Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker asked for an apology in response to fellow candidate Joe Biden saying that the Senate “got things done” with “civility” even when the body included segregationists. Biden also reminisced about working with former segregationist Sens. James Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.), noting: they never called him "boy."
Biden dismissed Booker's call for an apology, saying: "Apologize for what? Cory should apologize, he knows better. There’s not a racist bone in my body."
Speaking to CNN's Don Lemon Wednesday night, Booker responded: "I was raised to speak truth to power and that I shall never apologize for doing that. And Vice President Biden shouldn’t need this lesson."
"At a time when we have in the highest offices in the land, divisiveness, racial hatred, and bigotry being spewed, he should have the sensitivity to know that this is time I need to be an ally, I need to be a healer, I need to not engage in usage of words that harms folks," he continued. "This is deeply disappointing."
"The fact he has said something that an African-American man can find very offensive and turn around and say ‘I’m not a racist. You should apologize to me,'" Booker explained. "As opposed to–Angela Davis used to say, in a time of racism it’s not enough to say I’m not racist. You need to be anti-racist."
"So for his posture to be to me 'I’ve done nothing wrong, you should apologize, I’m not a racist' is so insulting and so missing the larger point that he should not have to have explained to him," Booker stated. "This should not be a lesson that somebody running for the President of the United States should have to be given."