Download 5 Grams: Crack Cocaine, Rap Music, and the War on Drugs by Dimitri A. Bogazianos PDF

By Dimitri A. Bogazianos

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a legislation repealing essentially the most arguable guidelines in American legal justice background: the only hundred to 1 sentencing disparity among crack cocaine and powder wherein an individual convicted of "simply" owning 5 grams of crack (the identical of some sugar packets) were required through legislations to serve a minimum of 5 years in criminal. during this hugely unique paintings, Dimitri A. Bogazianos attracts on resources starting from tune lyrics to executive records to envision the profound symbolic effects of America's reliance in this punishment constitution, tracing the wealthy cultural linkages among America's battle on medications, and the artistic contributions of these without delay plagued by its damaging effects.

Focusing totally on lyrics that emerged in Nineties big apple rap, which critiqued the tune for being corrupt, unjust, and felony, Bogazianos indicates what percentage rappers started drawing parallels among the "rap game" and the "crack game," juxtaposing their very own exploits in highway crime with the machinations of executives within the suites. He argues that the symbolism of crack in rap's stance in the direction of its personal commercialization represents an ethical debate that's a ways greater than hip hop tradition, highlighting the measure to which crack cocaineoalthough a drug lengthy in declineohas come to symbolize the total paradoxical quandary of punishment within the U.S. at the present time. This well timed and cutting edge research has significant implications for the examine of crime and tradition in addition to the function of punishment in American society extra ordinarily, demonstrating that either crack and rap include a profound fight concerning the morality of city existence.

An remarkable and cutting edge account of ways the worlds of crack and rap collide, overlap, and eventually implode, the booklet takes you areas you wouldn't count on, points of interest simply hardly visible, and sounds so haunting they are going to be not easy to omit. it is a compelling learn and a wanted contribution from sociology.

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Extra info for 5 Grams: Crack Cocaine, Rap Music, and the War on Drugs (Alternative Criminology)

Sample text

According to the commission, the mandatory minimum for simple possession was taken “as a means of aiding the enforcement community’s efforts against crack cocaine traffickers by setting up a presumption that possession of five grams of crack cocaine meant the possessor was a trafficker.  . S. crime policy becomes one of the most powerful symbolic demonizations in latetwentieth-century America. This formulation, in which “drug quantity would serve as a proxy to identify those traffickers of greatest concern,”29 in essence, created a specific culpability-by-the gram calculus by which those caught with a few sugar packets of crack would be treated as if they were serious traffickers just slightly below the kingpins—the Scarfacelike heads—of global criminal enterprises.

35 The Kingpin Strategy—intended as it was to ferret out and dismantle large-scale criminal enterprises— has never had evidence to justify its use against crack dealing. ’”37 While the rationale underlying the punishment of crack cocaine was—and will continue to be, even though the 100-to-1 ratio has been reduced to 18-to-1—thoroughly illogical and irrational, it is the violence that came to be associated with its low-level distribution system that has been most devastating to the communities that it affected directly.

And so, the express purpose of the crack laws—to target the Scarfacelike masterminds of criminal enterprises that traffic in massive quantities of inherently lethal drugs—was fundamentally and thoroughly illogical from the start. It was a Kingpin Strategy that, at every step of the way, deliberately treated impure product as if it were that which it could not be. The punishment ratio, at bottom, was a rationally created irrationality. In addition to their retail status, which militates against the use of a Kingpin Strategy against them, crack distribution networks have never been organized according to hierarchical models.

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