing more harm than good.


  • 1) The US has 5% of the world’s population but our prison system contains 25% of the worlds prisoners
    2) Some children look up to drug dealers as people of power
    3) Crack is simply Cocaine + baking soda + water
    4) The new ratio of Crack to Cocaine is 1 to 18
    5) President Nixon started the ‘war on drugs’
    6) Areas surrounding prisons are not economically friendly for new jobs
    7) Profiling is admitted to being used by the police
    8) Doing this is supposed to be illegal…
    9) Meth is beginning to incarcerate more people
    10) Meth is affecting whites more than other cultural groups

    I knew that the prison system did not equally represent the amount of crime by seperate cultures but did not realize the extent it was to. When you look at the fact that 13% of crack users are African American, yet African Americans make up 90% of the people incarcerated for crack use you can see the issues our society has. We seem to only target one group of people while in order to protect our people we must view everyone in the same light. Watching this video has definetly opened my eyes to the privilege that white Americans have in this country in all aspects.


  • 1) Today, 2.7 million kids in America have a parent in jail
    2) US War on Drugs was initiated under Richard Nixon (Late 60s, early 70s)
    3) Under Nixon, 2/3 of the money used on the war on drugs went to the treatments of drug patients during his first term
    4) Only 13% if crack users are black, but 90% of defendants are black
    5) In the 1800s cocaine and heroin were widely used in America
    6) In the 19th century it was not uncommon for house wives to smoke opium
    7) The only differences between powdered cocaine and crack are that to make crack you start with powdered cocaine add baking soda, water and it is put in the oven
    8) In the hood, drug dealers would take care of kids who were struggling by giving them money for food, buying the kids shoes and ice cream
    9) Meth effects whites more than any other race. Just how cocaine was a problem in the 80s, club drugs were a problem in the 90s, meth is becoming the problem drug of the 2000s
    10)You can trace modern drug enforcement back to the 1950s

    The most surprising thing I learned from ‘The House We Live in’ was that in the hood the drug dealers actually take care of the kids. The drug dealers give money to the kids and families who do not have enough money for food. The drug dealers also would also buy the kids the new shoes that everyone wanted, such as the “Magic” Johnson Converse shoes. When the ice cream man would come around, the drug dealers would buy all the kids ice cream. In the hood, the drug dealers are looked up to as role models for the kids whose parents are in jail or are struggling. But, once the kids turn into teenagers and adults the drug dealers tell them that they have to get their own money. The drug dealers would then have them start selling drugs, and would help by sending some of their buyers over to them.

    Something that the government and the President should think of when discussing the War on Drugs is that the President who started the War on Drugs (Richard Nixon) used 2/3 of the money to the treatments of drug patients. Using money to give the drug users treatment would not only benefit the drug users but would also benefit the people in their communities. Teaching the drug users other ways to cope with their problems would be highly beneficial to them once they were released from jail. Another thing that I thought the government should think about was increasing the rehabilitation programs in jail. Usually the rehabilitation programs are one of the first things cut. But, these rehabilitation programs are very important. In the rehabilitation programs the people in jail can become certified plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and more. This would give the inmates something to do once they get out of jail instead of going back to the only thing they know how to do, selling drugs. Although the inmates have a felony, being certified in these manual labor jobs would allow them to obtain jobs. The government is too busy trying to catch the drug users instead of trying to help the drug users once they have been caught, which leads to cycle of the drug users going to jail, getting out of jail and then going back to jail again.


    • Things I learned from the movie “The House We Live In”:
      • The war on drugs has added up to one trillion dollars since it started mainly because of how strict the laws on drugs are in the United States.
      • Few in our country are aware of the term “war on drugs”. Many when they hear it think of other countries such as Mexico, however their own country, the United States is currently facing a war on drugs. This term started with President Richard Nixon.
      • Even if a judge wants to give a lower sentence to a person in court, he/she cannot because there is a minimum sentence requirement for each drug. Therefore the judge cannot make exceptions, and often times a person can end up in prison for a long time because of this.
      • The war on drugs started in the fifties with narcotics and has now moved in toward cocaine, marijuana, and myth.
      • Many cooperation’s depend on the war on drugs to keep their businesses going. These cooperation’s make things for prisons, in which prisons need to operate.
      • As a country we value more arrest rather than less. Hence the reason that most prisoners are drug violators rather than sex offenders and murderers.
      • Many prisoners who ended up in prison because of drugs if they get out of prison they end up back in prison for the same reason because in our prisons we don’t offer any treatment. All of the money prisons get goes to improvement to the prison such as locks and doors.
      • If one originally goes to prison for drugs, and then gets caught doing the same thing they automatically get sentenced to a life in prison without parole.
      • One gram of crack cocaine has the same sentence as one hundred grams of powder cocaine. Interestingly, crack cocaine is mainly used with blacks and other colored races.
      • The war on drugs has a large association with racism. Prior to this movie I had no clue how racist some of our laws on drugs were.

      Prior to this film I had no clue what the war on drugs was and more importantly how racism plays a huge role in it. Personally I always believed all the movies and TV shows and the news, I always felt like people were getting out of prison. However after watching the movie it is clear that this is not necessarily the case. It is easy for movies and TV shows to make this up. Although, the new probably highlights this because it gets a reaction from the viewers which as a result make their viewing rise. In parallel, the new always is presenting more news on murders and rape cases rather than drug cases. Which makes no sense when there are more dug cases and we are facing a war on drugs. But once again rape and murder cases get more of a reaction from the viewer. This movie is just another reminder of the importance of critical thinking and it brings a huge awareness of racism in our country to me.


  • 1. Jim Crow created segregation and made black voice unheard. People have not really escaped Jim Crow, it’s just a different kind of Jim Crow but the same idea.
    2. Early narcotics grew in 1950-60. As poverty grew, more drugs are sold
    3. Drug laws punish individuals rather than change anything
    4. Police profile people and cars. People want to arrest in the same neighborhood because it is easy and they get a higher status. Most arrest are for low drug dealing. Police department use the money that they seized by the drug arrest.
    5. Drug dealers help out the family in needs. People loved drug dealers because it was like Christmas when they came around.
    6. No economic prosperity, no resources, poor education, only economy is drug dealing so that is what they normally end up doing. They can’t escape from that cycle. People cycle into prison and back.
    7. Happened during Richard Nixon, coined the term for war on drugs, 2/3 of the money went to treatment rather than law enforcements.
    8. Rehabilitation program is the first thing that gets cut but it is the most useful because it helps people get jobs afterwards.
    9. They made opium illegal because they wanted to get rid of the Chinese (they were taking away white jobs).
    10. 1950, people were poor but had jobs. 1960, job was poor because people left

    When I was watching this film, I had though back on what my preconceived notions before watching the film. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself because all of those things that I thought were supposed to be true weren’t even close to reality. I had developed those preconceived notions from the media. The media has told me that a certain drugs were associated with a certain ethnic group. In reality, Caucasians were doing more drugs than African Americans. The only difference is that they are hardly caught. The media also comes into play when the police are profiling which cars to check. I also agree with the film when they said “The drug war is a holocaust in slow motion.” As they mentioned earlier, the first drug to be termed illegal was Opium because they wanted to get rid of the Chinese. What better way to get rid of someone than to send them to prison? Now the war on drugs is targeted towards African Americans.


  • 1. America holds the record for the number of incarcerations in the world. Making up 25% of incarcerations!

    2. 90% of the people incarcerated are african americans. However african americans only make up 13% of the population in America.

    3. Many of the government workers opinions about people in prison for drugs think that they are receiving an unfair sentence length.

    4. Stereotypes are real when it comes to the cop that pulls people over that come across the Mexico border to search vehicles for drugs.

    5. People who commit a felony, have a very hard time finding a job after they get out of prison. When they cannot get a job, they usually end up returning to what got them into jail in the first place.

    6. Police get paid for how many arrests they make. Therefore, it is easy to make many drug busts and arrests, but when it comes to rape, murder, you may only get one or two arrests a month compared to the 30 or so people you can arrest for drugs.

    7. White people are only now beginning to experience what blacks have been dealing with for years when it comes to jail and convictions.

    8. Presidential candidates have created a huge war on drugs by giving it more attention and locking down way harder on drugs. It was developed in the 60’s by good old President Nixon.

    9. The money that was supposed to go to drug prevention was actually used for people undergoing treatments like rehabilitation from drugs.

    10. Opium was actually made illegal as a way to try and get rid of the Chinese. Whites thought that the Chinese were taking all of their jobs, so they began to find a common interest of the Chinese to hopefully incarcerate them and ultimately give whites more jobs.

    Watching ‘The House We Live In’ was very surprising to me. Before this film, I believed facts about our government system that I had heard from school, or from my relatives and family. Now, many things I believed are actually very far from the truth. Such as, police officers actually get “commission” from the amount of arrests that they make and that they are promoted as well for all of the drug arrests! If police officers are being promoted because of the amount of arrests, then there will be a lack of police force to go out and fight other more violent crimes. I now have an insecure feeling about the protection that our law force has to offer the citizens of America. I cannot believe how blind I was to the racism and stereotypes of the law force. The movie specifically showed a cop pulling over cars based on stereotype and with no cause whatsoever. Stereotype of drugs comes from banning opium to rid the Chinese of jobs, weed from Mexicans, and cocaine from blacks. Therefore, the law force is still connecting these drugs to those types of people, when in fact, all races use these drugs. I am so grateful I got to experience this documentary, it has made me realize the stereotyping going on in our government, and how much things are going to need to change for everyone to be treated equally.


  • The house we live synopsis, Darren Clingan
    1. Over the last 40 years, more than 45 million drug-related arrests have cost an estimated $1 trillion. Yet drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever.
    2. We need “a very changed dialogue in this country that understands drugs as a public health concern and not a criminal justice concern,”.
    3. African Americans make up roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population, 14 percent of the drug users, yet they represent 56 percent of those incarcerated for drug crimes.
    4. When Regan decided to rev up the war on drugs, the amount of drugs in the US was on the decline and less than 2% of the people in the country identified drugs as the nation’s top priority.
    5. We have, you know, 2.3 million people incarcerated in America. That’s 1 percent of our population. We are the world’s biggest jailer, beyond countries that are totalitarian in nature
    6. Crack has always been more severely punished than powdered cocaine even though it is the same drug chemically and that has been b/c institutional racism, in the sense that blacks have increased poverty and since crack is cheaper than coke, poorer drug users use crack but then deal with exponentially worse convictions compared to cocaine users. This shows institutional racism and how it favors whites over blacks.
    7. African Americans comprise 14% of regular drug users, but are 37% of those arrested for drug offenses.
    8. Black males had higher imprisonment rates across all age groups than all other races and Hispanic males. In the age range with the highest imprisonment rates for males.
    9. Between 6.6% and 7.5% of all black males ages 25 to 39 were imprisoned in 2011, which were the highest imprisonment rates among the measured sex, race, Hispanic origin, and age groups.
    10. Compared to Non-blacks, California’s African-American population are 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana, 12 times more likely to be imprisoned for a marijuana felony arrest, and 3 times more likely to be imprisoned per marijuana possession arrest. Overall, these disparities accumulate to 10 times’ greater odds of an African-American being imprisoned for marijuana than other racial/ethnic groups.

    After watching the film and looking at my 10 points of interest from the film I really began to put a lot of things into perspective. I am a white male and have never really ever have had to think about what it feels like to be discriminated from not only a personal level but the amount of institutional racism. And the things I have learned from this film in relation to my experience through life is that I have always had an unknown advantage and that to me seems very unfair. I believe that if I committed the same act of crime as a black man that I should have the same punishment. With all this being said I would like to conclude by saying that I will never know the 1st hand impact that this institutional racism has had on the black community but I now realize that there needs to be reprimand’s to undo all the harm that our self-perpetuating system of institutional racism has done to these families and to progressively move to a real equity for human rights as a nation.


  • 1. Very few people are familiar with the term “war on drugs”. People think of Mexico due to their big drug trafficking problems. However the US is currently facing “war on drug” right now and has been a problem for several years.
    2. President Nixon started the “war on drugs” during the late 1960’s.
    3. The war on drugs became class based and not race based.
    4. Today in America 2.7 million children have a parent who is facing jail time.
    5. Only 13% of crack users are black.
    6. More white people are users of crack and other drugs than blacks.
    7. The police can seize a car and money without charging suspect.
    8. When you get arrested for having drugs and then release you after your sentenced and then get caught later on with drugs again. You get sentenced to life in prison no matter the amount on you.
    9. The war on drugs started with narcotics and now has moved to meth, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana today.
    10. The war on drugs points fingers at certain races even though everyone that is in with the drugs is equally distributed between all races.

    This film connects with me in many different ways. First off, I didn’t really realize that even today in the United States and probably all over the nation there is a war on drugs and its been going on for many years and just keeps getting worse it seems. Drugs are becoming more and more available and more and more people are doing them now days. Its not only about if people will get caught with them or locked up. Its also about how drugs ruin peoples lives, one of my best friends from grade school became a heroin addict during her last year of high school and is still one today (and that’s with lots of help). Watching her fall of the face of the earth and letting drugs take over her entire life was and still is terrible. There has been so many things that the government and law enforcement has tried to manage drugs but there really isn’t a possible way. Drugs are too available and something needs to be done. No one has really come up with a certain way to control everyone with drugs, not just the criminals or just targeting one certain group or kind of people. Its overall everyone looking at a bigger picture.


  • 1. The war on drugs have never been about drugs
    2. The community thinks law enforcement are using drugs to break them apart and law enforcement think everyone in the community are using drugs
    3. 2/3 of war on drug money was for treatment not law enforcement
    4. Police making drug arrest are more likely to become sergeants because of higher arrest
    5. War on drugs are a success because it keeps law enforcement busy and keeps jail full
    6. Drugs are always based on race. Target immigrant groups seen as a threat
    7. War on drugs is a holocaust in slow motion
    8. Mandatory Sentencing: no matter the situation or reason of conviction have to serve at least a minimum years
    9. United States have 2.3 million prisoners
    10. When white people become marginalized they become drug dealers

    The film impacted me because it helped me in realizing that there was so much more to the war on drugs besides just drugs. For me I didn’t realize how much race played a significant role. Before watching this film I had this preconceived notion that selling drugs was horrible no matter the situation and I think what I and so many other people do not take into consideration is what leads to someone selling or using drugs. I found it interesting that the one police officer said that all officers racial profile. I think this was an important statement because this is what is leading to higher incarceration rates for the black community because they are the ones that people picture when thinking of drug dealers/users. I also found it unnecessary to have the minimum mandatory sentencing because this makes people who are arrested for nonviolent crimes serve a certain number of years without realizing why some people decided to sell drugs. In the film one of the people they interviewed talked about how in his community he looked up to the drug dealer because they were the ones to have new shoes and buy them things when their parents couldn’t. I think this was valuable to look at because it showed how people in low income neighborhoods the drug dealer is their role model because the drug dealers are the ones who are living like they want to. This movie served as a great example of how race plays a vital role in most aspect of society.


    • 1.The US have 2.3 million prisoners in the world
      2. 2.7 million children in America have a parent still in jail
      3.Black Americans account for a large proportion
      4.Chinese people suffering from the effects of the opium war
      5.Police can seize a car without charging the person for crime
      6.There are 13% African American who use crack and 90% of victim are black
      7.Black suffered serious racial discrimination
      8.Drug dealers sold the drug in order to take care of their families.
      9.President Nixon pay more attention to resolve the problem of drug in the“War on Drugs”
      10.The judicial branch to drug crime punishment depends on the race

      After watching the film, I realized that drugs have been harmful to people’s health as well as some Justice Department extent of punishment for drug crimes depends on race. Throughout the history of the degree of harm drugs often even more horrible than people think, Chinese opium war lead to national economic weakness, the people’s living environment is very poor, and even lead to disintegration of families. I was most impressed by is the reason why drug traffickers drug trafficking embark on this road is to take care of the family and children so that they have a greater change in their daily lives. I personally think that the threat of drugs everywhere, but racism is a greater threat to people. Whether black or white privilege does not exist everyone is equal before the law, and the film has strong critical thinking, truly reflects the unfair society phenomenon.


  • 1. The war on drugs began in the late 1960’s late ’70s because the Chinese and African Americans were taking jobs from whites. The government needed a reason to arrest the Chinese and Africans, so they made opium and cocaine illegal.

    2. The black community has always been a target for the war on drugs due to the poverty level in the community leading to selling and using of drugs.

    3. Anthony Johnson was on trial for selling drugs and would receive a minimum of 5 years.

    4. The government has pushed the no tolerance rule on drugs and crime that all government officials must have the same thought on the war on drugs because it has been advertised to the public by previous officials.

    5. A law enforcement officer mentioned in the movie that all cops profile the cars and people who they see everyday, if you’re a law enforcement officer you must profile to do your job.

    6. When African American families would try and move north to avoid the war on drugs, the government would pull strings to force blacks to live in certain neighborhoods so they could redline these neighborhoods.

    7. Nixon put 2/3 of the war on drugs money towards addiction instead of most of it going towards law enforcement as it is now.

    8. If prisons don’t offer a place of work for inmates to escape and try and make something of themselves, when they get released they will end right back in prison. If prisons allow a carpenter center, inmates who get released can try and go into the carpenter field.

    9. America is the leading country for incarcerations with over 2.3 million incarcerated.

    10. Law enforcements are more focused on the number of arrests they make rather than trying to clean the streets of the real criminals. Our prisons are filled with non violent inmates which is causing overcrowding.

    A lot of parts of this movie really opened up my eyes to the war on drugs. What astounded me was that this huge issue with war on drugs started with discrimination and trying to arrest the Chinese and blacks because they were occupying jobs that could’ve gone to whites. Before watching this film I was unaware of the mandatory minimum sentencing. After listening to Maurice Haltiwanger’s story his judge tried giving him a 10 year sentence but ended up receiving a 20 year sentence because of the mandatory minimum sentence. I made a connection to this film because until the age of 11 I lived in a neighborhood that was 75% African Americans and I was exposed to a lot. As a child I wasn’t aware of everything going on around me, however over my 11 years living there, 3 houses were searched and evicted due to drugs. As a child, I never fully understood what happened because I was so interested with the cop cars and ambulances. I am thankful that my family moved to a better community so I was able to experience a better childhood. After seeing what happened to Maurice and Anthony, born into a drug dealing family, I realized I could’ve been secondary to this effect. This movie showed me that even innocent kids who are born into under privileged communities don’t have many options other than to turn to drugs.


  • 1.) The one gram of cocaine is equivalent to a sentence of 100 grams of cocaine.
    2.) War on drugs is linked to race and class.
    3.) Certain races are targeted more often for using or possessing drugs rather than whites.
    4.) Policy makers are trying to enforce a higher standard and set the bar for drug war.
    5.) Drug trafficking with a track record automatically gets the person into life in prison.
    6.) U.S. has the most prisons which rapidly increased over the years.
    7.) 2.7 million children in U.S. have a parent in jail.
    8.) Opium is the main drug that Chinese people smoked and they were sentenced because of it to reduce the work force taking over white jobs.
    9.) Crack to cocaine ratio is 1 to 18
    10.) The quotas that are set on police also greatly affect how many people get arrested.

    Watching “The House We Live In” helped me understand that this War on Drugs stated by Nixon, is not just a war on drugs. Many people “blacks” are being sent into prison instead of the other users mainly whites that are not being sentenced because the cops target blacks and Mexicans more often. The quotas set by police make police officers find people to arrest. Also Chinese people being arrested for using opium just to stop them from taking white jobs. The prisoners, 2 million incarcerated, 1 million are black. This is just uncalled for. There’s no way 1 race has that many criminals compared to the rest. There is a major human rights problem with the way our jail and sentecing is using to arrest people. The laws should be kept to better standards. However, people might say that this system is working for short term results, but in the the long run how much more prison will U.S. have to invest money into just to keep up with the arrests of drug charges. The government needs to find a way to decrease the amount of prison.


  • 1. The last 40 years, the war on drugs has resulted in more than 45 million arrests in United States
    2. That police departments are paying officers by how many drug arrests they can make which causes drug arrests to increase but also causes other crimes rates to go up
    3. Police can and does seize peoples cars and money without charging them and tell they to provide poof that it didn’t come from drugs
    4. War on drugs is the biggest issue in the United States
    5. Richard Nixon started the war against drugs rather than focus on preventing drug addiction
    6. Possession of 28 grams of crack cocaine yields a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for a first offense; it takes 500 grams of powder cocaine to prompt the same sentence. (What we learn in class that relates to movie)
    7. Police are making more drug arrest for crack cocaine rather than powder cocaine because blacks use crack cocaine
    8. America’s as the world’s largest jailer (the most prison’s and still are expanding)
    9. The police in New Mexico are profiling people by their cars and pulling them over without the driver breaking any laws
    10. Majority of prisoners is in prison for nonviolent charges and mostly for drug addictions or selling drugs

    America is throwing drug users and sellers to federal prison for long periods of time without even trying to help them stop or find solution. Drug abuse in United States is the biggest problem and Richard Nixon said this is “war on drug” and that it needs to be addressed. What did Richard Nixon do for war on drugs? The war on drugs cause police to change tactics and to focus more on drug enforcement. Police officers are making money off of (arrest) finding people that are drug users or sellers. While drug arrest are going up by the year other crimes rates are going up without any arrest because police are more focus on arresting people that are abusing drugs mostly crack cocaine. In white suburban’s area’s they were using white powder (cocaine) and in public houses and the hood they are using crack cocaine where most blacks lived. The united states government made a law that found people that are arrested with crack cocaine will face more years than if they would have got caught with powder cocaine. This film shows that drug abuse is a matter of public health and the government of the United States is handling this issue poorly, which has caused the police to focus on drug enforcement instead of law enforcement. The drug enforcement has political and financial failed on stopping drug abuse even though we continue using this same method the evidence shows its moral, economic, and failures to stop it. It’s time for a new plan for fighting against drug abuse.


  • 1) Since 1971, the war on drugs has cost over $1 trillion, and over 45 million arrests.
    2) The drug war began from dangerous narcotics (Heroin and cocaine)
    3) Many prisoners are male, black, and convicted for non-violent crimes
    4) 2.7 million U.S. children have a parent behind bars
    5) Drug laws do have an effect on racial groups
    6) FHA had created more ghetto communities than any other time period due to redlining
    7) Mandatory Minimum sentences are when the judges cannot sentence people below a certain amount of years
    8) There is a 100:1 disparity between crack and powder cocaine
    9) Minorities are targeted by these drug laws (100:1 ratio, mandatory minimum)
    10) Whites are starting to face harsher sentences from meth that blacks have faces all along

    Before watching this film, I had no idea what the war on drugs were, or who it even involved. Now I know that it deals with a lot of minorities and affects their lives the most. The statistics given in the video were shocking, and it made me sad that non-violent crimes were getting just as much punishment as violent crimes. How come there isn’t any programing to help the men and women incarcerated due to drug convictions? After they are released from jail, they never are able to return back to normal. They become a convict forever. It just simply creates a culture of hopelessness as the film describes it. It is so easy for them to just return back to drugs because most of them are in the situation they are in because of history and misunderstanding. I see a lot of drugs occur at parties but never really know how exactly people get their hands on it. This film really opened up my eyes about the role drugs play in peoples’ lives and how much it can consume oneself.


  • Ten things I learned about the film are:
    1. When asked about the “war on drugs,” most people don’t even consider this could be referring to our own country
    2. Drug laws have a mandatory minimum sentence, meaning that no matter what the circumstances a Judge cannot give a sentence less than the predetermined law states.
    3. There are more blacks in jail today that were enslaved in the 1850s
    4. Drug war started against narcotics in the 1950s and heavily focused on blacks because of the segregation of the time
    5. In many communities, the Drug Lord can become a sort of father figure to the children of the community because of his money that results of his involvement in the drug culture. This leads him to become a sort of role model
    6. The broken school system of inner city schools perpetuates the fact from number 5.
    7. Many people go from a bad neighborhood, to jail, and then once they are released they have no choice to go back to their bad neighborhood. Once you have to check yes that you have committed a felony on a job application it severely lowers chances of getting the job. This keeps them stuck in the bad neighborhood and in the cycle of going in and out of jail.
    8. Richard Nixon had progressive idea of not only fighting drugs with law enforcement, but with treatment as well. He realized that you couldn’t do just one. Although in his outward campaign he stressed the increase in law enforcement, he inwardly focused more funds on treatment.
    9. Crack cocaine is by far the highest drug punishment but only differs from powder cocaine by adding water, baking powder, and heat.
    10. One gram of crack is equivalent to having 500 grams of cocaine. They both lead to 5 years in prison.

    This film was interesting to me in a number of ways, although I can’t say that it completely surprised me. My dad is a teacher in a local juvenile delinquency center, meaning he teaches minors 7th-12th grade when they are put in “prison” for short amounts of time. Because of this, I have grown up listening to the stories my dad tells about how some student’s got in and how they behave in class (always anonymously of course). Over the years, my dad has come to believe that crime is a culture, that deviance is just as nurtured into us as law-following is. He says that while some children grow up seeing their parents go to work every morning to pay for their lives, other children grow up seeing their parent’s deal drugs. So that is the path they follow. It is interesting to see the self-perpetuating system our country has created, and how harsh of punishments we will give people who do and sell drugs, as compared to much more morally shocking crimes such as murder, rape and the like. For example, one man was given a prison sentence of life without parole for having 3 grams of meth. While that does deserve punishment, I personally believe that that strong of a sentence is counterproductive. After watching this movie I feel personally moved in a direction toward reevaluating some of our drug laws.


  • 1) There are more African Americans on parole or incarcerated than the number of slaves in the 1850s.
    2) In the 1950s, law enforcement became increasingly interested in African Americans and specifically their drug use. This is when drugs were started to become big, and people were realizing the impact they had.
    3) Much like we learned in class, the war on drugs has a direct correlation with specific ethnic groups.
    4) The police can seize a victims belongings as well as money without having to arrest him and sending him to jail.
    5) The United States has 5 percent of the population but it also has 25 percent of prisoners of the world and most of them are for a drug conviction.
    6) When the war on drugs began they focused mostly on specific ethnic groups who were hurting America.
    7) 1 gram of crack cocaine has the same consequences as 100 grams of cocaine in powder form and the only difference is crack cocaine has baking soda and alcohol.
    8) As the war on drugs becomes bigger and bigger we have spent a total of 1 trillion dollars.
    9) If you are convicted of a drug charge and then caught with it again you atomically sentenced for life
    10) African Americans make up 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those are arrested for drug convictions.

    After watching this film it became more clear that the war on drugs is a much greatly thing than what one may think. Going through high school I saw a lot of weed being sold and used, but it was never to a great extent. Even in college you see in around, but after watching the film it’s much bigger than what you see in your daily life. People truly make a living off selling drugs. But others just do it for a side job and to get a little extra cash to support themselves or their families. I found it surprising that the government focuses more on finding people dealing drugs than helping people fight drug addiction and giving them a chance to seek success again. The film made a point that not all drug dealers are bad people, they just made a bad choice and they are punished to the full potential for making that choice.


  • 1) Americans take up 5 percent of the world’s population, but they take up a total of 25 percent of the prisoners in the world.
    2) Rehabilitation programs in prisons are the first things that are cut when financial cuts are made.
    3) Police officers in small towns tend to profile people in order to make drug arrests. This is exemplified when they find geographic areas that are highly suspect, and then proceed to troll through them to make drug arrests.
    4) The majority of the arrests in the United States will be for non-violent, low leveled drug offenses.
    5) Sometimes police departments operate on the money that they seize from people.
    6) Opium used to be illegal in California but it was not illegal in Mississippi. This is because there were more Chinese people in California that were smoking opium than there were in Mississippi and they wanted to arrest the Chinese so they could no longer take jobs that white citizens could have.
    7) Similar laws were made for marijuanna because there were Mexican workers in the south that regularly smoked it. These instances prove that the war on drugs has never really been about drugs; It is about race.
    8) During Jim Crow it was impossible for a black woman who had been raped to be considered innocent.
    9) Ronald Regan had an intense plan for the drug war, Nancy Regan is the one who started the “Just Say No” movement.
    10) Despite 51 percent of the crack users in California being white, there was not a single arrest to a white person for crack.

    When I sat down to watch this film I was sure that it would not be very impactful because I assumed that I already knew most of the content that would be in the film. I was right about knowing most of the background information about the film, but I underestimated the impact the film would have on me. In class we always talk about how the War on Drugs impacts different races as a group, but we have never really looked at specific cases where families were torn apart due to the drug war. After viewing the film I really started thinking about how serious of a problem this unjust war on drugs is. I had already known that there are a significantly larger number of white drug users than black, and yet black drug users are caught at a much higher rate. Somehow those facts had not really affected me until I saw firsthand what the widespread unjust treatment of minorities does to individuals and their families. This film has really made this whole subject within the class much more impactful for me.


  • 1) In America 2.7 million kids have a parent behind bars.
    2) Crack cocaine has a higher sentence than pure cocaine. The supreme court set it up so that 5grams of crack is equivalent to 500 grams of cocaine which will give someone a minimum of 5 years behind bars.
    3) The US makes up for 5% of the world population but holds 25% of the worlds prisoners.
    4 )Police can seize a car and any money on you without charging for a crime.
    5 )90% of crack users who are behind bars are black.
    6) Majority of prisoners are in prison for non-violent charges.
    7) Since the 1950’s there has been a disproportionate amount of blacks incarcerated.
    8) Law enforcement see the communities as corrupted and the communities see the law enforcement as corrupted.
    9)Blacks are the target of Drug War Laws.
    10) The war on drugs became class based instead of race based.

    Attending the viewing of the film “The House We Live In” really impacted my minimal knowledge on the drug war going on around us. I did not think it was this big of a deal. The amount of people it is affecting especially certain racial groups/social classes is huge. One thing that stood out to me greatly was the statistic that 2.7 million children have a parent behind bars. This is a very huge number that is affecting kids and the way that they are raised. Typically these kids grow up with less nurture and less economical help and have a higher risk of going in the wrong path and getting into trouble like their parents. Personally I see it as a huge never ending cycle. We need to get these parents help with their drug abuse and getting them the proper resources to lead better lives that can help out or economy instead of just having them behind bars leading the same lives generation after generation. This film has really opened up my eyes and makes me want to help out in any way that I can and even if by just advocating for these certain racial/class groups I will do so because it is unfair!


  • Ten things I learned from watching The House We Live In:
    1. Drug laws carry a minimum sentence, judges have to give the defendant the minimum drug sentence, even if they feel it is too harsh. The judge in the movie knew that the sentence that Anthony was receiving was hard, yet he couldn’t do anything about it because was a drug offense and there was a minimum sentence.
    2. The people in the community have given up on the hope that this war on drugs will end, someone from the community said, “God has to intervene on this” they truly believe it is not in the hands of the people in the community, but in the hands of God. And unfortunately the members of the community thought that the law enforcement were putting drug laws in place to break up the community.
    3. Drug dealers are the ‘leaders’ of the community, Dennis said, “honestly I loved them, when they come around it is like Christmas, you get what you want and don’t have to worry about paying for it.” For example, Dennis says, “If your mom can’t pay rent, they help out with rent. If you need a little money for food they would give your household money for food/ you were always under them, if they wanted water, they would give you five bucks to go to the store and you know you get to keep the change.”
    4. If a criminal gets out of jail, they are automatically ineligible to vote, and ineligible for health benefits. They also cannot vote, it is extremely hard for them to be normal again.
    5. Parents know they should be doing a better job on parenting and being there for their children, yet it is so hard for them. It is a cycle, the parents that didn’t have a mother figure or father figure are likely to not be a mother figure or father figure for their children, it is not all of the parents but it is common. Children see their parents being involved in drug crimes and don’t think much of it, Anthony saw his dad do “a little hand to hand” and just figured his dad was a drug dealer ever since then and didn’t give it another thought. When the interviewer asked if Anthony ever asked his dad if he was a drug dealer he replied, “no that’s not something people ask, you just know.”
    6. We made it into such a huge thing, all presidents and candidates for elections, talk about being harder on drugs and that if/when elected they will put an end to the war on drugs. But it is not working, we need to change something.
    7. A lot of the drug dealers don’t have self-respect, they see that they cause fear and it gives them a false sense of pride and respect.
    8. The percent of murder and rape (arrests) is 50% of what it used to be, and drug arrests are two times higher.
    9. Crack cocaine is 100% more punitive, the difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine is baking soda, water, and heat. Yet the jail/prison sentences are drastically different.
    10. Some of the kids/people that get into selling drugs do it to help their families, not because they want to or because they are bored.
    I have never had any experiences with knowing people who sold or consumed drugs so I can’t relate in that aspect, but I see how the drug on wars can leave the communities helpless. In my hometown there was a lot of gang violence and the police had their own little “war on gangs” and I know, from friends, that it made them feel that law enforcement just did it to break up the community. Although drugs and gangs are not the same thing I can relate to how it made both communities feel vulnerable in a way. The film opened my eyes to another world, a world that not everyone knows about or can relate to.


  • 1. African Americans make up 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those are arrested for drug convictions.
    2. As the war on drugs becomes bigger and bigger we have spent a total of 1 trillion dollars.
    3. The police can seize a victims belongings as well as money without having to arrest him and sending him to jail.
    4. If you are convicted of a drug charge and then caught with it again you atomically sentenced for life
    5. Much like we learned in class, the war on drugs has a direct correlation with specific ethnic groups and standard of living.
    6. 1 gram of crack cocaine has the same consequences as 100 grams of cocaine in powder form and the only difference is crack cocaine has baking soda and alcohol.
    7. When the war on drugs began they focused mostly on specific ethnic groups who were hurting America.
    8. In the 1950s, law enforcement became increasingly interested in African Americans and specifically their drug use. This is when drugs were started to become big, and people were realizing the impact they had.
    9. The United States has 5 percent of the population but it also has 25 percent of prisoners of the world and most of them are for a drug conviction.
    10. There are more African Americans on parole or incarcerated than the number of slaves in the 1850s

    Firstly, after watching this film, I just want to address how shocked I am with the trap that our government nurtures for these people. African-Americans aren’t drug addicts as much as they are businessmen. These people in these ghetto areas don’t have many options. That being said, it’s not okay to sell drugs, but for some people it’s all they have.
    Growing up in a rich city outside of Seattle, I wasn’t surrounded by a ton of drug trafficking. However, there were a few kids that sold weed and I saw them make a lot of money. This bothered me cause while I worked long and hard hours these kids made their money easy. In all honesty, selling pot was very tempting in that way but I would never do it because the risk is tremendous and it’s not morally right to me. With that, one may also say I was born with more privilege than to have to resort to selling drugs. The consequences faced for any penalty related to drugs are high, almost too high. For instance, I felt bad the man who was doing life in prison that played the guitar. He seemed to have turned his life around but he’ll never live life outside of that prison again.


  • Ten things I learned after watching the film
    1. Most discrimination happens to black men and usually due to drug arrest.
    2. It isn’t the men’s fault if they turn out how they do. It’s a sadly inevitable thing due to how they have been discriminated and raised all their life
    3. There are more white people doing drugs then black but there is more incarceration of black men in the system.
    4. The U.S has 25% of prisoners in the world
    5. The war on drugs is driven by race
    6. Drug dealers are looked upon
    7. Around 2.7 million of children have a parent in jail
    8. 5grams of crack is the same sentence of 500 grams of cocaine even though it’s pretty much the same thing.
    9. Jails create jobs for many people
    10. There are mandatory sentencing laws no matter if the judge would like to give a lower sentence
    After watching this film it makes me wonder why black people get discriminated so much. I often have trouble in this class because the things I hear anger me. Being a Latina I often get looked down upon but I can’t compare to how much blacks do. My parents came to this country for a better opportunity but the more I learn about this country i see that’s it’s not all everybody makes it out to seem. There is so much discrimination to the minorities that they are getting incarcerated. The government sets traps with this drug war, they are only arresting blacks and latinos. When its shown that whites are the ones who do more drugs.


  • One thing I noticed was the three-strike rule this country uses when it comes to drug related charges. The man who was residing in the Oklahoma prison had just been arrested for possession of methamphetamine three times but he was sentenced to life in prison because of the way the law is.

    A second thing I learned was that police officers will use racial profiling and stereotypes to pull people over. In New Mexico, this was very prevalent because one of the officers explained when he sees certain cars and races of people he associates them as people more likely to commit drug related crimes.

    Thirdly, the United States only contains 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prisoners.

    Fourth, while crack-cocaine was the dangerously popular drug of the 80’s, meth was the drug of the 90’s.

    Fifth, the difference between the ingredients of crack-cocaine and powdered cocaine is that crack-cocaine contains baking soda while powdered cocaine does not.

    Sixth, the government can seize property like cars without any concrete reasoning. If they believe it’s connected to a drug related crime, they can confiscate the property for good.

    Seventh, a lot of the people involved in selling drugs are just brought up into the business and they do it because it’s so easily accessible and an easy way to make money.

    Eighth, President Nixon spurned the drug war and is one of the main reasons why this country has such severe criminal punishments for drug usage today.

    Ninth, many illegal drugs today were used for medicinal purposes a century ago. Cocaine, especially, was used in many early medicines.

    Lastly, in the mid 20th century, people who were addicted to drugs were considered as people with an illness and were looked upon as patients compared to present day where drug addicts are looked upon with pity and contempt.

    Based on my own experiences, I can’t quite relate to the film. I grew up in a city with very little crime, and if there was any it was the news of the day. I was shocked at the prevalence of crime in some areas of the country, and can’t believe how severe the criminal punishment can be, I find that to be unfair in many cases. Overall, I’m glad I was raised in a safe environment, because I could have been forced or pressured to sell drugs if I was born and raised in a criminal area of the Unites States.


  • 1. I learned that racism plays a major role in the ongoing “war against drugs” in the United States, and has been proven to further institutionalize racism in politics.
    2. Richard Nixon was the first influential figure to put a label on the increasing drug laws; he termed it “the war on drugs” during his time in office.
    3. An individual that possesses one gram of crack cocaine receives the same sentence as 100 grams of powder cocaine.
    4. With every drug and every amount you possess, there are a set of mandatory minimum sentences that you MUST be sentenced if you get charged with possession.
    5. At the beginning of the war on drugs, American Government’s primary aim was to phase out minorities that threatened the job security of the whites, with their first targets being the Chinese, then Mexicans, and now more recently, blacks.
    6. As the war on “drugs” continues, the whites are now showing up more frequently on drug arrest statistics. This is not what Government originally wanted but now the fight against drugs is such a major issue that it has become hard to get the whites out of these states.
    7. Jails have become a growing industry with many different corporations that buy into it. Private companies build jails all over the world, forcing the quota to fill those jails to rise even more.
    8. If you have a previous drug charge on your criminal record, and get convicted again for drugs, it is mandatory for you to serve life in prison without parole.
    9. Many prisoners that fall under receiving the life sentence with prior drug charges are hoping for the laws to change & allow them to not have to serve life sentences.
    10. Without being arrested, law enforcement officers can seize any money or any other resources believed to be used in the purpose of drug use or drug sales.

    What shocked me the most out of watching this film is the realization that this so called “War on Drugs” has actually been a war on various ethnic groups throughout America. Government observes the different groups that a specific drug is very popular with, and they aim their efforts to arrest and convict these groups, but cover it up by saying its sole purpose is to get the drugs off the street. More recently, whites have become accustomed to some of these drugs, threatening the fulfillment of the continuous goal of thinning down specific minority races. This just shows how much racism has been institutionalized across government and law enforcement. Whites began to see ethnic groups threatening their job security, so they fight back and simply claim it to be enforcing drug use more strictly.


  • • At the start of the 20th century, lawmakers tried to figure out how all new European immigrants would fit into the hierarchy of races.
    • Some immigrants were referred to as “in between people”
    • There was a lot of culture clashing when new immigrants moved into the United States since few could speak English
    • In order to be a naturalized citizen in the United States you had to be categorized as white or Black
    • Homes in white communities appreciated in value, black families stayed in the old homes with little or no value.
    • Because of the housing market, white families were more able to pass on wealth to their children.
    • When a black family moves into a neighborhood, all the houses into the neighborhood start to lose value.
    • It was difficult for blacks, or people living in black neighborhoods, to get any financial help from the banks.
    • White families on average make twice as much as black families, therefor graduation rates and employment are also similar.
    • The wealth gap continues to grow, families are able to pass on their wealth to their children.
    After watching this film, I am more conscious of how the housing market is structured to accommodate white privilege. It was shocking to me to hear about how black families were treated, even after soldiers who had fought for our country arrived back home. This film definitely outlines how a hierarchy of racism has been licked into our system. For example the film discusses specifically how the new immigrants would be categorized. Also the housing discrimination. We discussed in class the act or red lining. All white neighborhoods would be in green while black neighborhoods were mostly all red. This is an example of how the idea of racism is locked in. Also how black families had a more difficult this trying to receive any financial help from larger institutions, such as the banking system.


  • 1) The police are being paid with the money they are getting from drug arrests.
    2) The war on drugs started a long time ago, but people still call it the war on drugs and it is basically a war on racism in my eyes.
    3) 1 gram of crack is an equivalent punishment to 100 grams of powder cocaine.
    4) Before drugs were illegal and had punishments, there were corners on the streets that had a little openings through a thick board to sell drugs like a drive through McDonalds.
    5) The only difference between powder and crack cocaine is crack cocaine has water and baking soda added to it and baked to make it “crack.”
    6) The U.S. holds 25% of the worlds prisoners, but only has 5% of the worlds population.
    7) The police were getting so involved with drug busts that the percentage of rape, murder and other illegal activities were going lower on the police spectrum because it took longer to investigate in a murder scene than to get a drug bust.
    8) The Chinese started getting involved in opium and the drug became legal because Americans thought they were taking over the job industry, so they thought opium would send them under.
    9) A lot of things that are made like desks, chairs, and basically in a school is made by prisoners in jail to give them jobs.
    10) More than half the people in jail under drug offenses are in jail for non-violent reasons

    This film relates to me because I have been around drugs my whole life. Well, everyone has, but everyone has their own story. When I was about 8 years old my uncle, my aunt, and my other aunt, all got their kids taken away from them for using meth. I don’t get to see my cousins very often anymore, but I know they are in better homes now. I know that a lot of the people in jail aren’t violent, but maybe they have children at home who shouldn’t be around that. I think sending people to jail for hard drugs is a good thing because it helps those people get back on the right track to make something of their lives.


  • 1. Drugs related crimes cost about $1 trillion with over 45million people arrested since late 90’s.
    2. black disproportionally represented despite white and others race contribute to drug related problem the same or even more.
    3. In the case of Anthony, drug dealer being treated like “leader” or role model in the community due to they helped to pay stuff and give money to those that needed their help.
    4. in some area, there were no or too little economic opportunity for those that lived in, and no points for the kids to go school since teacher does not care. This in turn lead to people/kids better sell drugs rather than look for job/go to school.
    5. Under President Nixon, war on drugs are officially became national political issues, where new and tougher law passed. implementation of “3 strikes”
    6. War on drugs not only effect people, but law enforcer as well.
    7. Some law enforcer took the war on drug issue as incentive for promotion, since drug related arrest are more frequent than arrest on issue such as murder. More successful arrest=more credibility.
    8. interstate pull over – some state allow interstate pull over ad confiscate money without warrant if the officer at the scene think that those money could be drug related.
    9. In the past, drugs related issue associated with race and mainly due to economical attack targeted at immigrant, which can be viewed as political attack towards them as well.
    10.”Housing ghettos” leads to cultural and economically depressed community, where red lining causes those that lived within this line to create their own economy such as sell drugs to earn more money to better support their family.

    In relation to the movie, the issue on drugs in US seem to be broader than what I understood. As an international student, my normal expectation in relation to drug were limited the temptation of some people to get extra money for themselves, but now I realised that some other factors such as living standard (red lining) and lack of education awareness contributed to some people had no choice but to sell drug for living. The segregated living where people being forced to live in certain areas lead to economically suppressed environment, which in turn lead to other issue such as poverty and crimes and thus contribute to even more drug related offence in addition to present long history of drug abuse.


  • 1. The war on drugs is a lot more associated with race than I had imagined.
    2. There are mandatory sentencing laws depending on the amount and type of drug it is, there is nothing the judge can do even if he wanted to.
    3. If you have prior drug charges and get charged for drug trafficking you automatically get life in prison without parole.
    4. The difference between crack and powder cocaine is the backing soda used to bake it and harden it.
    5. Meth effects whites more than any other race.
    6. President Nixon started the “war on drugs” during the late 1960’s.
    7. Only 13% of crack users are black.
    8. Police officers in small towns tend to profile people in order to make drug arrests. Officers that tend to make more arrests tend to get the promotions so making more arrest for not necessary reasons gives them an incentive to make arrests.
    9. Ronald Regan had an intense plan for the drug war, Nancy Regan is the one who started the “Just Say No” movement.
    10. If a criminal gets out of jail, they are automatically ineligible to vote, and ineligible for health benefits. Even after being released there is no such thing as “free-man” your conviction will always follow you wherever you go. Always having to check the little box asking if they have ever committed a felony in which many cases causes the person not to get the job.
    After watching the movie I realized that race and drugs do have a huge connection with each other. I had never actually connected both of them before. I agree that people make assumptions on drug use based on race. For example I have personally experienced that people believe I smoked weed just because I am Hispanic. After completely clarifying that I have never smoked they act completely surprised. It has bothered me that people just assume that because I am Mexican I do drugs and drink.


  • Drugs in America are one of the biggest problems
    Since 1971 America has spent more than 1 trillion dollars and have more than 45 million arrest on the Drug War.
    Law enforcement believes everything has to do with drugs, and people live off drug money.
    Many people don’t know about the Drug War on America, and believe its another country when they here about it.
    Many people who become apart of the drug community and gangs, where raised around it and it became part of their life.
    Half the people of the 2 million people in prison is african american, and majority of those where arrested for drugs.
    Presidents use talking about how they are going to fight drugs to help their political campaign.
    When crack cocaine came out in the 1980’s 5 grams was equivalent to 500 grams of cocaine, and the image was white people where using cocaine where black people where using crack.
    Oklahoma has the three strike rule and once you get that last strike you get life without parole.
    People identify people with drugs and think they are the ones causing the problems.

    This film really showed me a entire side of drugs i never knew about. With connecting this film with class we talk about about how police do racial profiling and it always happening to African Americans and Latinos the most, where as when it comes to a Caucasian it rarely happens. This film also talks about how half of the 2 million people in prison are African Americans and most of those arrest are with related with drugs and thats mostly what most people are in risen for. The most shocking thing this talks about is how people learn about the drugs and get into that life because they are raised around it there entire life. With regards to the Drug War i didn’t know that and that is extremely high especially compared to all the other countries. To a Presidents talking about drugs he really is only using it to help his political campaign. I believe they use this to help certain communities feel safe by using social profiling. The thing wrong with this is they need to look more at facts where in a lot of neighborhoods its Caucasians dealing, which I saw almost everyday when i got off work at night in Seattle which I thought was a complete shocker.


  • This takes an insight into the War on Drugs chronicle that has been enacted for four decades. This movie has opened my eyes to some scary facts related to this war. What I have been informed from this movie is reduced to the following points:
    – War on drug is a top priority task for the government; drug can be more dangerous than every external threat because it eats or consumes the country from the inside. Youth is the cornerstone of the nation but drug usually targets young people. Drug abuse is not limited to health complications only, but it also provokes murders, gang wars, and family problems. This war has arisen racism related issues due to the fact that most of drug users are people of color.
    – According to the documentary, the War on Drugs cost the country over $1 trillion and resulted in more than 45 million arrests, the majority of the jailed people were black. Most of the cost went towards building prisons and enforcing security services. However, these efforts have not reached the required objectives, but side effects have emerged which made the government. The prisons are growing overcrowded with non-violent criminals. America’s Criminal Justice System and its laws did never addressed the roots of the problem and solved it because the researches revealed that 10-16 billion dollars are spent yearly in buying drugs causing a huge demand.
    – The movie revealed that 2.7 million children in America have a parent behind bar. Actually, every family suffers from arresting one of their members, especially those groups/ races who struggle with inequality, causing a community crack. It is sad that for every family’s hard situation and heart breaking details at least an abused child. Those abused children are more likely to deviate at an early age, which will result in a fate similar to their parent’s. At this point, these laws are not being helpful but harmful to the economy and society.
    – The documentary sets forth the argument that the system is broken and that those profiting from it have no intent to fix things, but the idea of comparing scapegoated drug-users to Holocaust victims will certainly turn some people off. I think that these poor laws can never solve the issue.
    – I think that this movie should have been released a while ago, because the crisis has been there for around forty year destroying families and lives.


  • 10 things that I learned

    1.Only 13% if crack users are black, but 90% of defendants are black.

    2. 1 gram of cocaine has the equivalent sentence to 100 grams of power cocaine.

    3. Meth became the new crack cocaine. It was very cheap and very addictive and fairly easy to get a hold of. Meth effects whites more than any other race.

    4. President Richard Nixon started war on drugs.

    5. Drug dealers are looked up too in their communities because they have lots of money, they sell to there friends and other people of the community, they are also well known and have power. They are cool to the young kids and give them free or discount cool stuff. things like that

    6. 2.7 million of children in America have a parent in jail/prison

    7. There have been more than 45 million arrests in United States The last 40 years because of the war on drugs.

    8. Blacks are the target of Drug War Laws.

    9. Since 1977 war against drugs has cost 1 trillion dollars.

    10. The U.S has prisoners in the world, 25% more prisoners than the rest of the world

    War on drugs

    The film talked about how blacks were target for drug and illegal crimes and how that whites actually are addicted and do more drugs, and do more hard drugs. This film also talked about how crack cocaine and cocaine have different amount of years of jail you could get if you went you got caught. and that the difference was a lot. Basically throughout the film went over war on drugs. When it started, how it started, why it started, who started it and what happened throughout the years until I think the early 2000’s. However this video wasn’t new but it wasn’t old. I feel like some of that stats increase maybe decrease. It was pretty recent, so I’d say its pretty actuate though. Overall I learned a lot and I thought it was a very good video and I’m glad I went. My favorite uncle was black and he was a drug dealer but I kind of didn’t know that until he was arrested and thrown prison for 10 years. he use to give me money and take me too school in morning every day so I could get a good education. but how in the video it talked about know neighborhood drug dealers. So that part of the film relates to me and is true.


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