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Georgia Senate candidates attack each other’s backgrounds
Georgia will see all eyes as Senate control is at stake during January 5 by-elections.
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The allegation: Rev. Raphael Warnock condemns ‘whiteness’ and ‘white people’ during a sermon.
Amid intense two-way Senate run-off campaigns in Georgia that will determine the balance of power in Congress, feverish attacks are being hurled by both incumbents and challengers. Ds. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic challenger to current Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, has been particularly scrutinized by conservative groups trying to view Warnock’s religious sermons as radical.
“This rhetoric is disgusting and offensive,” Loeffler tweeted in November about an excerpt from one sermon. “We are ALL God’s children.”
Dan Bongino, a popular conservative commentator, later released a video titled “Video Emerging Showing Dem GA Senate Candidate’s SHOCKING Rant About White People,” in which he claims that the same video of Warnock shows that he is racist.
USA TODAY reaches out to Loeffler’s campaign and Bongino for comment.
The track in question lacks context in relation to the rest of the sermon in which Warnock condemns all forms of racism.
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The concept of ‘whiteness’ is an academic term that can be defined as ‘the way whites, their habits, culture and beliefs work as the standard by which all other groups are compared’, according to the National Museum of African American. History and Culture.
“This is not a structural attack on white people,” Andra Gillespie, a political scientist and director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Race and Difference at Emory University, told the United States today.
“But he is trying to sharply criticize a white supremacist culture that privileges whiteness above all other kinds of people,” she continued.
The term “whiteness” has been used for decades and is often associated with views on white privilege and systemic racism.
“What I suspect Reverend Warnock was trying to talk about is how Donald Trump as a candidate called for whiteness, the threat of loss of status that a woman would have against him in an increasingly diverse society,” Gillespie said. .
Regardless of the usefulness of ‘whiteness’ as a concept, it does not refer to specific people who can identify or be seen as ‘white’. Warnock’s comments, regardless of their merits, do not advocate anti-white prejudice.
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Warnock’s ‘How Towers Tumble’ Sermon
Warnock is the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once led.
Out of context, Warnock’s comments on ‘whiteness’ are used to indicate that he is attacking white people. Warnock explicitly condemned the vote for Trump, though not because his 2016 supporters were white. He condemned racism in the sermon.
He made his comments about ‘whiteness’ during a sermon in October 2016 following the revelations of then-candidate Donald Trump’s derogatory comments about women on a recording later called the ‘Access Hollywood band’.
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The sermon, titled “How Towers Tumble,” did not name Trump, but referred strongly to his actions and candidacy, and called on the country to “repent” for its support of the candidate.
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“If it is true that a man who dominates the news and has poisoned the discussion for months should repent, then it is doubly true that a nation that can produce such a man and make his violin go viral, must repent, “he said.
Warnock also said that the United States “worships” certain qualities such as wealth, power and whiteness, values that Warnock considers contrary to Christian teachings. Warnock also condemns Trump’s comments about Latinos, Muslims and other racial and ethnic minorities.
“No matter what happens next month, the more than a third of the country that goes along with this is reason to be afraid. “America must repent of the worship of whiteness that is on display this season,” he said.
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‘Someone lied and told them that uniformity, uniformity, homogeneity was the key to their survival. “Someone lied and told them that diversity threatens their identity,” Warnock said.
“God made all people in God’s image,” Warnock said, arguing that it was people who decided “some people are better than others.”
Referring to Genesis 11, Warnock compares the country’s apparent appreciation of ‘whiteness’ to the biblical story of the failed construction of the Tower of Babel, in which people attempted to build a tower to reach heaven out of arrogance.
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‘It’s a construction. It’s called stupidity, it’s called racism and sexism and misogyny and xenophobia. Race is not a biological factor, but a sociological construct. God made us, but we make things up, ”Warnock said.
‘We have built towers of dominion that lift up some, structures of evil that God never intended in the first place. If the quality of your education and access to basic health care is a function of your zip code, the whole city will suffer. And the tower is collapsing, ”he said.
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Our rating: Missing context
Warnock’s sermon in 2016 does mourn the popularity of then-candidate Donald Trump, a figure that Warnock saw as personifying the country’s alleged ailments. Warnock also attacks the country’s support for ‘whiteness’, an academic phrase that does not refer to individual ‘white’ people. Regardless of the benefits of Warnock’s argument, the insinuations that he’s campaigning for anti-white racism are RESOLVING MIST, based on our research.
Our sources for fact checking:
- USA TODAY, October 16, 2016, Trump’s scathing comments leave the campaign in crisis
- Candler School of Theology on Vimeo, October 26, 2016, Raphael Warnock, “How Towers Tumble” – Word Service
- Bible Gateway, Genesis 11
- National Museum of African American History and Culture, Whiteness
- The College Student Affairs Journal, Spring 2007, “What do you mean by whiteness?”
- Georgetown University Library, Spring 2018, Definition of Whiteness: Perspectives on Privilege
- Oxford Research Encyclopedia, 9 June 2016, Critical Whiteness Studies
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