Cory Booker on Senate Beginnings: It Was 'the Least Diverse Place I Had Ever Seen'

Photo: Zach Gibson (Getty Images)

We’ve all been there.

The culture shock of acclimating to a seasonless, Rhythm-less Nation whose population mirrors a Friends episode is a lot to process. And according to presidential candidate and Cory Booker, he had that exact experience in 2013 when he became a senator.

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“When I came to the United States Senate, it was literally the least diverse place I had ever seen,” Booker said Tuesday at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s conference in Washington, D.C, according to the Huffington Post.

He added, “And I’m not joking. I remember one of my first times working late, and when I went to leave, there was a line of people coming in to clean the Senate that were all Black and brown people.”

Sounds about white.

But unlike a ComicCon, a dog park, or a Flo-Rida concert, the Senate being painfully alabaster has real-world consequences that have historically interfered with the lives and liberties of people of color. And unfortunately, despite the fact that our current Congress is the most diverse ever (mainly because of the House of Representatives), it still reeks of milk and mayonnaise—considering that out of 100 senators, only nine of them know how to dap you up properly.

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So after six years of that shit, Booker wants to see change.

“I’m here to put the pressure on you,” Booker told the audience. “We are at a point in the nation where the people that are in the room when it happens are not reflecting the rich diversity of our country.”

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He added, “Remember that when you got a seat at the table, your job is not to be the only one or the first one. Your job is to make sure you’re not the last one.”

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About the author

Jay Connor

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.