Democratic deliberation becomes impossible when figures of authority are allowed to employ incendiary propagandistic rhetoric — not just “super-predator” but also “wilding,” “crack epidemic,” “thug,” and “gang.” These words reduce or eliminate our capacity to think of those to whom they are applied as equals, deserving of empathy. When they are used by authority figures in a democracy, they undermine the very ideals that grant those figures their authority. The misuse of ideals to conceal an agenda that is inconsistent with the correct application of those ideals has been a hallmark of political discourse during the age of mass incarceration.
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(edited to fix link -Stacey)