Mean-Spirited Drugs, And Punishing Policies By Luana Ross

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In journal “Native Women, Mean-Spirited Drugs, and Punishing Policies” by Luana Ross, she states psychological distress and violence are factors that lead to drug abuse among Native American women. Once Ronald Reagan declared the drug war the 1980s, there were a higher percentage of Native American and African American women than men incarcerated in prison for drug charges. In the article “Punishing Drug Addicts Who Have Babies: Women of Color, Equality, and the Right of Policy” by Dorothy Roberts, Roberts presents why pregnant black women are often the target of government persecutions. Poor women of color are more susceptible for punishment for drug abuse because of socially structured inequality.
Both authors argue that poor women of color
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While white middle-class mothers challenge their rights to not give birth, women of color face challenges to have children. One of her points is that there has been a history of devaluating of black motherhood that traces all the way back to slavery. Black women were valued for labor and producing more workers but were still considered sub-human. “Slave-owners forced women to lie face down in a depression in the ground while they were whipped. This procedure allowed the masters to protect the fetus while abusing the mother. It serves as a powerful metaphor for the evils of fetal protection policy that denies the humanity of a mother.”(Roberts 1438) Challenges to reproductive freedom is centered on the concept that a woman’s body is not her own, and that the government has the right to interfere with her reproduction. Ross’ article informs how native people such as, the Lummi Tribe deal with anyone convicted of a drug charge. Native Americans released from prison are exiled from their tribe and reservation. Since tribal council are unable to come up with other solutions Ross indicates, “Banishment of tribal members may not be effective either. White racism is punishing and life will be extraordinary difficult for those banished from their reservations. Those banished will not be welcome in Euro American or Native Nations.” (Ross 61) Many Native

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