As midterms loom, Herschel Walker's hometown voters say he's 'not part of the Black community'

When Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker’s hometown was the center of racial upheaval in the 1980s, he didn’t step up for or with Black folks. He didn’t step up in 2020 when protests erupted nationwide in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and he certainly isn’t stepping up now. Since his escape from the small southeast Georgia town where he grew up, Walker has understood that toeing the company line and keeping The Man happy are the keys to winning over the GOP, and he has not swayed. Back then, it meant keeping his mouth shut. Today, it means being a mouthpiece for former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. In an article for The New York Times, reporter John Branch highlights the racial divide in Walker’s hometown of Wrightsville, Georgia—a town of about 3,700 where a little over one-half of the residents identify as Black. Most people interviewed told Branch that although Walker is a hometown hero, they would not be voting for him in the midterms. Many who chose to remain anonymous told Branch that most—almost entirely all—Walker signs are in the white neighborhood of town. “Herschel’s not getting the Black vote because Herschel forgot where he came from,” Curtis Dixon, who is Black and who taught and coached Walker during his high school years in the late 1970s, told the Times. “He’s not part of the Black community.” RELATED STORY:  Herschel Walker says forget about him holding gun to his wife’s head because Jesus It may have been long after the end of the civil rights movement and forced integration, but in 1980, Black residents of Wrightsville were embroiled in heated protests over ongoing inequities. Rev. E.J. Wilson, a Black pastor and civil rights activist, tells Branch that in 1980, Wrightsville’s jobs rarely went to Black residents. Law enforcement officers were all white, the local cemetery was all white, and city services were vastly different in the Black neighborhoods than in primarily white areas—not a single public park, public pool, or playground existed in the Black neighborhoods. And it had been just over three decades since 1948, when, on the eve of a primary election, the Ku Klux Klan held a parade in the center of town, intimidating the 400 registered Black voters from showing up at the polls the following day. A 1981 article in The New York Times highlights that, while many Black residents were protesting inequities and being beaten by white thugs and some city officials with no repercussions and with the support of Sheriff Roland Attaway, Walker was being “shown deference” by whites for his prowess on the field. Attaway offered to allow Walker to carry a gun to protect himself during the period. Most of the Black athletes on Walker’s track team quit while he led it to a state title.  In his 2008 memoir titled Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Walker writes about the protests, saying, “I could never really be fully accepted by white students, and the African American students either resented me or distrusted me for what they perceived as my failure to stand united with them — regardless of whether they were right or wrong [...] That separation would continue throughout my life with only the reasons for it differing from situation to situation.” He added: “I never really liked the idea that I was to represent my people.” Well, that’s the most truthful thing I’ve ever heard Walker say. And most of what he says are lies. But, he certainly has never cared about representing his people—Black people. Walker’s pivot from sports to business was inspired in large part by Donald Trump, the businessman, who bought the New Jersey Generals in 1984, the team Walker was playing on at the time. “In a lot of ways, Mr. Trump became a mentor to me,” Walker wrote in his memoir, adding, “I modeled myself and my business practices after him.” Fast forward to today: it was former President Trump who encouraged Walker to run for Senate in Georgia. And why not? Walker, like Trump, can babble incoherently for hours and still have the support of Republican voters. Walker, like Trump, constantly lies about stuff, big and small. Since Daily Kos began reporting on Walker after he announced his candidacy, we’ve covered lie upon lie about everything from graduating from the University of Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, to hiding the fact that he had any children other than his one 22-year-old son Christian, to the mammoth exaggerations about his business acumen, to the tall tale about the time he founded (or co-founded) the veterans’ organization Patriot Support—which he did not. He recently tried to deny that former President Donald Trump ever said the 2020 election was stolen, and the latest discovery deals with lies about his companies’ alleged charitable donations, of nearly none of which were able to be verified by The Washington Post. Regarding race, both men play the “I don’t see color” card when it suits them and blow the

As midterms loom, Herschel Walker's hometown voters say he's 'not part of the Black community'

When Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker’s hometown was the center of racial upheaval in the 1980s, he didn’t step up for or with Black folks. He didn’t step up in 2020 when protests erupted nationwide in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and he certainly isn’t stepping up now. Since his escape from the small southeast Georgia town where he grew up, Walker has understood that toeing the company line and keeping The Man happy are the keys to winning over the GOP, and he has not swayed. Back then, it meant keeping his mouth shut. Today, it means being a mouthpiece for former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

In an article for The New York Times, reporter John Branch highlights the racial divide in Walker’s hometown of Wrightsville, Georgia—a town of about 3,700 where a little over one-half of the residents identify as Black. Most people interviewed told Branch that although Walker is a hometown hero, they would not be voting for him in the midterms. Many who chose to remain anonymous told Branch that most—almost entirely all—Walker signs are in the white neighborhood of town.

“Herschel’s not getting the Black vote because Herschel forgot where he came from,” Curtis Dixon, who is Black and who taught and coached Walker during his high school years in the late 1970s, told the Times. “He’s not part of the Black community.”

RELATED STORY:  Herschel Walker says forget about him holding gun to his wife’s head because Jesus

It may have been long after the end of the civil rights movement and forced integration, but in 1980, Black residents of Wrightsville were embroiled in heated protests over ongoing inequities.

Rev. E.J. Wilson, a Black pastor and civil rights activist, tells Branch that in 1980, Wrightsville’s jobs rarely went to Black residents. Law enforcement officers were all white, the local cemetery was all white, and city services were vastly different in the Black neighborhoods than in primarily white areas—not a single public park, public pool, or playground existed in the Black neighborhoods. And it had been just over three decades since 1948, when, on the eve of a primary election, the Ku Klux Klan held a parade in the center of town, intimidating the 400 registered Black voters from showing up at the polls the following day.

A 1981 article in The New York Times highlights that, while many Black residents were protesting inequities and being beaten by white thugs and some city officials with no repercussions and with the support of Sheriff Roland Attaway, Walker was being “shown deference” by whites for his prowess on the field. Attaway offered to allow Walker to carry a gun to protect himself during the period. Most of the Black athletes on Walker’s track team quit while he led it to a state title. 

In his 2008 memoir titled Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Walker writes about the protests, saying, “I could never really be fully accepted by white students, and the African American students either resented me or distrusted me for what they perceived as my failure to stand united with them — regardless of whether they were right or wrong [...] That separation would continue throughout my life with only the reasons for it differing from situation to situation.”

He added: “I never really liked the idea that I was to represent my people.”

Well, that’s the most truthful thing I’ve ever heard Walker say. And most of what he says are lies. But, he certainly has never cared about representing his people—Black people.

Walker’s pivot from sports to business was inspired in large part by Donald Trump, the businessman, who bought the New Jersey Generals in 1984, the team Walker was playing on at the time.

“In a lot of ways, Mr. Trump became a mentor to me,” Walker wrote in his memoir, adding, “I modeled myself and my business practices after him.”

Fast forward to today: it was former President Trump who encouraged Walker to run for Senate in Georgia. And why not? Walker, like Trump, can babble incoherently for hours and still have the support of Republican voters.

Walker, like Trump, constantly lies about stuff, big and small. Since Daily Kos began reporting on Walker after he announced his candidacy, we’ve covered lie upon lie about everything from graduating from the University of Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, to hiding the fact that he had any children other than his one 22-year-old son Christian, to the mammoth exaggerations about his business acumen, to the tall tale about the time he founded (or co-founded) the veterans’ organization Patriot Supportwhich he did not. He recently tried to deny that former President Donald Trump ever said the 2020 election was stolen, and the latest discovery deals with lies about his companies’ alleged charitable donations, of nearly none of which were able to be verified by The Washington Post.

Regarding race, both men play the “I don’t see color” card when it suits them and blow the dog whistle when they need to chum the GOP waters.

Both men are quick to grab a couple of Bible verses to justify saying pretty much anything. And neither man has done a drop to improve the lives of Black Georgians.

This month Walker will face his opponent, the Rev. Sen. Raphael Warnock, in a debate in Savannah, Georgia. Walker only agreed to the meeting if he could have the questions ahead of time.