Born to two Pentecostal-Holiness ministers in Savannah, Georgia on July 23, 1969, Raphael Gamaliel Warnock was the 11th of 12 children in his family. After receiving a B.A. degree in psychology from Morehouse College in 1991, he later attended Union Theological Seminary where he earned a Master of Divinity, a Master of Philosophy, and a Doctor of Philosophy (specializing in systematic theology). From 1991 through early 2001, Warnock served at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York – six years as a youth pastor and four years as an assistant pastor. He was then employed as senior pastor of the Douglas Memorial Community Church (DMCC) in Carroll County, Maryland, from early 2001 through mid-2005. At that point, Warnock became senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was co-pastor from 1959-68. Warnock continues to serve as senior pastor at that church.
In 2020, Warnock, a Democrat, decided to run for a U.S. Senate seat representing Georgia. As of October 14, 2020, his campaign had raised approximately $21.73 million, of which nearly 80% came from out-of-state donors. Neither Warnock nor the Republican incumbent, Kelly Loeffler, received more than 50% of the vote in the ten-candidate field, thereby setting the stage for a January 5, 2021 special runoff election between Warnock and Loeffler. Warnock won that runoff by a margin of approximately 50.5% to 49.5%.
Warnock’s Church Honors Fidel Castro (1995)
While Warnock was a youth pastor at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in 1995, the church — on October 22 of that year — held a special event hosting and celebrating the longtime Communist dictator of Cuba, Fidel Castro. The nearly 1,300 frenzied Castro supporters who were packed into the church that night gave the guest-of-honor a ten-minute standing ovation, chanting “Fidel! Fidel! Fidel!” Senior pastor Calvin Butts announced, “We have one of the great leaders of the world [Castro] with us today.” And according to a Miami Herald report about the event, Castro “blast[ed] the United States with … vigor,” and the festivities ended “with a rousing rendition of the socialist hymn Internationale.” Among the high-profile figures in attendance were Charles Rangel, Nydia Velazquez, Jose Serrano, and Angela Davis, the latter of whom smiled broadly at Castro and, according to a New York Times report, “gave him a fisted salute.” (For a video of Castro’s appearance, click here.)
Obstructing Investigation of Child Abuse at Church Camp (2002)
After working ten years at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, Warnock spent four-and-a-half years as senior pastor of the Douglas Memorial Community Church (DMCC) in Carroll County, Maryland. In 2002, he and fellow DMCC minister Mark Wainwright were both arrested for obstructing a police investigation into child abuse that allegedly had taken place at Camp Farthest Out, a facility run by DMCC. Specifically, Warnock and Wainwright interrupted a police interview of a camp counselor, and they attempted to prevent one camper from directing police to other potential witnesses. Though neither Warnock nor Wainwright were suspects in the investigation, State Trooper Diane Barry of Maryland’s Child and Sexual Assault Unit said, “I’ve never encountered resistance like that at all.” When Warnock was released following his arraignment, he told reporters that he merely had sought to ensure that lawyers could be present during counselor interviews with police.
But 18 years later, in December 2020, Washington Free Beacon reporter Alana Goodman interviewed Anthony Washington, the “boy” at the center of the Warnock abuse investigation. Goodman’s report showed that Warnock’s account of why he had interfered with the investigation, was a lie. Wrote Goodman:
Among the indignities 12-year-old Anthony Washington endured at the church camp overseen by Reverend Raphael Warnock: counselors who tossed urine on him and locked him outside his cabin overnight. Washington, now 30, recounted the events in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon and said his experience at the camp resulted in a 2003 lawsuit that ended two years later, when Washington says he and his family received a large financial settlement.
Washington’s account of the 2002 events provides the first direct insight into the alleged abuse and neglect that transpired at Camp Farthest Out, which Warnock oversaw as senior pastor of Maryland’s Douglas Memorial Community church, and raises new questions for the Democrat, who is currently vying for a Senate seat in Georgia.
Washington expressed surprise when he was told Warnock is currently running for U.S. Senate in Georgia. “I don’t think nobody like [Warnock] should be running for damn Senate nowhere, running a camp like that,” he told the Free Beacon. “He should not be running for government.” […] Washington’s account is buttressed by records from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, obtained by the Free Beacon earlier this month, which indicated that campers were routinely left unsupervised; staffers were not subject to required criminal background check; and at least five cases of child abuse or neglect were brought against the camp’s director, who was ultimately forced to resign.
Warnock served as senior pastor at Baltimore’s Douglas Memorial Community Church from 2001 until around 2005. His job included overseeing the expansion of the church’s sleepaway camp, Camp Farthest Out, which served inner city children….
The Free Beacon reached out to Washington and members of his family because his name appears on a lawsuit filed against Warnock, the camp, and several of the counselors.
“I just wanted to get the hell away from that camp,” Washington said in an interview. “I didn’t want to spend another day there. … That camp was real messed up.”
A court docket from the case shows that lawyers from both sides moved to dismiss the case “with prejudice” in May 2005, a resolution that frequently occurs when lawsuits are settled out of court. Officials from the courthouse and the Maryland state archives told the Free Beacon that they are unable to locate any records from the case. The lawyer who represented Washington’s family said he was unable to discuss the matter on the record.
Washington’s sister, Dominique, who also attended Camp Farthest Out the summer her brother says he was abused, corroborated the family’s involvement in the lawsuit when contacted by the Free Beacon. Another source close to the Washington family told the Free Beacon that the lawsuit was related to an incident when counselors “poured urine on [Anthony], at the camp.”
Washington said the camp was his first extended trip away from his parents as a child, and his first time in such a rural environment. His mother sent the two children because they had recently moved from California to Baltimore and she hoped they would make friends in the area, according to Washington.
Counselors were young, in their late teens or early 20s, and showed little interest in taking care of the campers, Washington said. As a punishment for wetting his bed, he said a counselor forced him to spend the next night sleeping outside by himself on the basketball court. “I’m like, ‘Hell no I’m not, it’s cold out there,’” he said. “[The counselors] wouldn’t let me in the house, not at all. … Shut the door to the cabin, locked it,” he said. “It was dark. There wasn’t nothing out there but the basketball court. I ain’t never experienced nothing like that. Like, you’re not in a tent, you’re not in nothing. You’re just out, God knows where.”
Counselors also threw urine on him from a bucket they used when there wasn’t a bathroom nearby, he added. “I went through that experience myself. I don’t even like talking about this shit. That shit happened. … It was like in a bucket. They would keep that shit in a bucket,” he said.
Washington said he saw counselors “grab kids,” but didn’t know the extent of abuse at the camp or whether others had experiences similar to his. “I just knew that shit happened to me, and that’s what I was worried about, me and my sister,” he said.
Campers were prohibited from calling their parents, he said. When he was finally able to tell his mother what happened, she was furious at the camp. “I can hear her in there, screaming at them,” Washington said. “Next thing I knew, my mother was going to court. … I thank my mother for doing what she did. She is a life saver.”
The family eventually received a financial settlement in the case, said Washington.
At least three state agencies—the Maryland State Police, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Health—looked into allegations of child abuse at the camp between 2002 and 2003, according to government records obtained by the Free Beacon.
Warnock was arrested at Camp Farthest Out on July 31, 2002, after a Maryland state trooper said he repeatedly disrupted her interviews with counselors while she was investigating allegations of child abuse. Warnock and another reverend were charged with “hindering and obstructing” police, but the charges were later dropped by the state prosecutor.
When inspectors from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene visited Camp Farthest Out in 2002, they also found multiple health and safety violations. “Staff are not supervising campers,” wrote a health inspector in a July 31, 2002, report. “Conversations w/ medical staff & pool staff indicate that this is routine among the counselors. It was observed during inspection today.”
In June 2003, the Department of Health denied Camp Farthest Out’s certificate to operate a youth camp. One reason for the denial, according to the records, was that the camp failed to report at least five findings of child abuse levied against its director, Brian Carter, by the Department of Social Services.
Praising & Hosting Jeremiah Wright (2008-14)
During the presidential campaign season of 2008, Warnock, who was slated to deliver a speech honoring Barack Obama’s controversial longtime pastor Jeremiah Wright, was asked by Fox News reporter Greta van Susteren: “Do you embrace the Reverend Wright, and let me focus on the soundbites, for lack of better words, but certainly he has said things like ‘GD [God Damn] America’ and the things he has said … Do you embrace that? Is that something you would do, sir, in your church?” Warnock replied: “We celebrate Reverend Wright in the same way that we celebrate the truth-telling tradition of the black church, which, when preachers tell the truth, very often it makes people uncomfortable. And I think the country has been done a disservice by this constant playing over and over again the same soundbites outside of context.” Warnock also described Wright as “a prophet.”
In a similar spirit, Warnock, in his 2013 book The Divided Mind of the Black Church, compared Wright’s message to that of the biblical prophet Jeremiah. Moreover:
- In a February 2013 speech, Warnock described Wright’s infamous “God Damn America” sermon of 2003 — which likened U.S. leaders to al Qaeda, claimed that HIV was a U.S. government invention designed to exterminate black people, and asserted that the 9/11 attacks were an act of retribution for evil U.S. foreign policies — as a “very fine homily” about the dangers of “confusing God and government.” Asserting further that Wright’s sermon was “consistent with black prophetic preaching,” Warnock lamented that the black church was “barely understood by mainstream America.”
- In a 2014 speech in Atlanta, Warnock again lauded Wright’s 2003 sermon: “You ought to go back and see if you can find and read, as I have, the entire sermon. It was a very fine sermon. And Jeremiah Wright was right when he said the attack on him was in a real sense an attack on the black church. The message of Jeremiah Wright was that public policy has consequences.”
In 2014 as well, Warnock demonstrated his high regard for Wright by hosting him as a guest preacher at Warnock’s church in Atlanta.
Defending Socialism & Marxism (2009-13, +)
In a 2009 sermon, Warnock, claiming that socialism was consistent with the tenets of Christian Scripture, drew a parallel between socialized health care and other government services like police protection, fire protection, and trash removal. “You don’t solve the problem simply by calling something ‘socialism,’” he said. “There are some things that we have in common. We don’t ask people to buy their own police protection, their own fire protection. We decided long ago that we ought to pool our resources and pick up everybody’s garbage so that free enterprise can take place. There are some things we have in common.” “I’m so sick and tired of all of these folk talking about ‘socialistic medicine,’” Warnock added. “And I really get upset when I hear Christians in the midst of this debate, talking about socialism. They ought to go back and read Acts Chapter Two, where the Bible says that the church had all things in common.”
In another sermon, Warnock said the following about Pope Francis: “And, I love this Pope. He [Francis] said, ‘Well, I’m not a Marxist, but I know a few Marxists and they’re pretty good people.” Warnock then proceeded to cast Marxism as a political and economic system whose values were akin to those of Christianity: “So hard to discover, and to hear an authentic vision and voice, of authentic spirituality that gives voice to the least of these and when it shows up people describe it as some strange ideology rather than the vision of that poor Palestinian prophet [Jesus] who said that the spirit of the Lord is on me because God has anointed me to preach good news to the poor…”
In his 2013 book, The Divided Mind of the Black Church, Warnock wrote: “To be sure, the Marxist critique has much to teach the Black church. Indeed, it has played an important role in the maturation of black theology as an intellectual discipline, deepened black theology’s apprehension of the interconnectivity of racial and class oppression, and provided critical tools for a black church that has yet to awaken to a substantive third world consciousness.”
In a 2011 sermon which he delivered at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Warnock suggested that the actions and objectives of the U.S. military were inherently evil and ungodly: “America, nobody can serve God and the military. You can’t serve God and money. You cannot serve God and mammon [riches] at the same time. America, choose ye this day who you will serve. Choose ye this day.”
Benediction for President Obama’s Second Inauguration (2013)
In January 2013, Warnock delivered the benediction at the public prayer service for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.
Praising the Nation of Islam (2013)
In 2013, Warnock said that the Nation of Islam’s “voice has been important … for the development of Black theology,” because: “It was the Black Muslims who challenged Black preachers and said, ‘you’re promulgating … the White man’s religion. And that’s a slave religion. You’re telling people to focus on heaven, meanwhile, they’re catching hell.’” “And so,” he continued, “we’ve needed the witness of the Nation of Islam in a very real sense to put a fire under us [black preachers] and keep us honest.”
Praising His “Mentor,” James Cone, the Father of Black Liberation Theology (2013-18)
The man whom Warnock identifies as his religious “mentor” was the late James Cone, who served as Warnock’s academic adviser at Union Theological Seminary. Widely regarded as the founder of Black Liberation Theology — a doctrine of Marxism dressed up as Christianity — Cone famously stated that “the goal of black theology is the destruction of everything white,” and that “Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man ‘the devil.’” Warnock cited Cone’s landmark 1970 book, A Black Theology of Liberation, more than a dozen times in the chapters and footnotes of his own 2013 book, The Divided Mind of the Black Church. After Cone died in 2018, Warnock eulogized him at the funeral and said: “How blessed we are that someone of the spiritual magnitude and power and commitment of Dr. James Hal Cone passed our way.”
Calling for Empty Prisons & a “Militant Church” (2013-19)
At a “Rights and Religions” symposium held at the Union Theological Institute in November 2013, Warnock delivered the keynote speech, titled “Black Theology, the Black Church and America’s Prison Industrial Complex.” In the course of his remarks, he stated that if “black theology and the black church” failed to support “dismantling the prison industrial complex,” then “both deserve to die.” He also called for the creation of a “new and militant church, preaching deliverance to the captives” — i.e., black prison inmates.
Reasoning from the premise that the American criminal-justice system is thoroughly infested with racism, Warnock in early 2019 joined a number of other black religious leaders in signing his name to a statement condemning “the new Jim Crow of mass incarceration.”
During a “Let My People Go: Ending Mass Incarceration” conference at Ebenezer Baptist Church in June 2019, Warnock called for the mass release of prisoners, saying, “It’s not enough to decriminalize marijuana. Somebody’s got to open up the jail cells and let our children go.” Describing incarceration as an immoral form of “human bondage,” he added: “Every form of human bondage injures the soul of the oppressed. Inflates the self-understanding of the oppressor. And insults the Sovereignty of God.”
Describing Jesus As “a Palestinian” (2014+)
In a February 2014 sermon, Warnock described Jesus Christ as a “Palestinian peasant,” a label that contradicts biblical and scholarly descriptions of Jesus as a Jew hailing from Judea. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, an official at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, explains that Warnock’s allegation has commonly been used as a means of denying the Jewish people’s historical connection to Israel as their homeland: “For people who have no theological or historical rooting, the idea that Jesus was a Palestinian creates a new narrative for Palestinian history, which otherwise does not date back very far. If one can say that Jesus was Palestinian 2,000 years ago, then that means the Jews are occupying Palestinian land.”
On another occasion, Warnock referred to Jesus as “that poor Palestinian prophet.”
Opposing the Second Amendment & “Stand-Your-Ground” Laws (2014)
In a February 2014 sermon, Warnock derided his state’s laws regarding gun ownership, saying: “Georgia has some of the most lax gun laws in the country. Georgia’s idea of gun control is whether you can hold your rifle straight. With all of the lax gun laws in Georgia, they’ve decided that they aren’t lax enough. We’ve got the fifth-highest population of uninsured individuals, and with all of the issues, we’re almost last in education, we haven’t figured out how to provide healthcare to all of these uninsured people, [the] Governor will not expand Medicaid, and in the midst of all that’s going on I had to go to the capital yesterday because they’ve decided that what we really need is more guns, and more access to guns by more people in more places….”
In another sermon that same month, Warnock criticized Georgia Republican politicians “who go to church every Sunday morning, and then walk into that capitol, stand under that gold dome, and come up with the dumbest [gun] legislation you can ever imagine.” Added Warnock: “‘What we need [the Republicans say] is more guns, in more places, by more people.’ Think about all the crazy people you bump into just on the routine, every week. On your job, on the street, some of them in church – don’t look at ’em. Imagine all them people with guns.”
In 2014 as well, Warnock opposed legislation that would have allowed Georgia residents to carry firearms in church for self-defense. “The answer to America’s gun violence isn’t to encourage masses of people to carry guns,” he said.
Also in 2014, Warnock condemned Georgia’s “stand-your-ground” laws, which permit people to use firearms or other means of deadly force when they reasonably believe such force to be necessary to defend against a criminal threat of death or serious bodily harm. Said Warnock: “Then they come up with all of these clever names, ‘Stand Your Ground.’ No it’s not a stand-your-ground law, it’s a shoot-first law. Shoot first, ask questions later.”
Comparing Police to “Gangstas” and “Thugs” (2015)
Warnock condemned the police response to the violent riots that swept through the city of Ferguson, Missouri after the August 9, 2014 police shooting (in Ferguson) of an 18-year-old black male named Michael Brown. Said Warnock in a March 2015 sermon: “So, in Ferguson, police power, showing up in a kind of gangsta and thug mentality. You now, you can wear all kinds of colors and be a thug; you can sometimes wear the colors of the state and behave like a thug.”
In another sermon three months later, Warnock remarked: ““Our children are in trouble, and it’s often those who are sworn to protect, who cause more trouble.”
And in November 2015, Warnock said: “When you think about the fact that America still warehouses 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, we shouldn’t be surprised when we see police officers act like bullies on the street…. You don’t get to be the incarceration capital of the world by playing nice on the streets, you have to work for that distinction.”
Hating Trump & America’s “Worship of Whiteness” (2016)
In an October 2016 speech at Atlanta’s Candler School of Theology, Warnock excoriated then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his political supporters as racists: “If it is true that a man [Trump] 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. No matter what happens next month [in the presidential election], more than a third of the nation that would go along with this [Trump campaign], is reason to be afraid. America needs to repent for its worship of whiteness, on full display this [election] season.”
Warnock Says Fidel Castro Had a “Complex” Legacy, & Claims That U.S. Has “Political Prisoners” (2016)
Two days after Cuba’s longtime former dictator Fidel Castro died in November 2016, Warnock said in a sermon: “We pray for the people of Cuba in this moment. We remember Fidel Castro, whose legacy is complex. Don’t let anyone tell you a simple story; life usually isn’t very simple. His legacy is complex, kind of like America’s legacy is complex.” Warnock also alleged similarities between the United States and Castro’s rule over Cuba, claiming that America also has its own political prisoners: “While we focus on political prisoners in Cuba, you saw the folks standing here this morning. If some people get slapped on the hand for the same crime and others go to federal prison, then we too have our own political prisoners, because politics [is] more than the crime – politics of race and class, and in that sense many of us have sisters and brothers who are political prisoners.”
“America’s Preexisting Condition” Is “Racism” (2017)
At a New Baptist Covenant event on June 29, 2017, Warnock said:
“We are in a special moment. We are in an evil moment. We are in a tragic moment, and I suggest to you that our politics is symptomatic of our sickness. We’ve got a lot of problems, but I would not be a prophet if I did not tell you that racism is America’s preexisting condition. Like the insurance companies, nobody wants to go there. Nobody wants to cover it because we wonder what it would cost. We, the land of the free, and the incarceration capital of the world. In this land where we warehouse 25 percent of the world’s prisoners although we are only five percent of the world, we are to ask ourselves what has it cost us not to cover it, not to face up to it, not to confront it, not to deal with it. Racism is America’s preexisting condition.”
On another occasion in 2017, Warnock sounded a similar refrain: “America has a preexisting condition. It’s called racism. It’s called classism. It’s called bigotry. It’s called xenophobia. And we need God to heal us of our preexisting condition.”
Warnock Condemns “the Evils and the Excesses” of the American “Empire” (2017)
In a November 2017 sermon, Warnock criticized other Christians for not focusing enough on poverty, and he likened the United States to the Roman Empire of King Herod’s era:
“I want you to hear me now, because most of Christian America is focused on two or three issues. Meanwhile, the Bible spends most of its time talking about how to treat the poor, the struggling, and the stranger. And so, don’t misinterpret what Jesus is saying. Jesus is saying you will always have the poor with you, not because God ordained it; not because it is what it is, and that’s the way it has to be; the poor are with you because of the evils and the excesses of the empire. And I came to dismantle the value system of the empire. I already told you that I came to preach good news to the poor, to open the eyes of the blind, and to set the captives free, and to preach the year of the Lord’s freedom. In other words, I came to dismantle the value system of the empire. But here’s the problem: the religious folk who should be fighting with me against the empire are in cahoots with the empire.”
Depicting Republicans Who Voted for Tax Cuts As “Gangsters and Thugs”(2017)
In a December 2017 sermon which he delivered the day after Senate Republicans had passed a version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Warnock, turning a blind eye to the fact that the bill significantly reduced tax liability for low- and middle-income Americans, accused those Republicans of seeking to “kill children.” Said Warnock:
“While others were sleeping, members of the United States Senate declared war, launched a vicious and evil attack on the most vulnerable people in America. Herod [the Judean king who ordered the mass slaughter of Jewish babies in Bethlehem] is on the loose. Herod is a cynical politician, who’s willing to kill children and kill the children’s health program in order to preserve his own wealth and his own power. On Friday night, the United States Senate decided by a slim majority to pick the pockets of the poor, the sick, the old, and the yet unborn in order to line the pockets of the ultra-rich. Don’t tell me about gangsters and thugs on the streets, there are more gangsters and thugs in Washington, D.C., in the Capitol than there are—a bunch of them.”
CEO of the New Georgia Project (2017-20)
From 2017 through February 21, 2020, Warnock served as CEO of the New Georgia Project, a partisan voter-registration organization co-founded by Stacey Abrams in 2013. According to the Washington Free Beacon: “He has been identified as the New Georgia Project’s chairman and spokesman in media reports and has said he organized voter mobilization drives for the group, including a push to register 80,000 new minority voters in 2014.”
Hating Israel (2018-19)
Soon after President Trump opened the newly relocated U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in May 2018, Warnock said in a sermon : “It’s been a tough week. The administration opened up the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Standing there [were] the president’s family and a few mealy-mouthed evangelical preachers who are responsible for the mess that we found ourselves in, both there and here — misquoting and misinterpreting the Scripture, talking about peace.”
Warnock then proceeded to draw a comparison between the struggle for Palestinian rights in the Middle East, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States: “Meanwhile, young Palestinian sisters and brothers, who are struggling for their very lives, struggling for water and struggling for their human dignity stood up in a non-violent protest, saying, ‘If we’re going to die, we’re going to die struggling.’ And yes, there may have been some folk who were violent, but we oughta know how that works out. We know what it’s like to stand up and have a peaceful demonstration and have the media focus on a few violent uprisings. But you have to look at those Palestinian sisters and brothers, who are struggling for their human dignity and they have a right to self-determination, they have a right to breathe free.”
In 2018 as well, Warnock proclaimed: “We saw the government of Israel shoot down unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey. And I don’t care who does it, it is wrong. It is wrong to shoot down God’s children like they don’t matter at all. And it’s no more anti-Semitic for me to say that than it is anti-white for me to say that Black lives matter. Palestinian lives matter.” An American Thinker analysis subsequently pointed out the fallacies undergirding Warnock’s condemnations of Israel: “In fact, Israel, more than any other country in the world, will do anything, including putting its troops in danger, to avoid harming innocents. The Palestinians, therefore, deliberately place their weapons and fighters in schools and hospitals in order to parade dead children before the West’s cameras.”
In early 2019, Warnock joined a number of fellow black religious leaders in signing an open statement that denounced Israel for oppressing Palestinians with “patterns” of treatment “that seem to have been borrowed and perfected from other previous oppressive regimes.” By contrast, the statement lauded “the leaders of the Palestinian Authority” for their supposedly longstanding efforts to promote peace by making a “conscious decision to forgo armed solutions to the conflict.” Moreover, the statement lamented:
- “Palestinian communities and homes where people are not allowed to have freedom of movement or self-determination”
- “state-sanctioned [Israeli] violence in the form of detention, interrogation, teargassed, beatings, forced confessions and death”
- “the excessive use of force by Israel to subjugate the people in collective punishment of [the] whole population, and the debilitating confinement that renders Gaza as one big densely populated prison”
- “the ever-present physical walls that wall in Palestinians in a political wall reminiscent of the Berlin Wall”
- “the heavy [Israeli] militarization of the West Bank, reminiscent of the military occupation of Namibia by apartheid South Africa”
- “[Israel’s] unstoppable gobbling up of Palestinian lands to almost render the proposed two-state solution unworkable”
- “the misery in which poor families in Palestine have to survive, especially those holed up in refugee camps”
In addition, the statement that Warnock signed: (a) falsely described Gaza, which was controlled entirely by Hamas, as an “occupied” territory oppressed by Israel; (b) falsely claimed that “Jewish” people engage in “segregation”; (c) demanded an end to all U.S. weapons sales to Israel; and (d) called for “the return of [Palestinian] refugees and exiles.” (To learn more about this so-called “Right of Return,” click here.)
Blaming White Racism & “Environmental Hazards” for Black Crime (2019)
In an October 2019 panel discussion at the Memorial Church of Harvard University, the moderator asked Warnock to speak about the “overlap” between crime and climate change. In his response, Warnock stated that the climate movement had “for too long been suburban and white and middle class.” Asserting also that civil rights leaders should remain ever-mindful of the “intersectionality” of race and climate change, he turned his attention to the case of Freddie Gray, a longtime Baltimore criminal who in April 2015 had died as a result of spinal-cord injuries that he suffered while in custody, unstrapped by any seat belt, inside the cargo area of a moving police van. Attributing Gray’s criminal history to impaired brain function caused by environmental factors that disproportionately affect poor people, Warnock said:
“Freddie Gray in Baltimore. You remember that case? Freddie Gray who died in the custody of the police and became one of those flashpoints for this issue about encounters between the police and ordinary citizens, his story didn’t begin there. Freddie Gray grew up in Baltimore, where I was a pastor for almost five years. He was a victim of environmental hazards in the built environment. Lead poisoning.In substandard housing. In a country where we have known for decades what lead poisoning does and how it leads to behavioral issues in the classroom and learning difficulties. And then, so he becomes part of the prison pipeline. So these civil rights issues, human rights issues, climate change both in the natural world and built environment, are all part of this larger issue that speaks to the soul of America.”
Accused of Running Over His Wife’s Foot with a Car (2020)
In early March 2020, Warnock’s estranged wife told a police officer that Mr. Warnock, during a dispute with her, had deliberately run over her foot with his car. In video footage of a police interview with Mr. Warnock, the officer asked him: “Did you run over her foot?” “I don’t think so,” Warnock replied. “I do not think so…. I don’t want to get into a shoving match with her. So I go back around, get back in the car, and I slowly start to move, like I’m gonna move forward. Then she claims I ran over her foot.”
The officer then went to Warnock’s wife to hear her version of the story. She tearfully told him that she had been trying to get her husband’s signature for a passport, so she could take the couple’s children to see her family in West Africa after the death of her grandfather, and that Warnock refused to talk to her as he was getting in his automobile. “He’s like, ‘Ouleye, close the door. I’m leaving.’ And I was like, ‘just hear me out. If your mom died, and I had the kids. Wouldn’t you want me to let them go with you to the funeral?’ And he just starts backing the car up. He wasn’t going fast, I’m not bleeding. But I just can’t believe he’d run me over.” Asked whether she thought Mr. Warnock’s act was intentional, she said: “Obviously. I was standing here. The door was open and I’m leaning into the car. How can you drive the car when I’m leaning into it?”
Still crying, Mrs. Warnock then told the officer: “This man’s running for United States Senate, and all he cares about right now is his reputation. I’ve been very quiet about the way that he is for the sake of my kids and his reputation. I’ve tried to keep the way that he acts under wraps for a long time, and today he crossed the line. So that is what is going on here. And he’s a great actor. He is phenomenal at putting on a really good show.”
When the local Atlanta television station WGCL asked Warner on December 24, 2020 to respond to what his wife had said in the video, he stated: “I’m going to stay focused on my family, which includes their mother, and I’m going to stay focused on the people of Georgia who during a pandemic are still waiting on relief all these months later while politicians including Kelly Loeffler [Warnock’s opponent in the upcoming Senate runoff election] are busy playing games.”
Ties to Rep. John Lewis
The late Democrat congressman John Lewis, who died in July 2021, was a parishioner in Warnock’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and Warnock viewed him as a mentor.
Supporting Taxpayer-Funded Abortion-on-Demand (2020)
In an August 2020 interview with WGAU radio host Tim Bryant, Warnock said that taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand is “consistent with my view as a Christian minister, and I will fight for it.” Characterizing abortion as a form of “healthcare,” Warnock stated: “I believe that healthcare is a human right. And I believe that it is something that the richest nation in the world provides for its citizens, and for me reproductive justice is consistent with my commitment to that.” Added Warnock: “I believe unequivocally in a woman’s right to choose, and that the decision is something that we don’t want government engaged in – that’s between her and her doctor and her minister.”
Because of Warnock’s stance on abortion, Planned Parenthood, America’s leading provider of abortions, endorsed him in May 2020 as a “health care champion” and supported his campaign for the U.S. Senate. Warner’s campaign was also endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Characterizing Cash Bail As a “Poll Tax” and “Voter Suppression” (2020)
Warnock is an outspoken opponent of “cash bail” requirements that enable certain accused criminals to stay out of jail while awaiting trial. His opposition is based on the premise that such requirements discriminate against poor people who cannot afford to post bail. During a November 2019 symposium on criminal justice at Harvard University, for instance, a member of the audience asked Warnock for his opinion about states where formerly imprisoned felons were barred from voting in political elections until after they had paid off all the fines and fees associated with their incarceration. “What we’ve witnessed over the last few years is an attack on democracy itself,” Warnock said. “And the carceral system is a tool in that arsenal.” Suggesting that “churches and mosques and temples” should consider paying such fees on behalf of formerly incarcerated felons who may now wish to cast ballots in elections, he added: “Us simply paying the beast for what shouldn’t be the case in the first place is not the answer. We ought to push back, and if we did some payment, it would be to draw attention to the issue.” “Sort of like we’re bailing people out of jail,” Warnock continued, “but our ultimate goal is to get rid of cash bail. It’s a poll tax; it’s voter suppression. Our democracy is being hijacked and we have to take it back.”
Warnock’s 2020 Senate campaign platform lamented “the thousands of Georgians who are in jail, not because they have been convicted of a crime or are a danger to society, but because they can’t afford bail.”
For a discussion of the negative consequences of a no-bail policies, see Footnote #1 below.
Criminal Justice Reform (2020)
Asserting that “it is a scandal and a scar on the soul of America to imprison more people at a higher rate than any other country in the world,” Warnock’s 2020 Senate campaign platform condemned the American criminal-justice system as one that “criminalizes poverty” and “incarcerates people of color at disproportionate levels.” The campaign also warned of “the dangers of mandatory [prison-sentence] minimums,” and called it “morally wrong … to close the doors of social re-entry on the formerly incarcerated.” Thus, Warnock supports the restoration of voting rights, as well as the right to access all manner of social welfare benefits, for former prison inmates.
Refusal to Give His Opinion Regarding the Packing of the Supreme Court & the U.S. Senate (2020)
During a November 2020 interview with GrayDC.com, Warnock was asked to comment on reports that Democrats, if they were to succeed in taking control of the U.S. Senate, would move to “pack” the Supreme Court – i.e., increase the number of Justices from 9 to perhaps 13 or 15 — with all the additions being activists who could be counted upon to rule in favor of Democrat agenda items. He was also asked if he would be in favor of Democrats similarly packing the Senate by creating two new U.S. states — Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico — so as to add four additional, guaranteed Democrat seats to the Senate.
These questions were particularly pertinent in light of the fact that the 2020 Democratic Party Platform openly declared that one of its objectives was: “making Washington, D.C. the 51st State.” Moreover, Senator Charles Schumer was on record as having declared that “everything is on the table” if Democrats were to win a majority in the Senate. Said Schumer: “I would … love to make [D.C. and Puerto Rico] states…. I’m not busting my chops to become majority leader to do very little or nothing. We are going to get a whole lot done, and as I’ve said, everything, everything is on the table.”
In response to the questions by GrayDC.com, Warnock was evasive, saying, “I think that they’re [Republicans] trying to divide us, again. And it’s really sad, because, at the end of the day, E Pluribus Unum — out of many, one — that’s the covenant that we have with one another, as an American people. I support that. I believe in that with all of my heart. And I’m going to stand up and defend it.”
After being asked once more if he supported the expansion of the Supreme Court, Warnock again refused to address the question, saying: “I’m really focused on representing the concerns of ordinary people here in Georgia. I think it’s presumptuous for me to go further down that path, talking about what ought to happen with the courts. I’m hopeful that the people of Georgia will look at my life, look at my record, and give me the great honor of representing them in the United States Senate.”
“Voter Suppression” (2020)
Warnock’s 2020 Senate campaign claimed that “voter purges” — i.e., the removal of invalid names from official voter rolls — are acts of “voter suppression” that place “the right to vote … at risk for millions of Georgians.”
The Warnock campaign also pledged to “get busy restoring the Voting Rights Act [of 1965] that was gutted by the Supreme Court.”
- NOTE: Warnock’s characterization of the Court’s ruling was highly deceptive. He was referring to a June 2013 decision that struck down only one part of the Voting Rights Act — specifically, Section 4, which explicitly named the states that would be required to receive clearance from the Justice Department or a federal court before they could make any changes at all — major or minor — to their voting procedures. The Supreme Court in 2013 found that the notion that certain states — mostly in the South — needed to be restrained from enacting racist voting laws, was highly anachronistic and no longer necessary. As Chief Justice John Roberts explained, the Court’s ruling was founded upon the fact that Section 4 was “based on 40-year-old facts having no logical relationship to the present day.” “Congress — if it is to divide the states — must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions,” Roberts wrote. “It cannot simply rely on the past.” Warnock and most of his fellow Democrats, however, have portrayed the termination of Section 4 as a brutal assault on the voting rights of African Americans.
Moreover, Warnock’s 2020 campaign pushed for an expansion of Vote-By-Mail, Early Vote, and No-Fault Absentee Ballot options. All of these options are much more likely than In-Person Voting, to be breeding grounds for voter fraud.
Health Care Policy (2020)
Warnock’s 2020 Senate campaign pledged to “protect, improve and build upon the Affordable Care Act,” as a path toward the establishment of a single-payer, government-run healthcare system. Rooted in a belief in “the fundamental right to health care,” Warnock called for “Medicaid expansion,” opportunities for “early Medicare buy-in,” and “access to a public option.” A public option is a government insurance agency set up to “compete” with private insurers. Because such an agency would not need to show a profit in order to remain in business, and because it could tax and regulate its private competitors in whatever fashion it pleased, this “public option” would soon force private insurers out of the industry. That is the unspoken objective of the policy.
Climate Policy (2020)
Depicting “the flooding and extreme weather we have seen in coastal Georgia and across the South” as “sobering reminders of how devastating climate change can be in our daily lives, especially in underserved and rural communities,” Warnock’s 2020 Senate campaign said that Georgia “urgently needs leaders who will accept the science, invest in infrastructure, and combat the climate crisis that is already at our door.”
Warnock also vowed to fight “environmental racism,” the notion that “the disproportionate impacts of climate change” fall on “marginalized communities.”
He further stated that new “green economy” jobs based on “alternative energy sources” would “ensure that those that overwhelmingly bear the brunt of intensifying climate change” — i.e., poor minorities — “are prioritized in access to training and education to partake in profits.” In other words, Democrat environmental agendas are to be used as pretexts for wealth redistribution.
Moreover, Warnock pledged to support America “rejoining the Paris Climate Accords.” (For an overview of the tenets of the Paris Climate Accords, see Footnote #2, below.
Campaigning with Strong Supporter of Louis Farrakhan (2020)
On December 21, 2020, Warnock appeared at a get-out-the-vote event in Georgia with Dr. David E. Marion, the chairman of Howard University’s National Pan-Hellenic Council of Presidents. In February 2019, Marion had presented Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan with an honorary membership into his (Marion’s) Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Support for the “Defund the Police” Movement (2021)
On January 4, 2021, Project Veritas (PV) released a new undercover video in which Sasha Williams, Warnock’s director of small business engagement, told a PV journalist: “You know police officers are not all good, you know what I am saying? Most of them are bad, we know that. Conservative white Republicans who basically have no value for black lives.” In that same conversation, Williams affirmed that Warnock favors the defunding of police departments:
Journalist: “But he [Warnock] is on our side for defunding these suckers in blue, these police? He’s on our side on that?”
Williams: “Absolutely! Absolutely!”
Warnock Wins Senate Runoff Election in Georgia (2021)
On January 5, 2021, Warnock defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler in the U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia by a margin of approximately 50.5% to 49.5%. Warnock received huge majority support from Georgia’s two largest immigrant populations — winning 64 percent of the Hispanic vote and 60 percent of the Asian-American vote.
Investigation of Warnock for Voter Registration Misconduct (2021)
On February 11, 2021, the Post Millennial reported the following:
“Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) is now under an investigation for voter registration misconduct for his involvement with an organization founded by Georgia Democratic operative Stacey Abrams. In a 3-0 vote on Wednesday, the Georgia State Election Board decided to go ahead with an investigation into the New Georgia Project, of which Warnock was chair in 2019. The New Georgia Project, founded by Abrams, is alleged to have not followed specific guidelines as regards deadlines, Forbesreports.
“’Warnock, a Democrat elected last month to the U.S. Senate, is named as a respondent in the case because he was listed as the CEO for the New Georgia Project at the time,’ The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. The AJC noted that ‘Representatives of the New Georgia Project hand-delivered 1,268 voter registration applications to the Gwinnett County elections office beyond the time allowed. State election rules require voter registration organizations to submit completed applications within 10 days after they were received from the voter.’”
Ethics Charge Against Warnock
On August 3, 2021, Kendra Arnold, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), sent a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics calling for an immediate investigation regarding Warnock’s alleged violation of a “Senate ethics prohibition on soliciting campaign contributions linked to official Senate action.” The letter claimed that on July 24, Warnock had sent out a mass email that: (a) had a subject line that read, “I just testified at a special Senate hearing in Georgia on voting rights”; (b) expressed “urgency” and “importance” vis-a-vis what Warnock wanted recipients of the letter to do; and (c) included a “direct solicitation for campaign donations” that Warnock was “personally” requesting.
Said Arnold in a press release: “The Senate Ethics rules hold members to a high standard to maintain the public trust in our elected officials. One rule specifically bars Senators from combining official actions with solicitations for campaign donations–which Senator Warnock’s email clearly did. This ethics rule is designed to avoid even the appearance that donating to a Senator could result in a certain vote being cast.”
Ex-Wife Accuses Warnock of Neglecting His Children & Failing To Pay Childcare Expenses
In a February 2022 court filing, Warnock’s ex-wife, Oulèye Ndoye: (a) accused him of leaving her “financially strapped” by refusing to reimburse her for expenses related to the care of the couple’s children; (b) claimed that Warnock “routinely neglect[ed]” to give her advance notice prior to his out-of-town trips that coincided with his scheduled visitation days, and instead had the children “picked up from school by friends and [left] them with various babysitters overnight” during his absence; (c) asked the court to hold Warnock in contempt for violating the couple’s custody order; and (d) charged that Warnock was refusing to return personal items that had been awarded to her in the divorce agreement. In early April 2022, Fulton County Superior Court judge Shermela J. Williams ordered the couple to attend mediation for their custody dispute, and to try to resolve their differences by May 7.
Report Claims That Warnock Improperly Used Campaign Funds to Fight a Personal Lawsuit
On July 6, 2022, Politico.com reported:
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) used campaign money to cover legal expenses for a lawsuit relating to his time as a church minister — transactions that raise questions about whether the spending runs afoul of federal rules governing personal use of campaign funds.
The case, first filed in 2019 by Atlanta resident Melvin Robertson, involved … allegations against Warnock that date back to 2005 when he was a pastor. It was dismissed by a federal district court judge in Georgia without any of the defendants being served.
But Robertson refiled a similar lawsuit in April 2021, outlining the same allegations against Warnock while also suing Ebenezer Baptist Church, where [Warnock] has long served as senior pastor, and other public figures. This time, Warnock was serving in the Senate. And he enlisted his campaign attorneys from Elias Law Group [ELG] to represent him in the case, along with an Atlanta firm, Krevolin & Horst, which assisted ELG.
The issue for Warnock is whether this was a proper use of campaign funds.
Federal Election Commission guidance states that campaign money can be used on “litigation expenses where the candidate/officeholder was the defendant and the litigation arose directly from campaign activity or the candidate’s status as a candidate.” […]
Experts in federal campaign finance law point to the FEC’s so-called “irrespective test” — or, in the words of Caleb Burns, a Wiley Rein attorney specializing in election law, “expenses that would exist irrespective of a candidate’s status as a candidate or officeholder.” “The rationale for this prohibition is to honor the campaign contributors’ intent that their contributions be used for political purposes and not, for example, to relieve the candidate of a personal obligation,” Burns said.
Warnock’s campaign maintains that the use of campaign funds was permissible because the second lawsuit, despite making the same allegations as in 2019, was filed while Warnock was in office. […]
Warnock’s unique situation presents a gray area, because the allegations dating back 17 years do not involve him being a member of Congress or a candidate for office. His campaign argues, however, that Robertson’s invocation of the First, Fourth and 14th amendments made Warnock’s 2021 status as a federal office holder relevant. […] However, the examples cited by Warnock’s campaign of instances where the FEC ruled that it was permissible for officeholders to use campaign funds on legal expenses all pertained to events that took place while the person was a member of Congress. For example, the campaign pointed to former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) paying for litigation related to the secret taping of a House Republican Conference call in 1996.
And when Warnock’s attorneys last year were seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed, they specifically noted that Robertson’s claims against Warnock “relate to actions purportedly taken in 2005 and 2008, when he was not a federal employee.”
Yet they now argue that, because the suit was filed while Warnock was in the Senate, it was appropriate to use his campaign money to cover his defense.
The Robertson lawsuit likely amounts to a small fraction of the work Elias Law Group has done for Warnock’s campaign. The campaign has paid Elias Law Group $66,000 since October, according to FEC disclosures. Before that, Warnock for Georgia paid Perkins Coie, the firm from which Mark Elias and other attorneys split, $210,000 between July 2020 and December 2021. […]
Among other things, Robertson accuses Warnock of somehow conspiring with the city of Atlanta to entrap him and participating in schemes involving a business where Robertson once worked. He also complains about his personal belongings being lost in a storage locker and about his discomfort while attending one of Warnock’s church services long ago.
[The main issue is] how Warnock paid to defend himself against [the lawsuit]. Charlie Spies, a Republican attorney specializing in political law, said the bottom line is whether Warnock would have incurred the expense as a private citizen. And in this case, Spies said, the answer is yes. “If Warnock is using campaign money to pay for a lawsuit that predates his running for office, then by definition it existed irrespective of his candidacy and would be impermissible to use campaign funds on,” said Spies, who previously served as counsel to Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign and to the Republican National Committee. “Personal use” of campaign funds, Spies said, is “something the FEC is particularly focused on.” “The seriousness of the violation will depend on whether the FEC considers it to be knowing and willful,” he said.
If the FEC determines it was a violation, but not willful, such a case would likely be resolved by the candidate paying a fraction of the amount that was illegally spent, according to Spies. “I don’t think his donors are giving,” Spies said, “for him to fund personal lawsuits.”
Warnock is a member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc., and a Lifetime Member of the NAACP.
In 2016, Warnock’s footprints were placed on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.
Warnock once received the Reverend Dr. William A. Jones Justice Award from Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
Warnock has been recognized as one of “Atlanta’s 55 Most Powerful” by Atlanta magazine; one of the “New Kingdom Voices” by Gospel Today magazine; one of “God’s Trombones” by the Rainbow Push Coalition; a “Good Shepherd” by Associated Black Charities; one of the “Chosen Pastors” by The Gospel Choice Awards; “A Man of Influence” by the Atlanta Business League; one of “The Root 100” in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by TheRoot.com (a division of the Washington Post); one of the “20 Top African American Church Leaders” by TheRoot.com; and one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Black Ministers” by Loop 21.