Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker talked to Chris Hayes about his plans to reform the criminal justice system, marijuana and rumors about his sexuality during a MSNBC interview on Thursday. Booker is campaigning for the U.S. Senate.
He said he thinks the criminal system keeps far too many citizens behind bars and that it is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
"It suppresses the truth of who we are," Booker said. "We say we're the country of freedom and justice, but yet we incarcerate more people in America than any other country on the globe." He also referenced the "overcriminalization of pot" and noted that marijuana puts away more blacks than it does whites, The Huffington Post reported.
"Here we are 50 years from the March on Washington," Booker said. "Here we are a century, more frankly, from battling the worst kind of white supremacy. But yet, we're creating these pipelines from failed schools to our prisons that is disproportionately affecting African-Americans and poor. But we're all tied to the same destiny when it comes to solving these problems and we have to solve them, there has to be an urgency."
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Booker also responded to comments about his sexuality that were made by Steve Lonegan, his Republican opponent in the upcoming U.S. Senate special election. Lonegan recently implied that "you are not a man if you're gay."
“We need to stop in America talking about anybody in a public realm, besides what is important — the content of their character, the quality of their ideas, the courage within their hearts to serve others," Booker said. "That's what's important."
The video from MSNBC is below: