Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock denounced the UK’s vote to leave the European Union as “ethnocentrism and hate” in a newly resurfaced 2018 sermon.
“Hate has gone viral,” the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church said of the 2016 vote to leave the political and trade bloc.
“Nativism and ethnocentrism and bigotry [are] in high places on both sides of the Atlantic. Before there was Trumpism over here, there was Brexit over there,” Warnock said.
“Different contexts, same problem. Nativism and ethnocentrism and hate. Us against them.”
British voters’ surprise June 2016 rejection of the EU was widely seen as a populist backlash against the UK’s political establishment.
Less-prosperous rural and post-industrial areas of England were most supportive of Brexit. Advocates of leaving the EU said the UK should have its own trade policies and should not be subsidizing less-developed areas of Europe.
The more prosperous and metropolitan London strongly opposed leaving the EU.
Warnock’s controversial clerical pronouncements have earned negative press coverage ahead of his Jan. 5 runoff election against appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
The outcome of Warnock’s campaign and another Georgia runoff race, between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, will determine partisan control of the Senate next year.
Republicans will hold at least 50 Senate seats. If Warnock and Ossoff both win, the Senate will be divided 50-50 and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will break ties. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would gain the power to control the legislative agenda.
Warnock’s 2012 arrest for interfering with a Maryland police investigation of child abuse at a summer camp that his former church owned recently emerged as a campaign issue.
The political content of Warnock’s other sermons — including that the US must “repent for its worship of whiteness” — also has been a focus of criticism.
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