Georgia Democratic Senate Hopeful Raphael Warnock: U.S. Must ‘Repent For Its Worship Of Whiteness’

Georgia Democratic Senate Hopeful Raphael Warnock: U.S. Must ‘Repent For Its Worship Of Whiteness’

Georgia Democratic Senate Hopeful Raphael Warnock: U.S. Must ‘Repent For Its Worship Of Whiteness’. Photo: Rev. Raphael G. Warnock delivers the eulogy for Rayshard Brooks’ funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, June 23, 2020. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool, File)

Georgia Senate hopeful Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, is facing a runoff on Jan. 5 against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. It is expected to be contentious, so it’s no wonder that an old sermon by Warnock in which he spoke of racism is being used against him. 

In a 2016 sermon, Warnock called on the U.S. to “repent for its worship of whiteness” over the success of President Trump’s candidacy.

Video of the sermon, which was first delivered in October 2016 at Emory University, has re-emerged, The New York Post reported. Titled “How Towers Tumble,” Warnock’s 2016 sermon discusses Genesis 11:4, in which people living during a certain period resolved to build a tower reaching heaven over fears they’d be scattered across Earth.

Genesis 11:1–9 recounts a period before the tribes and nations described in Genesis 10 were formed. All the people of Earth at the time shared one language, one culture, and the goal of not wanting to be separated, according to a context summary.

“Somebody lied and told them that uniformity, that sameness, homogeneity, was the key to their survival. Somebody lied and told them that diversity was a threat to their identity,” Warnock said in his 20-minute sermon.

“God made all human beings in God’s image,” Warnock, 51, said, adding that it was humans who decided that “some human beings are better than other human beings.”

“That’s a construction. It’s called bigotry, it’s called racism and sexism and misogyny and xenophobia,” Warnock said in the sermon. “Race is not a biological factor, it’s a sociological construct. God made us, but we make stuff up.”

The senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Warnock preaches where civil rights icon the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.

Changes are coming to America, Warnock predicted in the 2016 sermon.

“The fierce winds of change are blowing through our nation, like it or not,” Warnock said. “The complexion of this nation is changing like it or not. Change is coming, like it or no.”

Warnock called on Americans to change, in spite of the rhetoric from Trump.

“If it is true that a man who has dominated the news and poisoned the discussion for months needs to repent, then it is doubly true that a nation that can produce such a man and make his vitriol go viral needs to repent,” Warnock said. “No matter what happens (in the 2016 presidential election), more than a third of the nation that would go along with this, is reason to be afraid. America needs to repent for its worship of whiteness, on full display this season,” the reverend continued to rising cheers.

Warnock directed part of the sermon to Trump directly. “How is it that you can insult everybody? All Muslims ‘something other than children of God,’ all Mexicans ‘murderers and rapists.’ Insult the disabled. How is it you can insult everybody, but then one weekend, somebody discovers in a recording that you insult those whose daughters and wives look like those who have been supporting you? And then all of a sudden we can’t take it anymore,” Rev. Warnock asked.

Warnock spokesman Terrence Clark told Newsweek that the lines were taken out of context, and that the remarks were made shortly after the Access Hollywood tape of then-Republican nominee Trump had surfaced.

“Rev. Warnock observed that many people had tolerated then-candidate Trump’s hateful comments toward people with disabilities and marginalized communities, and only expressed outrage after that tape came out,” Clark said. “Kelly Loeffler claims to have never heard of the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape but she certainly knows about the politics of division that she’s using to lie about Rev. Warnock’s words and record.”

Warnock responded to the release of the video on Twitter. He tweeted, “Kelly Loeffler knows if this campaign is about the issues, she’ll lose. That’s why she just launched multiple ads in a smear campaign against us.” Warnock also asked Twitter followers to donate to his campaign.

Others tweeted their support. “To everyone in Georgia: – Democrats have one last chance to get Senate control. If both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win their January 5 runoffs, Democrats win the Senate. Then we’ll see change. – Confirm your registration ASAP, by December 7!,” one user posted, and vowed to donate.

Another user was offended by the sermon and tweeted, “Raphael Warnock is a racist.” A Twitter user replied, “Only a racist would find the truth offensive.”

Trump is still playing a role in Georgia’s elections. His false attacks on Georgia’s election system “aren’t just undermining the integrity of the state’s vote. They’re also foreshadowing a rift inside the Georgia GOP that could dog the party in 2022,” Atlanta JournalConstitution reported. 

Many Georgia Republicans have yet to admit Trump’s defeat, which could scuttle the party’s chances of winning the runoffs by alienating the GOP’s loyal base.

Meanwhile, Warnock has received major support from Georgia’s Black faith community. In October, 100 local faith leaders signed an open letter in support of his bid, the Tennessee Tribune reported.

“As bishops, pastors and faith leaders, many of us have been stretched beyond our perceived capacity to lead families and communities through the unprecedented chaos and calamity of 2020,” the letter read. “We have endeavored to stay positive, encouraging, and hopeful even as so many who look to us for guidance and assurance find themselves closer to the brink of financial, emotional, and mental ruin. Indeed, these are perilous times, but our faith teaches us that hope and optimism are always available to us if we earnestly and actively pursue it. A glimmer of hope can present itself in many forms but for this state and in this season, hope is personified by the opportunity to elect a transformational leader like Dr. Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate.”

The letter continued, “We stand united behind Raphael Warnock because he is the principled and progressive leader that Georgia and this country needs. He will be an authentic and effective voice in the Senate. He will be uncompromising in the fight to protect the interest of working families in our state and he will bring civility and grace to our politics which is too often divisive and vitriolic at the expense of progress.

“He competently wields the spirit of an activist with the heart of a bridge-builder. He is steeped in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman John Lewis, and Fannie Lou Hamer to organize, strategize and mobilize those of goodwill in the pursuit of fairness, equity, and justice for those too often marginalized and unseen by our decision-makers.

“As a pastor, he understands who and what he is fighting for; and he realizes that to achieve transformative progress for communities in need, it will take all of us working together and pulling together in one direction.”

Warnock, who has been described as the South’s most prominent Black preacher, found his religious calling early in life. Raised by parents who were both Pentecostal preachers, Warnock’s future vocation seemed so obvious in high school that his friends called him “Rev,” the New York Times reported.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.

He went on to attend Morehouse College (Dr. King’s alma mater), then the Union Theological Seminary in New York City.  He earned advanced degrees and was mentored by the Rev. Dr. James H. Cone, father of Black liberation theology

Dr. Warnock worked as an assistant pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. In 2005, he moved to Atlanta, becoming the fifth senior pastor in the history of Ebenezer Baptist Church.