Black Lives Don’t Matter
in the movie ‘The Runner’ by Jason Chase
‘The Runner’ by Jason Chase shows the Drug War at its racist best.
The screenplay tries to make a villain out of the usual suspects, including the obligatory coke-dealing Hispanic Drug Dealer, “Local Legend,” and his black teenage admirer, Blake. But the real villain of the piece is Detective Wall, the smug and self-righteous drug agent, who…
1) calls Aiden’s black teenage friend “a scumbag, not worth another thought,” and wants to lock him up for 20 years.
2) ignores Aiden’s request for a lawyer, saying, “Guilty people want lawyers.”
3) slaps the teenage Aiden repeatedly, telling him, “I own you, you f — , you waste!”
This un-American (indeed Nazi-like) law enforcement makes sense only if we believe the Drug War lie that plant medicine is pure evil, but that’s wrong! Jules Verne and HG Wells wrote their best work under the influence of coca wine. Marcus Aurelius and Benjamin Franklin enjoyed opium. The entire Vedic-Hindu religion was inspired by the psychoactive effects of a plant, and Plato’s views about the afterlife were inspired by his participation in the psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian mysteries.
And yet Jason Chase has made a movie that glorifies the trigger-happy gunmen who bash down doors to stop people from using plants that grow at their very feet, thereby supporting a Drug War that has caused a civil war in Mexico, turned America’s inner cities into shooting galleries, and empowered a self-proclaimed Drug War Hitler in the Philippines.
Jason fails to realize that the negative events depicted in his film only take place because America has decided to demonize psychoactive plant medicine rather than learning how to use it wisely for the benefit of humanity, which, despite drug-war lies, has always sought self-transcendence and self-improvement with mother nature’s plant medicines — and we seek to quash that impulse at our own peril.
Please, Jason, America does not need more films that glorify SWAT teams: America needs films that promote facts not fear, and education not criminalization.
If you’re worried about addiction, Jason, what about the record-breaking 1 in 4 American women in the US who are chemically dependent on Big Pharma meds, many harder to kick than heroin, which they have to take every single day of their life??? That’s the biggest addiction in human history!!! Why don’t we break down THEIR doors and haul THEM downtown and call THEM “scumbags” and “waste”? Why don’t we say that THEY’RE “not worth another thought”? Likewise with those who use liquor, which kills 400,000 people a year — or tobacco, which kills 95,000 a year.
We don’t break down their doors and shout “Go, go, go!” And why not? Because the Drug War is a political war against minorities, not a war against the powers-that-be. It’s a shame that in the third decade of the 21st century, Americans still don’t get this, and that we are still making movies like this that celebrate our imperialist and racist war against psychoactive plant medicine.
Oh, and spoiler alert: remember that black teenager who was selling plant medicine of which politicians disapprove? He was shot dead in the gunfire that erupted as the SWAT team stormed in. (Detective Wall only wanted to throw the teenager in jail, but this works too, since either way, he’s been taken off the voting rolls so that conservatives and Drug Warriors can continue to triumph at the polls.)
Agent Burrell had warned against the raid, suggesting that teenagers might get killed, but Captain Ames just sneered at him in disgust like Burrell was a real pansy: “Thousands of lives are endangered by this crew,” Ames grunted.
“Really?” one wants to respond. So what? That doesn’t mean that you have to arrest your targets in the most violent and dramatic fashion possible!
And so the violent shoot-out went off as planned — more or less. Fortunately for the SWAT team, the middle-aged Hispanic dealer was among those unnecessarily killed in the raid, so at least the SWAT team could boast about something other than killing children.
Detective Wall, who apparently got a bad scratch during the raid (aww!), actually wins a medal for killing teenagers. A medal, he says, “is so no one questions whether it was a worthwhile cause.”
Well, the medal didn’t work this time, Wall. This reviewer, at least, questions the wisdom of your cause, for the Drug War that you champion goes against everything that America is meant to stand for, by demonizing teenagers, criminalizing plant medicine, incentivizing dealing, and holding the safeguards of the US Constitution in supreme contempt.
I dare say that Thomas Jefferson would agree with me, since he was rolling in his grave when the DEA stormed onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated his poppy plants, in violation of the natural law upon which the garden-loving president had founded America.