Pubdate: Sun, 16 Oct 2005
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2005, The Tribune Co.
Note: Limit LTEs to 150 words
Author: John Chase


Leonard Pitts speaks with passion but offers no remedy other than the
unspoken wish that it stop. First, we must understand how racial
profiling became a tool of law enforcement.

It began with Nixon's statement, as recorded in the diary of his chief
of staff, H.R. Haldeman, in 1969 (cf. Dan Baum's book ``Smoke and
Mirrors''): ``You have to face the fact that the whole problem is
really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this
while not appearing to.'' In 1971 Nixon declared his war on drugs,
destined to replace and nationalize the states' Jim Crow laws trashed
by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

I wish Pitts would write about that - the immorality of a policy that
puts illegal ``gold'' on the streets of the inner city to attract
unskilled men to crime. The policy supports an illegal market for
substances that sell for 50 times what they'd bring if legal. It has
become a sort of institutionalized entrapment, a self-fulfilling
prophesy that allows whites to blame blacks for American drug problems.

JOHN CHASE, Palm Harbor
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