Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said during an impassioned address on Friday there are things that are "savagely wrong" in the United States.
Speaking at the left-wing Netroots Nation annual conference in New Orleans, Booker frequently closed his eyes with emotion as he asked fellow progressives to live out the "civic gospel."
"We say an oath that we are a nation of liberty and justice for all, but that’s just words," he said. "It’s a civic faith, but I’m one of these people that says before you, 'tell me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people.' Well, how are we living our civic gospel? How are we living our civic gospel that demands for us to reject the normalcy of injustice, the normalcy of apathy, the normalcy of indifference, and rise to the higher ground of activism, of engagement, of love?"
Booker mentioned Hassan Washington, the teenager he knew who was gunned down in Newark when he was a city councilman. Booker later became mayor of the New Jersey city before first being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2013.
"I’m a big believer that if America, if this country hasn’t broken your heart, then you don’t love her enough. Because there’s things that are savagely wrong in this country," he said. "There’s a normalcy of injustice that we’ve accepted. And I tell you, Newark has gifted me a wisdom that can only come from wounds, a sense of purpose that can only come from shared pain. It’s a city that at times where my heart has been broken but I’ve learned that the heart is this interesting organ that, it’s the only one that really works even if it’s gotten broken."