The premise of Eugene Jarecki's The House I Live In documentary is that the US War on Drugs, other than being a mostly failed campaign, has also disproportionately affected minority communities. A summary of the film's premise is presented on its website:
While recognizing the seriousness of drug abuse as a matter of public health, the film investigates the tragic errors and shortcomings that have meant it is more often treated as a matter for law enforcement, creating a vast machine that feeds largely on America’s poor, and especially on minority communities. Beyond simple misguided policy, THE HOUSE I LIVE IN examines how political and economic corruption have fueled the war for forty years, despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures.
The filmmaker iterates the claim on a recent interview with Bill Maher, where (0:30 of the video) he's answering a question about whether the campaign is a war on minorities as:
It has been a war on people, and its especially been a war on people of colour in America; but that's nothing new, we've had racist drug laws in this country from really the dawn of it in the 1800s...
Michelle Alexander, in her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, claims:
In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. So we don’t. Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label people of color “criminals” and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind. Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans.
I was rushing to catch the bus, and I noticed a sign stapled to a telephone pole that screamed in large bold print: The Drug War Is the New Jim Crow.
Are there studies, preferably non-partisan, to support the claim that the War on Drugs has disproportionately affected or even targeted minority communities?