It appears Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) isn’t as concerned about low-income people losing their housing as he would have us believe. When reports noted that his church had been evicting poverty-stricken residents despite receiving federal funding for housing them, it became a hot-button issue in Georgia’s Senate race during the 2022 midterm elections.
The criticism became so pronounced that the church suspended evictions during the election season. But now that the heat is off, it appears Warnock’s organization is once again kicking people out of their homes:
With Sen. Raphael Warnock (D., Ga.) safe and secure in the Senate for the next six years, the church where he collects a salary as a part-time pastor is back to evicting residents of the low-income apartment building it owns—a subject that became a flashpoint in Warnock’s 2022 reelection campaign.
Since the Democrat won reelection in December, Fulton County court records show, the apartment building owned by Ebenezer Baptist Church has moved to evict six residents. The building, Columbia MLK Tower, has received over $15 million in federal and state funding to shelter the “chronically homeless,” but has nonetheless taken four residents to court this year for falling behind on rent by less than two months. Law enforcement officials forcibly ejected another resident from the pest-infected building in July.
Warnock denied during the 2022 campaign that the church was evicting residents, telling Georgia voters that the Free Beacon reports were “vicious and venomous” attempts to “sully Ebenezer Baptist Church” and the “church of Jesus Christ.”
Hypocrisy in politics is about as common as purple hair in a Pride parade. But this level of duplicity is quite egregious considering that Warnock used the issue of evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic to smear Republicans. In August 2020, he posted a tweet noting that “many Georgia families are at risk of eviction in the middle of a pandemic,” and that Republicans were “clearly only concerned with serving their own interests.”
Unemployment benefits have expired, rent is due today, and many Georgia families are at risk of eviction in the middle of a pandemic.
My opponents are supposed to be serving the people in Washington, but they’re clearly only concerned with serving their own interests
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) August 1, 2020
During the midterms, Warnock came under fire when reports revealed that his church was evicting low-income residents. Nevertheless, he deceptively claimed that evictions were a figment of people’s imaginations.
“There have been no evictions, full stop,” the lawmaker told reporters, also claiming that his critics were “trying to sully the name of Dr. King’s church, John Lewis’s church, for short term-political gain.”
Warnock repeated the denials during his debate with his opponent Herschel Walker. “We have not evicted those tenants,” he claimed.
One of those evicted was Phillip White, a Vietnam veteran, whom the church sued over $192 in unpaid rent. The issue was dropped after the veteran noted that requested repairs on his unit had been ignored.
“He said there would be no evictions,” White said at the time. “He knew that was a lie. What he was really saying is there would be no evictions until after the election.”
Apparently, White was accurate in his predictions.
It is worth noting that Ebenezer Baptist Church pays Warnock a six-figure salary for part-time pastoral services. He received $120,000 in 2021, $89,000 of which was a tax-free “parsonage allowance.” He used this to purchase his $1 million home in Atlanta.
This exceeds the $30,000 annual outside income senators are allowed to make while serving in the legislature. Yet, the church is willing to remove a tenant over $192.
The fact that the church resumed evictions now that Warnock is safely in his Senate seat and people appear to have forgotten about the issue shows that it did not halt them in the first place because they were repentant. They had always planned to start evictions back up again once people had moved on. Yet, Warnock will continue pretending to be a champion of the downtrodden in Congress without ever facing scrutiny from other progressives. Some animals are more equal than others, right?