Filed under: 2020 Runoffs

Raphael Warnock’s own writings reveal his open support for Marxism


The memo:

  • Red flags were raised Sunday when Raphael Warnock refused to renounce Marxism and socialism.
  • However, a deep investigation into his past writings and comments reveals why he refused to do so.

Red flags were raised during Sunday’s U.S. Senate debate when Raphael Warnock refused to renounce Marxism and socialism when directly asked by U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA).

Now, past writings and teachings of Warnock have revealed why: he openly supports both Marxism and socialism. His own words also underscore why Loeffler during the debate continually referred to him as “radical liberal Raphael Warnock.”

For example, Warnock — in his 2014 book entitled The Divided Mind of the Black Church — proudly praised Marxism.

“To be sure, the Marxist critique has much to teach the black church,” Warnock wrote, before subsequently lauding Marxism’s “important role in the maturation of black theology” through showing “interconnectivity of racial and class oppression.” He also asserted Marxism “provided critical tools for a black church that has yet to awaken to a substantive Third World consciousness.”

In the same passage, Warnock further criticized a scholar for “trivializ[ing] black struggle against the obduracy of white capitalist forces.”

Warnock outward’s adulation for Marxism is not a singular occurrence. In fact, that very same book exposed the heavy influence Marxism has on Warnock in general. In the book’s bibliography, Warnock cited three Marxist works: The Black Church and Marxism: What Do They Have to Say to Each Other?, Black Christians and Marxism, and Black Theology and Marxism.

All three of those books were authored by Dr. James Cone.

In Warnock’s 2006 doctoral dissertation, The Mission of the Black Church, Cone is listed as Warnock’s “academic advisor and intellectual mentor.” In Warnock’s acknowledgements, he wrote, “Dr. Cone has taught me more about the rigor of intellectual inquiry…than anybody else.”

Warnock’s writings reveal that he has been an acolyte of Cone going back to Warnock’s senior year of high school, when he wrote a paper on Cone’s book, For My People: Black Theology and the Black Church.

In the aforementioned The Black Church and Marxism, which was cited by Warnock, Cone said Marxism is “right in its critique of capitalism” and called on black churches to “take a stand against capitalism and for Democratic Socialism.”

Cone further argued for the black church to embrace Marxism, specifically writing, “We can indigenize Marxism, that is, reinterpret it for our situation. We do not refuse to ride in cars or airplanes, nor do we reject any other useful instrument just because they were invented by whites. Why then should we reject Marxism if it proves to be of use in our struggle for freedom?”

He also called for “the total reconstruction of society along the lines of Democratic Socialism.” This essay was even written for a seminar hosted by a Democratic socialist organizing committee.

In addition to the three previously mentioned works of Cone, Warnock cited another 31 works by the same man in his 2014 book.

Warnock himself noted that Cone claimed “that the white church is the Antichrist” and “the enemy of Christ.” Warnock wrote that Cone made this characterization of the white church due to its “historical sacralization and active support of slavery and segregation in the society and its creation and maintenance of the conditions under which an independent black church had to emerge.”

It should also be noted that Warnock personally has written about the “complicity and active participation” of white churches in “white supremacy.”

Following the death of Cone in 2018, the news show Democracy Now invited Warnock to speak about him. Warnock accepted and used the opportunity to praise Cone’s legacy. Warnock asserted that Cone “spoke with the power and the moral authority of a prophet.”

Warnock subsequently delivered the eulogy at Cone’s funeral.

The Democratic Senate candidate in 2014 also vocalized his support for Marxist teachings rather than limiting his adulation to writing.

In an NPR interview that year, Warnock talked about the need for black churches to focus on liberal political issues and criticized “prosperity gospel preaching” as a “distortion of the gospel.” Following that comment, Warnock launched into a larger criticism of other black religious leaders, which he called collectively the “black church.” Warnock criticized the “black church” and the “burgeoning black middle class” for failing to stand up against American capitalism, saying, “I think that with the burgeoning black middle class in the decades since the Civil Rights Movement, [the black church] has too often given in to the kind of narcissism and mindless consumeristic impulses of America without asking the hard questions about the distribution of wealth, about the broadening chasm between the haves and have nots.”

All-in-all, it is not hard to see why President Donald J. Trump this past weekend stressed that Warnock is “a dangerous extremist who is radically opposed to [Georgians’] values.”

Indeed, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the only self-avowed Democratic socialist in the U.S. Senate, has said that it is “enormously important” that Warnock be elected because “it will mean whether or not we can bring forward an agenda…”

“Raphael Warnock has openly declared his support for socialism, and he has even praised Marxists all over the world,” Trump added. “Warnock’s own writings make clear that he believes America is a sinister nation that must be punished.”

Sean Ross is the editor-in-chief of The Georgia Memo and Yellowhammer News. You can reach him via email at