Brad Pitt said something yesterday night we here at FDL have known for a long time:
I think it’s safe to say that the drug war is nonsensical. It’s a backwards, inept strategy.
The actor surprised audience members at a screening of Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In. Jarecki and his groundbreaking film about the United States’ flawed, ineffective drug policy were featured on FDL’s Movie Night last week.
Pitt introduced Jarecki and the film, jokingly using 12-Step lingo as he stepped on stage:
Hi, everybody. I’m Brad Pitt. And I’m a drug addict,
Actually, my drug days have long passed, but it’s certainly true that I could land in any city and any state and get you anything you wanted. Just give me 24 hours, and I’ll know where to find it. And yet we still talk about the drug war as if it’s a success.
Before the screening, Pitt and Jarecki discussed the actor’s involvement with The Wrap:
The two men talked about the failures of the war on drugs, and about Jarecki’s contention – which Pitt originally said was “too liberal even for me” – that the criminal approach to drugs was being used to keep poor and minority communities down.
“We talked about those in poverty, and what he thought was the biggest stumbling block and the biggest thing holding them down,” Pitt said. “And certainly I had my own questions about the drug war.”
“There might be something else in play here, like we witnessed with Katrina.”
Exactly. And that something else is sadly racism and loathing for the poor. Pitt asked:
We have biggest penal system in the world, we have the most people incarcerated. And out of that 2.3 million, how many are for non-violent crimes?..Half. Something’s wrong.
Yes it is.