The U.S. Senators from Texas, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, drew a lot of fire for comments during a Tuesday Judiciary Committee hearing when they seemed to reject the notion of “systemic racism” in the law enforcement profession.
“Wow, you lost me when you want to take the acts of a few misguided, perhaps malicious, individuals, and ascribe that to all Americans,” Cornyn told Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, who was testifying at the hearing.
Comments such as these have been harshly criticized since the hearings, and no one has been harder on the sitting senator than his Democratic challenger in the upcoming election. Texas Sen. Royce West.
“There are a lot of differences between John Cornyn and myself,” West said. “One is that I know systemic racism exists and that it hurts black and brown people disproportionately.
“As he tries for his fourth term in the senate, let’s look at our records. John Cornyn has still not awoken to the fact that systemic racism exists in this country. His press conference with other Republicans today shows how far behind the curve he is. I started working on criminal justice reform in the Texas Legislature decades ago. John Cornyn, after being in the senate since 2003, is just now working on this.
“I’m proactive. Not reactive. This is the case on many issues, not just criminal justice reform.
“Another example is Confederate statues and renaming military bases. I’ve said for years we need to take these monuments down. Senator Cornyn is still against it.
“Senator Cornyn needs to ask himself, if the Confederates had won, would he be able to sit across the table and have a conversation with conservative luminary Ben Carson, for instance.
“No he wouldn’t. Because Ben Carson would be on a plantation.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever heard John Cornyn say the phrase ‘black lives matter.’
“Millions of Texans believe this to be true. Why can’t John Cornyn say it?”