Tyrone Beason, The Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2019
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said that “black voters are pissed off and they’re worried” about the party’s ability to win the 2020 presidential election.
The senator, who pointed out his own black identity to the audience at Wednesday’s Democratic debate, joined Sen. Kamala Harris of California when he said black voters are tired of politicians stumping for their votes but failing to deliver on promises to end poverty, racism and unfairness in the justice system.
Their remarks, made in Atlanta, a majority black city that was home to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., came in a series of testy exchanges on race that pitted them against two of their white counterparts, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Booker attacked Biden for his recent statements opposing the national legalization of marijuana, a stand the senator said perpetuates racial inequities in the criminal justice system by disproportionately putting black men in prison for low-level drug offenses.
“Marijuana in our country is already legal for privileged people, and the war on drugs has been a war on black and brown people,” Booker said.
“I’m part of that Obama coalition. I come out of the black community in terms of my support,” Biden said, seizing on Harris’ plea for the Democrats to reconstitute the diverse base the former president assembled to win in 2008 and 2012.