In Cory Booker's call for activism, context matters

Sen. Cory Booker has nothing but respect and admiration for Sen. Rand Paul and his wife, Kelley Paul. He's k...

Posted: Oct 5, 2018 2:12 PM
Updated: Oct 5, 2018 2:13 PM

Sen. Cory Booker has nothing but respect and admiration for Sen. Rand Paul and his wife, Kelley Paul. He's known the Pauls for years and, though he often disagrees with them on political issues, they've always found ways to do so without being disagreeable with one another.

It's important to respectfully lay out the facts and set the record straight regarding an open letter from Kelley Paul to Booker because, frankly, its implications don't add up.

Activism

Cory Booker

Political Figures - US

Rand Paul

Society

In an opinion piece published on CNN on Wednesday, Kelley Paul said Booker should retract a statement she said he made a few months ago: Constituents should not be passive and should instead "get up in the face" of members of Congress.

However, taken in context, Booker's comments were, in fact, an appeal for political activism that seeks common ground. If you listen to more than a deceptively edited clip of the speech Paul references, Booker's enduring commitment to decency is clear.

He urged members of a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness to "get up in the face of some congresspeople and tell them about common sense solutions" that address this problem. Booker also spoke about demonstrating love to fellow countrymen and women later in his remarks. To think Booker is somehow urging violent confrontation with these words requires one to ignore all context. That's why I would encourage anyone to watch the entirety of the senator's remarks.

The reality is that Booker has always spoken against needless partisanship and has urged Americans to treat one another with respect when they disagree.

"I subscribe to the idea of radical love," Booker said earlier this summer when asked about calls for people to confront elected representatives. "You should confront evil and injustice, but do it in the ways that Martin Luther King did it ... who always did it by recognizing the dignity of even those who you oppose."

Violence against anyone because of their political beliefs is unquestionably wrong and deserves condemnation.

The spread of the falsehoods about Booker's remarks this summer came about because of a growing problem in our political system: The vast, hyperpartisan network of publications dedicated to spreading disingenuous and dishonest information about political opponents and presenting it as news. This information is engineered to reinforce our worst preconceptions about one another and drive us further apart.

Booker wishes both Rand and Kelley Paul well and looks forward to continuing their work together. Our hope is that this dialogue inspires Americans to take a more critical look at what we read online, look for underlying facts, and find ways to build bridges with others.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 539829

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798271529
Mobile41261809
Madison35132506
Tuscaloosa25915455
Shelby25294249
Montgomery24705593
Baldwin21392310
Lee15987172
Calhoun14569319
Morgan14422280
Etowah13918353
Marshall12275225
Houston10641282
Elmore10147206
Limestone10065151
St. Clair9946245
Cullman9761194
Lauderdale9457243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8339176
Walker7260278
Autauga7001108
Jackson6836112
Blount6771139
Colbert6320135
Coffee5578118
Dale4876113
Russell445138
Chilton4369113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394777
Chambers3590123
Dallas3568153
Clarke351461
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302698
Winston275773
Bibb264564
Geneva254078
Marengo249665
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale223978
Butler219069
Fayette212662
Henry189643
Cherokee184645
Randolph182442
Monroe178141
Washington167739
Macon161150
Clay157157
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143236
Lowndes140553
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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