Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., asked Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett about the role of racial bias in the criminal justice system during the third day of her confirmation hearing last week. Booker inquired about what Barrett has read to educate herself about racism.

"I will say what I have learned about it has mostly been in conversations with people, and at Notre Dame as at many other universities, it's a topic of conversation in many classrooms. But it's not something that I can say, yes, I've done research on this and read X, Y and Z," Barrett said.

Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett G. Price III spoke to Boston Public Radio on Monday about Barrett's response.

"Clearly, where we've had this George Floyd inflection moment, it has not touched her," Monroe said. "If she doesn't know this, she doesn't know other forms of oppression."

Price said that Barrett's comments on racism were embarrassing and harmful, particularly for someone in a position of judicial power.

"I thought it was retraumatizing for folks involved in conversations about critical race theory, which is really about how white ideologies have impacted and flipped the judicial system upside down," Price said. "For her to not be aware of that, or be able to cite anything, was sad."

Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist and the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail and a visiting researcher in the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University School of Theology.

Price is professor of worship, church & culture and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Together they host the All Rev’d Up podcast, produced by GBH.