Kiki's topic focuses on the legislation in the War on Drugs and War on Trafficking and the relationships that they have with the sociological theory of moral panic.
The legacy of the War on Drugs has striking similarity to the now expanding War on
Trafficking. There are lessons to be learned from the War on Drugs that are direct parallels to the
War on Trafficking and should be applied, as the War on Trafficking is ongoing. They are both
“wars” that began as moral panics based on media propaganda campaigns with racialized
undertones and racialized implementation that led to (and will lead to) an expansion of mass
incarceration. This will (as most criminal justice issues do), further criminalize non-violent Black
and Brown populations. The War on Drugs and the War on Trafficking are both legislatively
short-sighted, over simplified, and incapable of reaching its desired effect of lessening drug use
and sale and human trafficking respectively.
These conclusions are presented in a larger argument for the decriminalization of sex
work in the same manner drug use has become increasingly decriminalized. It is also presented
in a larger argument that moral panic legislation is inherently discriminatory. Moral panics about
the need to protect white society permeate in the implicit biases of legislators, judicial officials,
and law enforcement and cause both direct and indirect (systemic) harm to Black communities.
-Kiki Bryant, Uppity Negress Podcast courtesy of SWOP USA
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