As a Georgia born and raised Baptist minister, he would be the first black Senator in his state and break a barrier of particular importance in American politics

GARDEN CITY, Ga – So few black Democrats have been elected to the Senate that Kamala Harris, as the elected vice president for the Rev Raphael Warnock in Savannah this week spoke volumes, if unwittingly, of the mating’s representation of the breed in the statewide office

In purely partisan terms, a Democratic Party leader was trying to rally voters in an important Senate runoff, the results of which will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the House.But it was also a rare chance for a Senate breaker, the Torch to a man she hopes will be different Mrs. Harris was the first black and colored woman to serve as a Senator from California Mr. Warnock wants to be the first black Senator from Georgia

During his speech at the event with Ms. Harris, Mr. Warnock described how he was arrested by police officers from the US Capitol during protests and political actions over the years

“I wasn’t mad at you, you did your job and I did my job,” said Mr Warnock said, “But in a few days I’m going to meet these Capitol Hill cops again and this time they won’t take me to central booking. They can help me find my new office”

If Mr. Warnock should succeed, it would be a fitting climax to an election cycle in which hours after Mr. Biden was declared president-elect and in his victory speech to the black voters said, “You always had my back and I will have yours”

Mr Warnock, 51, the pastor who took the pulpit at Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Rev DR Martin Luther King Jr. Once preached, he spoke on the campaign about his life experiences as a black born and raised in the south.He is running for an office in a state where people in predominantly black parts of the city had disproportionately long queues for the vote last year waited and in which a study found that more than 80 percent of residents hospitalized in the state for coronavirus were black remnants of systemic racism in the democratic and health systems

Political power in the former Jim Crow South, where few black Americans have been elected to national office, is inseparable from race. And Mr. Warnock’s place in the political universe is different from choosing Mrs. Harris or Northerners like former President Barack Obama, previously Senator from Illinois, and Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey

Together, Mr Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the other Democratic candidate, have the opportunity to expand the legislative agenda of the new President Joseph R. Biden Jr But mr Warnock alone tried again and again to overcome a barrier strengthened in the south This crystallized in a saying that became popular during the civil rights movement: “The South doesn’t care how close a Negro gets just so he doesn’t get too high”

On Tuesday, the Black Democrats in Georgia said they had not lost this story, nor did it take the party how long it took to seriously pursue the possibility of success in Georgia

“It took Democrats forever to invest in Georgia,” said Frazier Lively, a 71-year-old who lives in Macon and who recently attended a rally. “Now you would hope what happens here is one Message to that is what is possible in the future ”

Felicia Davis, an organizer who has worked in Clayton County for years, said it was important to think about the coalition supporting Democrats as the next iteration of organizers who work in the civil rights movement they pulled a direct line from their work on the current urge to register and put black voters for a black candidate

“You need to know the names: Joseph Lowery, Reverend James Orange, Rita Samuels, everyone knows these names,” Ms. Davis said, “All are dead now But people have come together to keep this work going. We register. We travel.” through the state and have heard our voices ”

During the presidential and parliamentary elections, Democrats had to grapple with issues of racial representation, electorality, and how to reconcile an emerging multicultural coalition with those more focused on transformational politics in primary school, older blacks have Voters black candidates like Mr. Booker and Mrs. Harris in favor of Mr. Biden, convinced that he was best suited to Mr. Trump Progressives – and younger voters in particular – backed more liberal candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

The Rev William J Barber II, co-chair of the Campaign of the Poor, said that all politicians, including blacks, end up being judged by politics, even if they break barriers

“Policy, policy, policy, that’s the only reason you choose people in the office to move the policy forward,” he said, repeating the word to emphasize the point. “A black person isn’t just chosen to hold the position And the truth is, black politicians, from the state to the Congress to the Senate, must ask themselves whether we are putting these issues first “

A pressing issue for all 2020 candidates, especially Democrats, was the summer of race settlement.In Georgia, the February 2020 assassination of Ahmaud Arbery sparked protests, isolated cases of property damage, and put strong pressure on officials – including on Blacks

Mr Warnock, then in the early stages of his Senate race, navigated the social justice movement for the first time as a candidate for public office, and not just behind the pulpit.The words were more measured, the charges against White America less stinging than he and other Democrats attempted to channel the anger of the community into an elective purpose

This week during a campaign stop in Brunswick, Ga, Mr Warnock spoke to Mr Arbery’s father

He did not mention the murder in his speech, but spoke about the history of his own family as a participant and victim of racial injustice

“That’s why I love America because you always have a way to make a great country bigger,” said Mr. Warnock said

But no careful wording – or television commercials with hopeful slogans and pups – could stop his candidacy from becoming a lightning rod at a time marked by race, racial complaints, and those looking to capitalize on their backlash after the general ones Elections were over and it was clear that there would be a runoff election against Senator Kelly Loeffler, Mr. Warnock became the subject of a thoroughly conservative attack that sought to define him as a non-contact radical who violated Georgia’s values.Mrs Republican Loeffler reached for clippings from his sermons from his pulpit at Ebenezer Baptist Church and presented out of context statements the military and Israel as ammunition

While the Republicans Mr. Ossoff’s candidacy at their rallies was aimed at Mr Warnock repeatedly

“Warnock is the most radical and dangerous leftist candidate who has ever sought this post in the state of Georgia, and he doesn’t have your values,” said Mr. Said Trump at his rally in Dalton, Ga, Mondays

Mr Trump cannot define Georgia’s values, however.Voters made this clear in November when Mr Biden won the state – a result that the President continues to question for no reason.The people of Georgia and with it perhaps its values ​​are changing The Latin American and Asian- The state’s American population is growing, and the suburbs are also attracting younger voters and moderate college graduates

That may be why Mr. Warnock, the candidate sounds less like Mr. Warn the preacher and be more like Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat whose turnout strategy emphasizes multiculturalism rather than blackness

Ms. Abrams said in a recent interview that she was trying not to focus on one group over another when talking about how Georgia became a democratic ray of hope

“I want us to really make it clear that this requires investment and support from multiple communities,” said Dr Dr Said Abrams, “This is a multicultural, multiethnic, multi-generational coalition. And the extent to which we give priority to one group to the exclusion of the others makes me nervous”

Still, Mr. Warnock’s attempt to move from black pastor to black senator is an exercise in a different kind of belief: it is a belief that American politics can change from within, that the most loyal Democratic party’s voters can see themselves represented in Congress That there is room to move the country forward within its institutions instead of diagnosing its problems from outside

The latter is something black pastors, who traditionally often tell nasty truths, have been doing for centuries.The Black Senator is a unique street occupied by few people in American history and none from Georgia

Raphael Warnock, MSNBC, Ossoff, Stacey Abrams, Georgia Runoff, DECALB COUNTY, Election, Associated Press, Democratic Party

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