Cory Booker Calls Out GOP Over Voter Suppression in Fiery Floor Speech: 'Don't Lecture Me About Jim Crow'
On Wednesday, the Senate continued debate on House-approved voting rights legislation to offset the dozens of voter suppression bills passed in Republican state legislatures over the course of last year.
A number of Democrats have likened the conservative voter suppression effort to Jim Crow, a post-Reconstruction collection of racist state laws in the South designed to subjugate and stigmatize Black Americans. Meanwhile, Republicans claim these bills aren't for the purpose of suppressing votes, but for protecting elections from overwhelmingly rare occurrences of fraud.
After Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina said these comparisons were "blatantly false," Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey delivered a blistering speech on the Senate floor, taking his Republican colleagues to task for downplaying the role racism plays in voter suppression efforts.
Cory Booker: "Don't lecture me about Jim Crow. I know this is not 1965. That's what makes me so outraged. It's 2022, and they're blatantly removing more polling places from the counties where Blacks and Latinos are overrepresented. I'm not making that up. That is a fact." pic.twitter.com/LTvsEnxOtg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 19, 2022
After listing the ways voter suppression laws passed last year disproportionately affect Black and Latino communities, Booker said:
"Don't lecture me about Jim Crow. I know this is not 1965. That's what makes me so outraged. It's 2022, and they're blatantly removing more polling places from the counties where Black and Latinos are overrepresented. I'm not making that up. That is a fact. I'm not gonna stop, because I'm tired of hearing that this does not have to do about singling out certain populations in our country—students, Native Americans—and not others."
Social media users heartily agreed.
Facts!!! Just facts !! And they trynna take us back to the 50s little by little https://t.co/whBRtGYt4J
— Zach Jack (@jakkstr93) January 19, 2022
Facts matter. Preach it Senator Booker 🗳 https://t.co/Gnbs3WhVDo
— Jen 😎🦅💙 (@Jen_of_TN) January 19, 2022
Facts. What’s happening in this country is legit embarrassing. Burn it all down. https://t.co/D4Eq1Ntqbk
— Mick Ciallela (@themick23) January 19, 2022
Senator Booker said he had time today. And he does!! GET EM! 🗣🗣 say it with your whole chest sir!! https://t.co/GREhBQO04m
— cee jay (@queen_cee_jay) January 19, 2022
👇This. The actions are not necessarily barring individuals from voting, but they're purposely making it harder. For those that disagree, please explain why. https://t.co/IgDMIbwWhr
— Tom Hanson (@Thomas__Hanson) January 19, 2022
“Don’t lecture me about Jim Crow!!!”
Thank you @CoryBooker … for calling out their lies with the hard truth and simple facts! #VotingRightsActNow https://t.co/tDVicyP0Ik
— Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair (@harrisonjaime) January 19, 2022
Republicans continue to face backlash for their continued defense of voter suppression.
It's not that Republicans don't want people to vote. It's that they want only certain melanin-deficient people to vote. https://t.co/VZRjYhpEX2
— Sylvan Swanson 🌊✊🏻✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 (@ATXmetalgod) January 19, 2022
What GOP is doing to suppress YOUR VOTE is REAL AF! #PassVotingRightsNow Let your Senators know! https://t.co/cANf9JLONx
— themocollins (@THEMOCOLLINS) January 19, 2022
The GOP disenfranchises people of color, college students, and whoever else they can target. #VotingRightsActNow https://t.co/mjmMosGm6w
— Little MsSunshine ☮️ ✌🏻🌱 🌈 (@MsSunshine2020) January 19, 2022
But thanks to the Senate filibuster—and Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema's and Joe Manchin's support of it—voting rights legislation almost certainly won't pass.