Could legalizing drugs really be the solution to the problems plaguing black America? According to John McWhorter, it could. In a New Year's Eve piece at The New Republic, McWhorter pushes for the United States to heed former English drug official Bob Ainsworth's recent proposal for the legalization of all drugs. McWhorter's argument is simple: if all drugs are made available and sold at a low price at CVS or Walgreens, the sale of drugs on the street would be come obsolete, forcing, specifically, young black males who would normally choose to make money dealing to complete high school and get legitimate jobs. "That is neither an exaggeration nor an oversimplification," insists McWhorter, who shoots down the argument that "this could only happen with low-skill factory jobs available a bus ride away from all black neighborhoods ... Too many people of all colors of modest education manage to get by without taking a time machine to the 1940s, and after the War on Drugs black men would be no exception."
McWhorter paints an optimistic picture of a new black community wherein young black men are "much less likely to wind up in prison cells or caskets, would be a constant presence--and thus stay in the lives of their children." Black boys would not see "drug-addicted ex-cons" as the norm, he predicts. "And something else these boys would not grow up with is a bone-deep sense of the police--and thus whites--as an enemy. Because there would be no reason for the police to prowl through his neighborhood."