Pubdate: Thu, 01 Apr 1999
Date: 04/01/1999
Source: New London Day (CT)
Author: George Klinck Clarke

To the Editor of The Day:

Some of our good citizens have been making a valiant attempt to drive
out those who sell and buy drugs from our neighborhoods.  In this
work, with the aid of a much enhance neighborhood police force, the
battle has been engaged and we joined the war on drugs in our fair
city.  While we were engaged locally, the greater war on drugs in the
Unites States and overseas has sought to stem the tide.  I was
involved in my neighborhood antidrug work.

Then, I began to notice that as we were trying to force dealers out of
one neighborhood, they would just pop up a few blocks away or maybe
find greener pastures in Norwich.

Total effect: drugs are still running like water.

The hunt goes on as before.  We feel powerful when 20 or 30 people
band together in a common goal against an identified enemy.  We say it
is for the children and to increase our property values.  Nothing
brings a neighborhood together more than a common purpose against a
common scapegoat.

In the Dark Ages, women healers were hunted down and put to death.  In
the last few centuries, we have just about wiped out the Native
American population.  We held people in slavery.

We do have a model in this country: many have been persecuted and
killed over the once-illegal sale of alcohol.  We used armed police
back then, too, and we are using them again.  Then we declared it
legal and taxed the alcohol addicts through the cost of the drug alcohol.

What is the difference between a bartender and a drug

We have made the addicts and drug dealers who are often their own best
customers into modern-day scapegoats.

We need to rethink what we are doing as a neighborhood, city and as a
country in this declared and terribly popular war on drugs, which is
nothing more thna a modern version of a witch hunt carried out on a
worldwide stage.

The most difficult prayer is to pray for justice.

George Klinch Clarke New London The writer is director of the 1999
Northeast U.S. Inter-City Drug Sign Tour