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Sen. Raphael Warnock says that January 6 Capitol attack shows that ‘our democracy is in peril’

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia speaks to members of the press after a Senate Democratic Caucus meeting on January 18, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • Sen. Raphael Warnock from Georgia says democracy is at risk.
  • “Democracy is hard work. Democracy is not a noun, it’s a verb,” said Warnock.
  • Warnock is the first Black senator from Georgia.

Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat in Georgia, told NPR that democracy in the US is at risk.

Warnock, who is running for reelection against Republican Herchel Walker, serves as Georgia’s first Black senator since his election in 2021. He is also a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the church where Martin Luther King Jr. attended.

“Democracy is hard work. Democracy is not a noun, it’s a verb. And over the course of time, our democracy expands. It gets a little closer towards those ideals. There are moments when it contracts, but even contractions open the possibility for new birth and new hope,” Warnock said to NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly.

Warnock said that the January 6 Capitol attack, in which hundreds of rioters breached the US Capitol in an effort to overturn the 2020 election, demonstrates the troubled state of democracy.

“There’s no question. Our democracy is in peril,” said the Reverend.

But, he added, that on January 5, 2021, “Georgia sent a black man and a Jewish man, both mentored by John Lewis in different ways, to the Senate.”

Warnock, a Black man, won a primary against former Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler by 2%, and Jon Ossoff, a Jewish man, beat former Republican Sen. David Perdue by 1% in a special January run-off election, according to Georgia’s Secretary of State’s data. 

He said that both moments — January 6th and the Georgia runoff election— are indicative of America’s core values.

“And the question is, which way are we going to go? And it’s our responsibility as citizens, I think to push us closer towards our ideals.”

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