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Unfortunately, the writing is atrocious. It contains far too many parentheticals, disjointed sentences, too many commas and too few periods.

Worse than that is the tone. Mr. Alston is justifiably passionate about the racial injustices of the drug war. The tone, however, is not designed to win converts to his point of view. It is designed to inflame the passions of those that already agree with him.

I have never found that a wise strategic choice. Inflaming passions has its place, but it is far less helpful in the long run than a reasoned appeal to the logic of those that disagree. I want to increase the overall number of lions in the zoo, not merely throw red meat to the lions already there.

Angry rhetoric, even when justified, turns people away from the message. A strong, reasoned argument brings people to the message.

A note on style.

I agree with the overall sentiment of Wilton D. Alston’s recent article “How Can Anyone Not Realize the War on (Some) Drugs Is Racist?
Unfortunately, the writing is atrocious. It contains far too many parentheticals, disjointed sentences, too many commas and too few periods.
Worse than that is the tone. Mr. Alston is justifiably passionate about the racial injustices of the drug war. The tone, however, is not designed to win converts to his point of view. It is designed to inflame the passions of those that already agree with him.
I have never found that a wise strategic choice. Inflaming passions has its place, but it is far less helpful in the long run than a reasoned appeal to the logic of those that disagree. I want to increase the overall number of lions in the zoo, not merely throw red meat to the lions already there.
Angry rhetoric, even when justified, turns people away from the message. A strong, reasoned argument brings people to the message.