Senator Cory Booker announced his candidacy in the 2020 Presidential race with a video this past Friday. During his younger years at university, he was a passionate writer, contributor, and columnist for the Stanford Daily. The Stanford Daily did the American people a favor and compiled the Presidential hopeful’s columns.
Booker contributed over a dozen pieces to the Daily during his time as a sociology Master’s student. These writings showcase his early personal development and political views, possibly explaining how he became who he is today. Booker’s writing included areas such as meditation on personal growth, racial issues, homoseuxality, and even admission to embarrassingly groping a female friend. Here are the facts:
February 1992: “So Much For Stealing Second”
The now-infamous article outlines Booker’s experience in 1984, at the ripe, young age of 15.
“As the ball dropped, I leaned over to hug a friend and she met me instead with an overwhelming kiss,” he wrote. “As we fumbled upon the bed, I remember debating my next ‘move’ as if it were a chess game. With the ‘Top Gun’ slogan ringing in my head, I slowly reached for her breast.’”
The woman pushed his hand away, he wrote, and the encounter ended shortly thereafter. While this exchange is far less devastating than much that the #MeToo movement has revealed, it revealed how the young Booker assumed sexual intercourse was achieved. As he believed, “luck, guile, strategy or coercion” were the most useful skills for that endeavor.
April 1992: “Pointing the Finger at Gays”
Here, Booker openly addresses his homophobic attitudes. What he thought of gays was hedonistic and seemingly defined the word ‘hate.’
“I was disgusted by gays. The thought of two men kissing each other was about as appealing as a frontal lobotomy. Allow me to be more direct, escaping the euphemisms of my past - I hated gays. The disgust and latent hostility I felt toward gays were subcategories of hatred, plain and simple. While hate is a four-letter word I never would have admitted to, the sentiment clandestinely pervaded my every interaction with homosexuals. I sheepishly shook hands with gays or completely shied away from physical contact… I still remember how my brow would often unconsciously furrow when I was with gays as thoughts would flash in my mind, ‘What sinners I am amongst’ or ‘How unnatural these people are.’”
Booker’s introduction to this piece explains that it may not have been homosexuals that caused his hatred, but rather a hatred of himself. Upon reading further, the article shows his personal growth and intimacy he experienced among the gay community.
May 1992: “Looking Out My Window”
A month before he is set to graduate, Booker writes about how he established a “Cory Booker Party Line.” He claims this included lines such as “Respect Women,” “Gays are OK, too,” and “Black People Need Justice.” While these mantras seem extremely compelling, Booker questioned if his commitment to those ideals was just, honest, and genuine, rather than “shallow manifestations of acceptance without internalization.” He questioned his beliefs and his persona as a whole. Was it all a show, a hoax for attention and accreditation? Or was it like traveling his own path to personal development?
I do encourage whomever may be reading this to read the full articles. The titles are engaging and certain quotes outraging. For now, this is simply a coverage of who Cory Booker truly was in his younger years.