Synopses & Reviews
The history of international banking, the commodification of black masculinity, the buying and selling of women's eggs, Michelle Obama's dubious advice to black youth, and the workings of affirmative action at elite universities viewed through the lens of racial capitalism.
In Racist Logic, lead essayist Donna Murch writes that "historically, the division between 'dope' and medicine was the race and class of users." By using the concept of "racial capitalism" to examine the opioid crisis alongside the War on Drugs, Murch brings an otherwise familiar story into new territory. To understand the twisted logic that created the divergent responses to drug use--succor and sympathy for white users, prison and expulsion for people of color--Murch shows how a racialized regime of drug prohibitions led Purdue Pharma to market OxyContin specifically to whites.
Alongside Murch, contributors consider how racial capitalism helps us understand the history of international banking, the commodification of black masculinity, the buying and selling of women's eggs, Michelle Obama's dubious advice to black youth, and the workings of affirmative action at elite universities.
Michael Collins, Richard Thompson Ford, Helena Hansen, David Herzberg, Peter James Hudson, Jonathan Kahn, L.A. Kauffman, Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, Jordanna Matlon, Max Mishler, Donna Murch, Julie Netherland, Britt Rusert, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Alys Eve Weinbaum
Racist Logic tackles how racist thinking can be found in surprising--and often overlooked--places. In the forum's lead essay, historian Donna Murch traces the origins of the opioid epidemic to Big Pharma's aggressive marketing to white suburbanites. The result, Murch shows, has been to construct a legal world of white drug addiction alongside an illicit drug war that has disproportionately targeted people of color.
Other essays examine how the global surrogacy industry incentivizes the reproduction of whiteness while relying on the exploited labor of women of color, how black masculinity is commodified in racial capitalism, and how Wall Street exploited Caribbean populations to bankroll U.S. imperialism.
Racist logic, this issue shows, continues to pervade our society, including its nominally colorblind business practices. Contributors not only explore the institutional structures that profit from black suffering, but also point the way to racial justice.