In the months since I was invited to participate in this roundtable, Donald Trump’s election has sharpened the parallels between today’s racial politics and those of the late 1960s. During the 2016 campaign, Trump capitalized on being the “law-and-order candidate,” repeating the pledge of white conservatives like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan who called for an iron-fisted police and legal response to deal with the black insurgency of the late 1960s. Trump’s renewal of this slogan in his campaign, along with his invocation of “carnage” to describe inner-city America, speaks to the fact that five decades later—and at the end of the groundbreaking term of a twice-elected black president—the ghetto conditions and state violence that prompted Black Power and black rioting still persisted, and black protest was in flower again, especially against the police and prison systems.1

In the context...

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