Booker: Black Americans Feel ‘We Do Not Yet Have Equality Under the Law’

Friday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) weighed in on a poll showing 74% of Americans see George Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody as a sign of a broader problem in the country.

Booker said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that black Americans have a “consciousness” that they “do not yet have equality under the law.”

“By the time we witnessed that Rodney King verdict where somebody was so viciously, savagely beaten, I just remember just losing it. I was in the streets marching peacefully and felt such anger,” Booker recalled. “And the challenge is if I pulled out that column that I wrote, it could be written today. But there is a difference, as you said. There is a consciousness that’s growing in our country that we do not yet have equality under the law, that we do not have liberty and justice for all, and this is a moment. And I don’t want to have a college student now, a teenager now have to have the same pain that I have that 30 years have passed and nothing has changed.”

He continued, “This is a moment, but the question is what is going to get done. That’s why I’m grateful for Kamala Harris on the federal level because changes can be made at the state and local level, but the Congressional Black Caucus, the House Judiciary Committee, all of us have been working together to come out with some comprehensive — working with civil rights organizations, legislation that can show — like the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 1968 Fair Housing Act — that we can actually pass big legislation to do the commonsense things that can help there to be more police accountability, more transparency, and so that maybe the young people right now won’t have the painful conversations I’ve had this week with my mentees, my nephews, with young black men in my life … or had with me that you have to understand that this world will see you as a threat.”

Booker added the protesters and those pushing for equality should not “relent” until the United States takes “strides towards greater equality in the law.”

“I think that this could be a moment, this could be the moment of struggle that we begin to see real reform in our country. None of us — I mean none of us — should relent until our nation takes these strides towards greater equality in the law,” he concluded.

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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