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The opioid crisis, the drug war and the business of racial capitalism.


By choosing to market to White populations - populations designated as not subject to the same kinds of potential for addiction - racism became very important to the targeting of this population. By having images of suburban housewives and young college students - people the broader general culture thinks of as innocent and well meaning - the racial ideas that differentiated them made it possible to deregulate and expand the market.

Historian Donna Murch traces the racial divide between the opioid crisis and the drug war - as the pharmaceutical industry aggressively pushed opioids to a 'new class' of White consumers in a deregulated market, the logic of racial capitalism presided over a segregated system of licit and illicit narcotics that swallowed generations of lives while profiting corporations and the political elite.

Donna wrote the article How Race Made the Opioid Crisis for Boston Review.

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Donna Murch

Donna Murch is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University.


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