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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.

Confirmed Cases: 14372

Reported Deaths: 693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds92024
Lauderdale69957
Madison68721
Scott62310
Neshoba56534
Jones52519
Forrest51137
DeSoto4936
Leake39512
Rankin3736
Holmes37324
Jackson30013
Copiah2854
Attala27715
Monroe25324
Leflore25030
Lincoln25022
Newton2504
Harrison2457
Lamar2275
Yazoo2233
Pearl River20731
Pike20211
Adams19015
Lowndes1828
Noxubee1696
Washington1636
Warren1587
Oktibbeha15010
Bolivar14911
Wayne1480
Jasper1483
Covington1411
Clarke13517
Smith13311
Kemper13110
Chickasaw12812
Lafayette1254
Lee1175
Carroll11410
Coahoma1133
Marion1129
Winston1051
Clay1043
Lawrence991
Simpson930
Hancock8711
Yalobusha855
Wilkinson859
Itawamba857
Grenada823
Montgomery811
Sunflower783
Union785
Marshall763
Jefferson Davis752
Tippah7111
Tate691
Panola643
Claiborne642
Calhoun614
Webster591
Amite561
Humphreys537
Tunica523
Walthall510
Perry492
Prentiss413
Jefferson400
Choctaw352
Stone300
Pontotoc283
Franklin272
Tishomingo260
Quitman250
Tallahatchie251
George201
Benton140
Alcorn141
Greene111
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16310

Reported Deaths: 590
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2085112
Jefferson167397
Montgomery144634
Marshall6609
Tuscaloosa63212
Lee52632
Franklin4986
Shelby47019
Tallapoosa41063
Butler39113
Chambers34024
Madison3154
Elmore3007
Baldwin2829
Walker2821
DeKalb2403
Etowah24011
Dallas2323
Coffee2191
Lowndes21610
Morgan2111
Sumter2106
Autauga1923
Houston1854
Bullock1763
Pike1730
Colbert1612
Calhoun1523
Marengo1506
Choctaw1487
Russell1480
Lauderdale1452
Hale1416
Wilcox1327
Barbour1301
Clarke1282
Randolph1247
Marion11711
St. Clair1081
Pickens964
Dale960
Talladega963
Chilton931
Greene914
Cullman880
Limestone860
Winston770
Covington751
Jackson742
Bibb711
Henry702
Macon672
Crenshaw662
Washington656
Blount531
Escambia483
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Perry360
Conecuh351
Coosa341
Monroe342
Cherokee332
Clay272
Lamar210
Cleburne131
Fayette130
Unassigned00
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