Citizens with Criminal Records Are “Upset” at Liberals’ “Dehumanizing” Rhetoric in Calling Trump a “Convicted Felon”

(p. A16) Some Democratic leaders are eager to make former President Donald J. Trump’s new identity as a convicted criminal central to their pitch to voters on why he is unfit for office. At the same time, there has been a movement on the left for years to end the stigma of criminal records and point out grave issues in the country’s legal system.

That is why in the wake of the news last week that a New York jury had found Mr. Trump guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, there were especially complex and personal reactions among the millions of Americans who have also been convicted of felonies.

. . .

For Dawn Harrington, who served time on Rikers Island in New York and now directs an organization called Free Hearts for families affected by incarceration in Tennessee, watching the news coverage of Mr. Trump’s criminal conviction last week was upsetting.

She heard liberals rejoice that he was now a “convicted felon,” a term she and others have tried to persuade people not to use.

Ms. Harrington said she did time for gun possession after traveling to New York with a handgun that was registered in Tennessee.

. . .

After the Trump verdict, she also heard President Biden defend the justice system as a “cornerstone of America” that has endured for “nearly 250 years” — back to a time, Ms. Harrington noted, when slavery was legal.

The rhetoric, she thought, was “quite frankly dehumanizing to the base that we organize with,” she said.

For the full story see:

Shaila Dewan. “Among People With Criminal Records, Complex Feelings About Trump.” The New York Times (Wednesday, June 5, 2024): A16.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date June 3, 2024, and has the title “People With Criminal Records React to Trump Verdict: ‘Now You Understand’.”)

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