Editor’s Note: Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler in one of two Georgia runoff elections Tuesday. Below is the transcript of Warnock’s speech delivered early Wednesday morning.
Thank you so very much. I come before you tonight as a proud American and as a son of Georgia. My roots are planted deeply in Georgia soil — a child who grew up in the Kayton Homes housing projects of Savannah, Georgia.
Number 11 out of 12 children.
A proud graduate of Morehouse College. And the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the spiritual home of Martin Luther King Jr. and Congressman John Lewis.
A son of my late father who was a pastor, a veteran, and a small businessman, and my mother who as a teenager growing up in Waycross, Georgia, used to pick somebody else’s cotton. But the other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator.
So I come before you tonight as a man who knows that the improbable journey that led me to this place in this historic moment in America could only happen here. We were told that we couldn’t win this election, but tonight we proved that with hope, hard work, and the people by our side, anything is possible. May my story be an inspiration to some young person who is trying to grasp and grab hold of the American dream.
And so, Georgia, I am honored by the faith that you have shown in me, and I promise you this tonight: I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia. No matter who you cast your vote for in this moment in American history, Washington has a choice to make, in fact all of us have a choice to make. Will we continue to divide, distract, and dishonor one another, or will we love our neighbors as we love ourselves? Will we play political games while real people suffer or will we win righteous fights together, standing shoulder to shoulder for the good of Georgia — for the good of our country? Will we seek to destroy one another as enemies or heed the call towards the common good, building together what Dr. King called “the beloved community”?
Here’s what I know: I know that we can beat this pandemic with science and good old-fashioned common sense. I know we can rebuild a fair economy by respecting the dignity of work and the workers who do it. An economy that honors those whom we now call essential workers by paying them an essential wage and providing for them essential benefits.
And so to everyone out there struggling today, whether you voted for me or not, know this: I hear you; I see you. And every day I’m in the United States Senate, I will fight for you; I will fight for your family.
To our supporters, our incredible campaign team, and to my family, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to every Georgian who marched with us, organized with us, prayed for us, fought for us, believed in us, or shared their story and their pain with us, thank you for all of your love and support.
In the words of Dr. King, who grew up just a few blocks from where I’m sitting right now, we are tied in a single garment of destiny, we are caught up in an inescapable network of mutuality. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
I remember my dad in this moment. He used to wake me up every morning at dawn. It was morning, but it was still dark. It’s dark right now, but morning comes, and scripture tells us that weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning. Let us rise up, greet the morning, and meet the challenges of this moment. Together we can do the necessary work and win the future for all of our children. Thank you, God bless you Georgia, and God bless these United States of America.
View speech below.