Alcohol prohibition gave rise to organized crime in America. It created
the climate and nurtured the growth of professional, criminal gangs.
Poverty is the mother of crime. Prohibition is the father. The drug war
continually fuels crime in our cities.
The stronger law enforcement methods become, the more violent and dangerous
the gangs become. They fear one another more than they do the police. The
only way we will ever get their attention is to remove the profit from their
The young Capones of today own the inner cites, and the wholesalers behind
these young retailers are rapidly buying up the larger system which is supposed
to control them. Prohibition gave us the Mafia and organized crime on a
scale that has been with us ever since. The new prohibition is writing a
new chapter on that old text, writes Hodding Carter III.
Alcohol prohibition was the financial catalyst for the organized criminal
empire to take hold in American cities. Narcotic prohibition was
actually a rival gang. The machine guns came out, slaughtering the seven
men with over 100 bullets.
The event made national headlines and shocked the world. The people killed
were not called gangsters or bootleggers. It was recognized that they were
human beings and we could not endure the violence we had created by prohibition.
Today, events far worse than this happen regularly. Most people wring
their hands and blame it on drugs. Americans have become callous about tragedies
like this unless they happen in their own neighborhoods. Those killed are
dehumanized by drug war rhetoric. Adding to the damage is the fact that
most of the victims today are young, Black or Hispanic males.
The destructiveness of drug prohibition is hidden in the smoke-screen
of crime created by the policy.
History Lesson #4: Alcohol prohibition
resulted in the development of the bootlegger and organized crime.