Georgia Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, Raphael Warnock, has praised his religious “mentor,” Dr. James Hal Cone, as a “poignant and powerful voice” of high “spiritual magnitude.”
That’s not exactly how most people would describe Dr. Cone.
Cone has embraced and defended Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose “God damn America” speech proved to be too much even for Barack Obama. But Cone has also argued that white Christians are “satanic” and advocated for the “destruction of everything white” in society.
The candidate’s ties to radical theologians, including Rev. Jeremiah Wright, now threaten to complicate his candidacy in a hotly contested Senate race that could tip the balance of the upper chamber. Cone’s divisive rhetoric, and Warnock’s subsequent praise for him, may pose new challenges for Warnock, a political unknown until earlier this year. Warnock’s public defense of Wright’s “God Damn America” speech in 2008—which President Obama denounced as offensive after his own ties to Wright came to light—has also come under scrutiny. Wright has also credited Cone’s work for inspiring his own religious philosophy.
Warnock’s mentor’s black nationalist rhetoric could very well sink his candidacy. He has cited Cone’s words and ideas numerous times.
Cone, who is widely considered the “father of black theology,” outlined his controversial views in his 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation.
There, he argues that “American white theology is a theology of the Antichrist” and advocates for a new “black theology” that will usher in a revolution to eradicate whiteness from society.
Cone argues not only for black separatism but, apparently, for the eventual self-destruction of the white race.
“There will be no peace in America until white people begin to hate their whiteness, asking from the depths of their being: ‘How can we become black?’” Cone wrote.
Warnock cited the work over a dozen times in the chapters and footnotes of his own 2013 book The Divided Mind of the Black Church.
Warnock is running against incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler in one of the two January 5 runoffs for Georgia Senate seats. She was appointed to the Senate last year when Johnny Isaacson resigned due to ill health. The other race features Republican David Perdue running for re-election against Democrat John Ossoff.
Warnock is a political rookie and little was known about him prior to his candidacy. Georgians are getting to know him a lot better now.
“The white God is an idol created by racists, and we blacks must perform the iconoclastic task of smashing false idols,” wrote Cone. “White religionists are not capable of perceiving the blackness of God, because their satanic whiteness is a denial of the very essence of divinity.”
The book argued that the purpose of black theology is the “destruction of everything white.”
Americans were surprised that Barack Obama would sit in the pews for 20 years listening to Rev. Wright spew his anti-white, ani-American hate. But Obama was looking to authenticate his “blackness” by attending Trinity Baptist Church, a fabulously well-connected congregation both politically and culturally. He said in his Philadelphia speech on race that he didn’t agree with Wright and the press dropped the subject like a hot potato.
Is it fair to tar Rev. Warnock with the hateful words of his “mentor”? Unequivocally yes. It was Warnock who has praised Cone’s leadership and inspiration. Cone was Warnock’s academic advisor at Union Theological Seminary — a close personal and intellectual relationship that apparently continued after he becomes pastor of the Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Besides, if Republicans can be skewered for their questionable associations, why not the Democrat Warnock?
It’s unknown just how much Warnock agrees with Cone on and we probably will never know. Much more will be forthcoming once Warnock’s sermons are examined, but the media will declare the anti-white rhetoric as a “non-issue” and refuse to cover it.
Freedom of the press has its perks, to be sure.