Learning from your mistakes: Drug Wars.
By investigating the past we can help avoid mistakes in the future. Currently the past and the present don't seem to reflect any growth or maturity but instead seem to reflect views that have been held for centuries too long. The first Opium war eventually sparked a revolt and combative war which saw a lot of Chinese bloodshed and not much of a substantial solution to the problem. This led to opium use in the United States which influenced rules and laws against Asian Americans, and later against African Americans who due to continued hatred still face many unfair laws which occur today. The only difference between now and then is that the racism which happens today is silent instead of being boldly evident.
Why would drugs and race have such a large influence on our government policies? Well although the war on drugs has been held for over 4 decades this isn't the first drug war to have seen problems with race. In the mid 1800's even though China and Britain had both banned opium usage, "In 1797, during the war against Napoleon Bonaparte, Great Britain decided to formally supervise narcotics trafficking in the Far East to ensure the nation's revenues and tea supply"1 (Gootenberg 55-56). Large amounts of opium were being shipped from British India to China which caused an opium epidemic and created a black market for the drug. The Chinese Emperor knew that this would be detrimental to his empire and decided to write a formal letter to the Queen asking for a cease in the exportation of Opium to China; unfortunately the letter was never delivered.
The United States around the same time was experiencing a shift west as the sight of gold lured people from around the world to change their lives for the better. Many of the immigrants that came to Americas west coast were Chinese males who had immigrated in order to find work. These men were mostly young... [continues]
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(2007, 11). Drug Wars. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2007, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Drug-Wars-126436.html
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