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The level of inflammatory rhetoric from candidates my seem like it’s worse this election cycle than ever before, but is that true?

We asked Ian Haney López to help us understand this country’s history of damaging speech in politics.

Haney López is one of the leading thinkers on how racism has evolved in the U.S. He’s a professor of law at UC Berkeley and the author of multiple books including Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class.

Featured image: President Reagan being sworn in for second term in the rotunda at the U.S. Capitol (Public Domain).

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