Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino, America’s Drug War, and Slavery
December 20th, 2012
While doing press for his new film, Django Unchained, Director Quentin Tarantino spoke with George Stroumboulopoulos where he compared America’s Drug War and prison system to modern-day slavery.
In the interview Tarantino says, among other things:
“This whole thing of this ‘war on drugs’ and the mass incarcerations that have happened pretty much for the last 40 years has just decimated the black male population…It’s slavery, it is just, it’s just slavery through and through, and it’s just the same fear of the black male that existed back in the 1800s…
“All the reasons that they had for keeping this going are all the same reasons they have for keeping slavery going after the whole world had pretty much decided that it was immoral. Because it’s an industry, one, what are we gonna do with all these people who are let loose, these black people let loose, and two, what are we gonna do about all the people who make money off this industry?”
Tarantino is not making new or revolutionary arguments here. The notion that America’s Drug War is racist and unfair has been aroundforsometime. Tarantino is simply bringing up rhetoric that some people are uncomfortable commenting on. In fact, one of the main arguments for marijuana legalization, which passed in Washington and Colorado recently, was the clearly demonstrable racial bias in drug possession charges, which disproportionately affected people of color.
Check out the interview for yourself in the clips below. But know that this isn’t the first or last time that America’s Drug War has been accused of standing on shaky ground.