Latest Drug War News

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!

Shop online at and a percentage of each purchase will be donated to our cause! More than 600 top stores are participating!

The Internet Our Website

Global and National Events Calendar

Bottoms Up: Guide to Grassroots Activism

Prisons and Poisons

November Coalition Projects

Get on the Soapbox! with Soap for Change

November Coalition: We Have Issues!

November Coalition Local Scenes

November Coalition Multimedia Archive

The Razor Wire
Bring Back Federal Parole!
November Coalition: Our House

Stories from Behind The WALL

November Coalition: Nora's Blog

December 9, 2007 - Newsday (NY)

Column: Mitt Romney's Faith Fails To Be Color Blind

By Les Payne

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

Whenever a proselytizing Mormon knocks on my Harlem door, I chase him away as brusquely as I would chase away a Klansman, or an evangelical Christian Republican, and for much the same reason.

I have zero tolerance for racial intolerance.

Mormon Mitt Romney took pains to assure evangelical Republicans Thursday that they would have nothing to fear should he be elected president. Their 10-percent block of the Iowa caucus was very much on the mind of the presidential candidate trained during his missionary days in the low art of pandering for an advantage.

"I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law," the former Massachusetts governor promised the undecided at the George H.W. Bush Library in Texas. "A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States."

The supposed evangelical Christian occupying the White House unfortunately made no such promise six years ago. And the nation is thus paying the price at home and abroad. The Bush policies can be understood only when we consider that, at bottom, the president is a recovering alcoholic working out his salvation through Bible-thumping and the evangelical fulfillment of prophecy.

The problem with such a fanatic as president is that we the people cannot cross-examine the real architect of his irrational vision.

Religious devotion, as President John F. Kennedy verified, remains a proper line of inquiry about separation of state from church.

I rather suspect, however, that white evangelicals have little to fear from Romney. It is not so clear for the rest of us, especially those the Mormons libel as bearing "the curse of Cain," who killed his Biblical brother Abel. I refer, of course, to Brigham Young's interpreted Mormon doctrine that "the Lord" cursed Cain's descendants with "a flat nose and dark skin." Many old-line church apostles still consider blacks as inferiors.

Such segregation differs from other religions mainly in that the Mormon nonsense is homegrown, allegedly "revealed" in upstate New York and transported to Utah. Not until 1978 did the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allow black men to enter the priesthood. This revised "revelation" from the heavens came amid growing protests from African-Americans as college sports teams refused to compete against Brigham Young and other church colleges.

What exactly is the shelf life of God-inspired bigotry? Mitt Romney grew into adulthood under a Mormon doctrine instructing members that Negroes could not enter heaven or the priesthood because they were cursed by God, and inferior. Laying aside the Mormon hocus-pocus, Romney is no different in such racial conditioning than his comparable, evangelical white Christian, to say nothing of the secular crowd.

Such racial policy and practice, for example, are daily being executed by Long Island cops, prosecutors and judges in their legal capacity. A Newsday story reported that though illegal drug use among blacks is about the same rate as among whites in Nassau and Suffolk counties, the criminal justice system, so called, incarcerates them at an astounding rate 36 times higher than that of white drug users!

Such racial disparity would have shamed the judicial system of Pretoria in the bad old days of apartheid. Yet, some 97 percent of the largest 198 counties in the United States send African-American drug users to prison at a wildly disparate rate, according to a recent report by the Justice Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank. The sweeping study surveyed incarceration records for 2002.

Nationally, blacks and whites used, possessed and sold illegal drugs at about the same rate, but African-Americans ended up in prison at a rate nearly 10 times greater than their white compatriots! The devil is in the local details where cops arrest and judges make sentencing decisions.

Probation officers, the study found, tended to attribute white drug crimes to "external forces," while labeling the abuse of black addicts as "personal failures," recalling the "curse" described in that blood libel by the Mormons.

The challenge for the media with President Bush -- as with candidate Romney and the others -- is not to reveal promises he's willing to make, but rather to disclose those tragic flaws so deeply buried in denial.

For the latest drug war news, visit our friends and allies below

We are careful not to duplicate the efforts of other organizations, and as a grassroots coalition of prisoners and social reformers, our resources (time and money) are limited. The vast expertise and scope of the various drug reform organizations will enable you to stay informed on the ever-changing, many-faceted aspects of the movement. Our colleagues in reform also give the latest drug war news. Please check their websites often.

The Drug Policy Alliance
Drug Reform Coordination Network
Drug Sense and The Media Awareness Project

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact