Sen. Cory Booker told House lawmakers June 19 that racial injustice is a “cancer on the soul of our country,” which the nation has not fully acknowledged. Speaking at a committee hearing on reparations, the New York senator and 2020 presidential candidate said righting the wrongs that have been done to black Americans was about more than “writing a check.”

“The stain of slavery was not just inked in bloodshed but in the overt state sponsored policies that fueled white supremacy and racism and have disadvantaged African Americans economically for generations,” Booker said.

Booker called the hearing a “historic opportunity to break the silence” on racial injustice and grapple with the racism that he said “tainted this country’s founding.”

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