President Clinton has signed a bill that maintains stiffer penalties for crack cocaine than for the powdered form of the drug. Since studies have found that Black Americans are more frequent users of crack than white Americans, who more often use powdered cocaine, some view the penalty difference as unfair. "This is a slap in the face for black people, and I don't understand why he did it," says TIME's Sylvester Monroe. "He could have avoided criticism by equalizing the punishments, but instead it looks like he supports the bias against blacks. This is especially surprising because he has had a good record on race relations. He has stood by affirmative action and supported the idea of the Million Man March. It is too early to tell how much damage he will suffer politically, but he will definitely lose some ground." The current law, which will continue, keeps a five-year minimum sentence for possessing five grams of crack. The U.S. Sentencing commission, a panel set up by Congress, recommended in June that penalties for crack and powdered cocaine be equalized.