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SPORT-MED  February 2015

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Subject:

DRUG ABUSE : SUBSTANCE ABUSE : WAR ON DRUGS : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: Four of the Major Fear Campaigns That Helped Create America's Insane War on Drugs

From:

"David P. Dillard" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

To support research in sports medicine <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 11 Feb 2015 07:07:31 -0500

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (275 lines)

.

.


DRUG ABUSE :

SUBSTANCE ABUSE :

WAR ON DRUGS :

UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT:

Four of the Major Fear Campaigns
That Helped Create America's Insane War on Drugs

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.


Four of the Major Fear Campaigns
That Helped Create America's Insane War on Drugs

By Jodie Gummow

AlterNet

February 5, 2014

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/four-moral-panics-drug-policy

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Every social problem needs to have deviant groups orr individuals, people 
who aren't "like us" but who are the problem and who should be feared. 
This process allows us to unpack primal fearsabout sex, race, and the 
Otherand use those fears to mobilize a social response. These appeals to 
fear are a powerful tool, and moral entrepreneurs and interest groups know 
it.

.

If moral entrepreneurs and interest groups manage to whip up enough fear 
and anxiety, they can create a full-blown moral panic, the widespread 
sense that the moral condition of society is deteriorating at a rapid 
pace, which can be conveniently used to distract from underlying, status 
quo-threatening social problems and exert social control over the working 
class or other rebellious sectors of society.

.

The problem is that policy made on the basis of the fear, emotionalism, 
and hyperbole that typifies moral panics is not good policy. Yet we manage 
to scare ourselves to death over and over again, with the same dire 
results and unintended consequences. Here are four classic moral panics 
over drugs:

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The Yellow Peril

.

By the second half of the 19th Century, Americans were well acquainted 
with opium. Its use as a medicine for middle-aged, middle-class white 
women and as a soothing agent for distraught infants was well-known and 
not especially controversial. But that changed with the arrival of Chinese 
coolie labor in the 1860s and 1870s, and the first great drug panic of 
American history was about to get underway.

.

The Chinese brought with them their opium habits and opium dens, and the 
establishments soon began popping up in the segregated Chinatowns where 
the laborers lived. Within a few short years, a combination of racism, 
sexual insecurity, and labor hostility ("they're taking our jobs!) had 
been whipped by moral entrepreneurs, interested parties, and their willing 
handmaidens in the press into a crisis that demanded a strong, resolute 
response.

.

snip

.

Bullet-Proof Buck Negroes on Cocaine Raping Our White Women

At the turn of the 20th Century, drug prohibition didn't exist (unless you 
were Chinese). Heroin and cocaine were legal, and sold as nostrums, 
potions, and patent medicines, as well as being offered doctors and 
pharmacies. Cocaine famously added zip to Coca-Cola, and for a nickel, 
anyone, of any color could get the buzz.

.

That was about to change. The Andean white powder first hit America in 
1884, and as cocaine use surged amidst the social turmoil of the late 19th 
Century, it crystallized latent fears of "the dangerous classes"late 
arriving European immigrants in the Northeast, blacks in the South.

.

Under pressure from white Southerners concerned it was contributing to 
drug use among black, Coca-Cola abandoned cocaine in 1903, replacing it 
with more caffeine and sugar. And no wonder people were nervousSouthern 
newspapers at the time were full of accounts of "negro cocaine fiends" 
impervious to lawmen's bullets and busily raping white women.

.

snip

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Reefer Madness

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Reefer Madness bubbled up mainly in Western states a little more than a 
century ago, and like most drug panics, it was a potent mix of 
fear-mongering, race-baiting, moral entrepreneurship, and bureaucratic 
empire-building. This time the villainous outsiders were Mexicanmore than 
half a million of whom entering the country between 1915 and 1920 to work 
here as the Mexican Revolution raged--bringing the devil's weed north 
across the Rio Grande to get all messed up and, yes, entice our white 
women.

.

Replete with apocryphal tales of crazed Mexicans high on locoweed, the pot 
panic percolated out West in the 1910s and 1920s as state after Western 
state passed marijuana prohibition lawsoften after legislative debates 
that mainly demonstrated lawmakers didn't have a clue.

.

snip

.

Crack Cocaine, Crack Babies, and Super Predators

It's the new heroin! That's one of the sillier over-hyped claims about 
this smokeable form of cocaine. It's a particularly odd claim since the 
two drugs have completely different biopharmaceutical properties; one is a 
stimulant and the other is a central nervous system depressant.

.

The fast-acting, compulsion-creating form of cocaine emerged in the early 
1980s and quickly generated massive, obsessive media coverage, most 
famously with Dan Rather's "48 Hours on Crack Street. But that was only 
one example. Countless media outlets spent countless hours and column 
inches decrying the way crack was ravaging the inner city.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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.





Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584
[log in to unmask]
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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.

.

Please Ignore All Links to JIGLU
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The Net-Gold relationship with JIGLU has
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