A PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE OF THE MAN
WAS HARRY ANSLINGER A RACIST PIG?
(A Documented Source For Active duty Reporters)
WAS HARRY ANSLINGER A RACIST PIG?
--- A question of no trivial importance today. Especially as many are now beginning to question the very nature of our present day Drug War; ---In effect calling it a “War On Blacks” instead. Thus the origins of the ‘Brown Skin Marihuana Laws’ as well as the mind-set of those who had a role in creating them are taking on an ever-growing and significant importance.
On one side are those who claim that Anslinger was a racist all along and thus the very reason why the ‘Brown Skin Marihuana’ laws have had such a disproportionately negative impact on communities of color all along. Simply put, because they were designed that way to begin with, right from the start.
On the other side (surprisingly enough), there are groups of his defenders that are now openly stating the very opposite. Claiming that Anslinger himself WAS NOT A RACIST PIG at all, but instead (so we are asked to presume) simply a greatly misunderstood man doing his job. And to establish their case, these individuals point to the following:
Surprising enough however, most (in fact all) apologists seem to contradict themselves a bit on this last talking point, also claiming that:
- That other than the now infamous, ‘Ginger Colored Negro’ memo, there is no other solid proof to establish that Anslinger ever even said anything derogatorily about blacks. Some of his apologists even go so far as to imply that Anslinger himself had nothing to do with the memo, but it was instead simply the work of a desk clerk somewhere. Thus his only crime being not having read the memo properly before signing off on it.
- That many of the racist quotes attributed to him cannot be documented. Meaning there is no way to establish that he actually stated them in the first place.
- That Anslinger, acting as head of the DEA (then known as the Bureau of Narcotics) hired black agents into his Bureau LONG BEFORE Martin Luther King’s name had even been heard of.
- That (as shocking as this sounds), Anslinger had little or no role in the Reefer Madness campaign itself. That (in effect) it was simply something that was going on around him at the time he became commissioner of Narcotics. --- And that therefore, he didn’t have anything to do with (among other things) the creation of the movie ‘Reefer Madness,’ nor the hysteria campaign, etc.
- Some even go so far as to state that Anslinger himself was opposed to the creation of the Federal Marihuana laws in the first place. That he himself saw (marihuana) solely as an intrastate problem best left up to the States. On this point however, they also vary quite a bit with their claims that:
(a)- Research (into Marihuana) at the time was scant and contradictory, so it was easy to believe the worst.
(b)- That marijuana quickly became associated in the minds of the public with violent crime. Again with Ansligner playing no role in this, he just had the unfortunate timing of being commissioner at the time.
(c)- During that period, defense attorneys began using marijuana intoxication as a mitigating factor in violent-crime cases.
(d)- Thus it was Congress, not Anslinger that insisted on Marihuana being brought under Federal Control.
“In the early 1930s, marijuana was limited to itinerant Mexican workers along the southwest border, jazz musicians and those of Bohemian lifestyle. But by the mid-1930s, there was a rapid spread of marijuana use, particularly among young people. . . As part of his campaign, Anslinger dramatized newspaper accounts of the violent criminal prosecutions in which the marijuana defense had been introduced. But it backfired. Horrified parents demanded the federal government do more. And with much of the marijuana originating from Mexico, Border States clamored for the federal government to take charge. “ 
So Anslinger apologists claim or would have us believe that Harry Anslinger himself had little or nothing to do with the hysteria campaign that lead to the creation of the ‘Brown-Skin-Marihuana’ laws. THEREFORE, How could it be said that he was a racist pig?
In reply the answer is simple, BECAUSE HE WAS A RACIST PIG, THAT’S WHY. Additionally (see previous section), he was also a damnable LIAR, as well as a man without scruples or remorse. One might say that a good Christian he wasn’t and here we will allow the facts to simply speak for themselves.
Perhaps the best way to establish Anslinger’s racist views as fact, is to go through their arguments/talking points (one by one) made by his very own apologists and defenders:
1. REGARDING THE GINGER COLOR NEGRO MEMO:
That other than the now infamous, ‘Ginger Colored Negro’ memo, that there is no other solid proof to establish that Anslinger ever even said anything derogatorily about blacks. Some of his apologists even go so far as to imply that Anslinger himself had nothing to do with the memo, but it was instead simply the work of a desk clerk somewhere. Thus his only true crime in reality was not to have read it more carefully before signing off on it.
NOT TRUE, just plain not true, but first let us look at just what the Ginger Color Negro memo really was. Especially as their statements, for whatever reason, are always made in such a way so as to imply that this was just another memo. One of thousands, so what’s all the fuss about it?
Thus yet once again and not just coming from the ‘Ginger Colored Negro Memo’; his own words speak volumes about the man.
2. REGARDING ANSLINGERS RACIST QUOTES:
YET another argument or talking point that Anslinger’s apologists love to bring up is the sad but true fact that many of the racist quotes attributed to him, cannot be documented. Meaning there is no way to establish that Harry Anslinger actually stated them in the first place.
And here, it is with some no small amount of sadness that I must also concur. Even I am ashamed of how little background research has been done by those quoting and re-quoting various statements found on the Internet allegedly made by Anslinger. But for which no one seems to be able to locate the originating source. --- Specifically listed . .
So as could be seen, Anslinger’s revisionist historians do indeed have a strong talking point here. But at the same time, they conveniently forget (try to hide actually) the very fact they themselves (as was Anslinger himself) are also guilty of doing the very same thing.
3. REGARDING: ANSLINGER’S AFRO-AMERICAN HIRES:
That Anslinger at the time head of the DEA (then known as the Bureau of Narcotics) had hired black agents into his bureau LONG BEFORE Martin Luther King’s name had even been heard.
Yet another major talking point that Anslinger’s apologists love to bring up is the (alleged) fact that Anslinger started hiring black agents into his ‘Bureau of Narcotics’ as far back as 1951, or long before the civil rights era. In fact (according to Charles Lutz) the claim is made that during his tenure he hired a total of 35 Afro-Americans as narcotic agents. Thus they would claim; how could he have been a racial bigot. And in truth, had Anslinger actually hired such agents, despite the ugly truths found elsewhere, this one fact, of-and-by itself might just be enough to disprove all such allegations. . . . more . .
So as the reader can see, YES it was true, the facts do say that Anslinger did hire black agents, but it’s also true that the facts say that Anslinger was a RACIST by any measure of the word. And while there will be those who will claim that we mustn’t judge someone (back then) by today’s standards. The reality is that the harm he caused back then is still with us today and as such we must see/judge Anslinger by today’s standards. And as the following leaflet (below) shows this museum is not alone in its feelings.
[Granted, by the standards of her day, Kate Smith's actions might be seen as less than racist, but neither she nor Anslinger are being judged by the standards of their day. But instead by the harm that they are doing to us now]
[The four Drug-o’s of 1938 and the story remains the same – sorry best picture we could obtain]
[Anslinger collection PennState Box 3, File 2]
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