Wow: Openly racist GOP lawmaker in Kansas explains that black people can’t handle marijuana because of their “character” and their “genetics.”
In a deplorable display of ignorance and racism, State Rep. Steve Alford, a 75-year-old Republican from Ulysses, Kansas, explained to an all white audience why the legalization of marijuana is a bad idea.
Allen made his despicable claims over the weekend at a legislative coffee event in response to a question about marijuana legalization.
When asked by a Democrat about about the possibility of legalizing marijuana, Alford said:
What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas (and) across the United States. What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics, and that.
Raw Story notes the historical background of Alford’s racist remarks:
Alford’s comments referenced a belief promoted by marijuana prohibitionist Harry Anslinger, the founding commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
“Under Anslinger’s leadership, the FBN came to be considered responsible for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937,” the report noted, “regulating cannabis and further taxing it to the ultimate detriment of the hemp industry that was booming at the time.”
“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” Anslinger said once when explaining why marijuana supposedly caused crime and violence. The commissioner also fought for the prohibition of cannabis due to “its effect on the degenerate races.”
The Kansas City Star reports that Rep. Valdenia Winn, an African American lawmaker from Kansas City, called Alford’s comment “bizarre,” noting:
He needs to apologize to somebody, if nothing else the individuals of color in his own community.
The Kansas City Star also reports that Zach Worf, chairman of the Finney County Democrats, confirmed that he had asked Rep Alford the question about cannabis legalization, and also said that he spoke to Alford after the meeting, explaining the conversation he had with Alford immediately after the event:
I said, ‘That was the most racist thing I’ve ever heard anybody say, and I will make it a point for your constituents to know exactly what your thoughts were here today.’
Currently Rep. Alford chairs the Kansas House Children and Seniors Committee and the Child Welfare Task Force.
When asked, Alford denied that he was a racist.
And so it goes.