You can claim that “decarcerate” is a word all you want, but Microsoft Word is telling me it’s not, and, as you know, I’m very corporate about these things.
I wouldn’t argue with you about the necessity of the call for reparations, and I agree with you that history is filled with strange and surprising turns. I tend to think that reparations may come about, but by another name, and also, not soon. I mean, this country is still in its suppression phase; we’re not Germany, which is dealing openly with the consequences of the worst thing it ever did (or more to the point, it was forced to grapple with the worst thing it ever did as the price for re-admission into civilization).
By the way, here’s a formula I’ve been thinking about that has pissed off the four people I’ve mentioned it to so far: The relationship between African Americans and America is in some ways less similar to the relationship between German Jews and Germany than it is to Austrian Jews and Austria. Which is to say, Jews in Austria today (all nine of them) walk the streets of Vienna knowing that most of their countrymen are still in denial about what their country did. All analogies are imperfect, maybe this one more imperfect than the norm, but the point seems salient.
One other thing: Your observation about the possibly imminent vaporization of sympathy for the disproportionately incarcerated is right—if crime rates go back up (as they are doing in some cities already), you’ll see a quick end to the discussion about sentencing reform. We’ll be back to Democrats building more prisons. And speaking of prisons ...
Look, Angola is complicated.