Someone on Facebook posted a photograph of Senator Raphael Warnock beside a photograph of Herschel Walker. His caption read: “One of these men is a Black man. The other is Herschel Walker.” That is how many Black people view Herschel Walker. Then, you have Black Republicans, which is almost an oxymoron, who see him as “the American dream.” That depends on how you define the American dream. Most folks cannot relate to Herschel Walker. He is a rich, self-absorbed little man who has completely forgotten where he came from. When AP published this article, it is funny that I had the exact same thought as the Facebook poster.
Republicans are hoping that Blacks will vote for Walker because he’s Black. As I discussed last week, Black folks sometimes do that. In this case, however, both candidates are Black, so which will receive the bulk of the Black vote? According to AP, Republicans think bringing Herschel Walker into the race will help Black folks see the Republican party in a different light. They’d better think again. Black folks aren’t stupid, and we know a token when we see one. Yes, I said “token.” Wayne Black, who was one of the few Blacks at a recent Republican gathering said that he hopes Walker will be “a GOP voice who could appeal to African Americans and others in Georgia who have traditionally voted Democratic.” He claims that Blacks can identify with Walker because he shows that “you can start from nothing and if you work hard, you can achieve the American Dream.” Sure, if you play and excel at football. Other than that, Walker has done little to become a face of the American dream. Warnock displays that more than Walker ever will.
Born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1969, Senator Warnock came of age in public housing. Both of his parents were Pentecostal pastors, and both worked hard for everything they had. Jonathan Warnock, the Senator’s father, served in the U.S. Army during World War II. They managed to raise 12 children on little money, but they instilled in them the importance of hard work. That teaching led Senator Warnock to Morehouse, where he graduated cum laude in 1991. He went on to earn a Master of Divinity, a Master of Philosophy, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Union Theological Seminary. He later became pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s church, Ebenezer. Time and again, Senator Warnock showed us how hard work can propel a young Black man from a housing project to a seat in the United States Senate. That is “coming from nothing” and “working hard,” not being blessed with athletic ability. Not everyone has that opportunity, but each of us can accomplish the things that Senator Warnock has accomplished.
The choice between Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker is clear. One is a Georgia native who has worked hard for everything he now enjoys. The other is a Texas resident who is perpetrating his love for a state in which he doesn’t even live. Don’t fall for the hype; keep Senator Raphael Warnock where he belongs.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years