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 legislations repealing essentially the most arguable rules in American felony justice background: the only hundred to at least one sentencing disparity among crack cocaine and powder wherein somebody convicted of "simply" owning 5 grams of crack (the an identical of some sugar packets) have been required by means of legislation to serve not less than 5 years in legal. during this hugely unique paintings, Dimitri A. Bogazianos attracts on resources starting from music lyrics to executive records to ascertain the profound symbolic outcomes of America's reliance in this punishment constitution, tracing the wealthy cultural linkages among America's warfare on medicinal drugs, and the artistic contributions of these at once suffering from its damaging effects.

Focusing totally on lyrics that emerged in Nineteen Nineties ny rap, which critiqued the tune for being corrupt, unjust, and felony, Bogazianos exhibits what number rappers begun 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 long way greater than hip hop tradition, highlighting the measure to which crack cocaineoalthough a drug lengthy in declineohas come to symbolize the full paradoxical concern of punishment within the U.S. at the present time. This well timed and leading edge research has titanic implications for the examine of crime and tradition in addition to the function of punishment in American society extra in most cases, demonstrating that either crack and rap include a profound fight concerning the morality of city lifestyles.

An awesome and cutting edge account of ways the worlds of crack and rap collide, overlap, and finally implode, the booklet takes you locations you wouldn't anticipate, points of interest simply not often obvious, and sounds so haunting they are going to be difficult to put out of your mind. this can be a compelling learn and a wanted contribution from sociology.

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

Example text

The final bill, however, was only one in a long line of similar bills proposed over the years. R. 265, that proposed to equalize the 100-to-1 ratio at the powder level by making possession with intent to distribute five hundred grams of either powder or crack punishable by a mandatory five-year sentence. R. R. 3245). R. 18, that would have equalized the 100-to-1 disparity from the opposite direction: by making possession with 29 30 The Invisible Hand Holds a Gun intent to distribute five grams of either powder or crack punishable by a mandatory five-year term.

Put simply, there is no greater example of the punitive absurdity, and absurdly punitive reasoning, undergirding our thirty-plus-year experiment in mass incarceration—as well as our recent efforts to reform it—than the punishment structure for crack cocaine. ”38 Even in the face of overwhelming condemnation and official action, crack cocaine continues to play a profoundly symbolic social role. Scholarly Near Misses Given the paradoxical nature of crack’s punishment structure, it should be no surprise that those groups hit most heavily by the anomalous treatment of crack cocaine should also come to see themselves in similarly paradoxical ways.

As a result, “Adults stop scolding rowdy children; the children, emboldened, become more rowdy. Families move out, unattached adults move in. Teenagers,” consequently, “gather in front of the corner store. The merchant asks them to move; they refuse. Fights occur. Litter accumulates. 25 20 Crack, Rap, and the Punitive Turn At bottom, from theoretical penology to mainstream crime-control policy, there is a broad consensus that the explicit goals and purposes of criminal justice may have very little effect on how the system actually operates.

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