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“My opponent is not ready to represent the people of Georgia.” ~Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock 


Spewing stereotypical monikers may feel good to some, but it won’t resolve a thing. Herschel Walker was a flawed, vitiated and blemished candidate, cherry-picked from the Lone-Star State to serve a partition of Georgia and beyond for inappropriate motives. His sheer consideration as a plausible candidate for the United States Senate was disturbing and affronting to most African-Americans. He came across as no better than a doddering loon when beckoned to speak publicly. 

Thankfully, he took an “L”; another enlistee will soon be. 


Some melanated individual eagerly awaits, aspiring to be “selected” and “validated.” Their desired endpoint is amicability and approval, about as genuinely attainable as corralling lightning in a bottle. The playbook is unvarying; a makeshift prop will soon emerge. The faces will change—the characters remain the same—indistinguishable by commissioned duties and job descriptions. Best believe there’s already one sitting at home, saying, “please pick me!” Undoubtedly, fiscal windfalls come with being among the “Chief Anti-Blacks In-Charge.” Yet these blemished, self-loathing individuals are often equally preoccupied with accumulating pats on the back, the residuals, the likes, the television and radio appearances, potential book deals and the ego trip. Occasionally, one is permitted to orate but must adhere unyieldingly to a designated narrative (doctrine) and vote as mandated. 

A swath of GOP leadership held their collective noses to maintain power and inserted the former gridiron great front and center in this pivotal showdown. But behind the veil, there was more. No one was holding a gun to his head; he came willingly. Walker countenanced himself to become a pawn in this power fray.

In 1989 when Walker was peaking as a professional football player and star running back with the Dallas Cowboys, he was acquired by the Minnesota Vikings in a mammoth trade (involving a total of 18 players and draft picks). While he performed well, Herschel, considered the missing link to put the Vikings over the top, could not reach the summit. Dallas, on the other hand, formed a perennial juggernaut with its bonanza of personnel and eventually won three Super Bowls in the aftermath during the 1990s. Some consider it one of the most lopsided sports transactions of all time. 

Walker’s designation by the GOP was no highbrowed ruse either and will also stand out in the annals of US history–CRT notwithstanding–as a sublime political indiscretion. The citizens of the Peach State made sure to bolster that at the polls. 

Throughout the build-up, Walker’s dubious past became present-day: domestic violence accusations, multiple abortions (a supposed GOP no-no) by various partners, family issues and innuendo related to his presence or absence, failed business ventures and subsequent litigation, and his residential status. 


Short–and accurate–story. Two Pro Basketball Hall of Famers formed a high-powered tandem several years ago. They revamped a perennial contender into a buzzsaw, grandly winning an NBA championship. I’ll refer to them as player A and player B. Both were superstars, and B was at his apex. Off the court, A had more endorsements than conceivable, was an ambassador of the game, and was majestic on the mic during interviews. Why the anonymity? (1) B is now an ancestor; (2) For each story regarding his floor domination, another exists attacking his dearth of linguistic moxie. 

B was the antithesis of A: shy with strangers, curt, monosyllabic and justifiably cynical regarding the press. He was intelligent, knowledgeable and a bonafide leader, but his vernacular belied the smarts within. For years, folks nodded and listened whenever he spoke extensively, then subsequently had a relative field day snickering and annihilating him in print while ruminating about his IQ. They dubbed him “Mumbles.” He was beloved by players, coaches, and fans. I felt for him whenever he opined on national television. It was as though he was paraded (mocked) to prove a point regarding jocks, particularly huge, Black ones. 

I had no such feeling when Mr. Walker stepped up to any podium. For him, for accepting this role, I only felt disgusted!

Player C had been a long-time teammate and confidant of both. I met him in Texas about 30 years ago and started a conversation that lasted a little over half an hour. He was one of the friendliest athletes I’ve ever encountered. Somewhere in our dialogue, player B’s name came up. He recounted a story I had already heard and had seen printed in books, but I wanted to listen to his version. One day while they were teammates, player B limped into the trainer’s room, saying he wasn’t going to play. The trainer asked him why. 

Player B responded, “Foot broken.” 

The trainer insisted that he could not find any cause for concern. 

Player B repeated, “Foot broken!” End of discussion. 

As team management came up with all types of scenarios and conspiracies about why he may not have wanted to play at the time, someone, in their immeasurable wisdom, decided to do a set of x-rays. The foot was indeed broken. 

Similarly, only a few individuals who promoted and voted for Mr. Walker gave a d**n about his thoughts, assessments, and opinions. No matter the allegiance stratum or his perceived alliance, Herschel was labeled worse in private quarters. One could be a housefly within the Georgia General Assembly to extrapolate this. 


Herschel Walker could never have been Dracula (Bela Lugosi was far too pompous) or Blacula (William Marshall had unparalleled swag and spoke like a distinguished envoy). He could not have even pulled off the “Nick Ashford-lookin’” version depicted in Vampire in Brooklyn (Eddie Murphy). No influential roles as a werewolf–his chief ambition–are on the horizon, either. 

No. Herschel was a luminary with sterling athletic prowess who could run the rock. Despite also having spent time slugging ornery opponents in (MMA) “The Octagon,” as a politician, he would have been a relative milquetoast. Thus, in a paternalistic fashion, a faction of the Republican hierarchy deemed him the nonpareil congressional candidate to contest incumbent Raphael Warnock. Walker’s juvenile-like infatuation with law enforcement was ironic; in reality, he would only have protected and served the interests of his party. Still, in their minds, a significant portion of African-Americans would, as a monolith, fall for this gambit hook, line, and sinker. It was a theory that exhibited a brume of presumption, underestimation, and anticipated apathy on the part of brown-skinned voters. 

Their final race was perilously close, but Warnock emerged in triumph. To Walker’s credit, he lost the runoff without complaining about fraud or coming off as an election denier. 

Yet the game is far from over. We extolled Warnock’s win for seemingly a nanosecond. Get ready. A newer, polished, “befitting” version of a Melanated man or woman is waiting in the wings, hands skyward, emphatically yelling, “choose me!” This next performer requires only a tune-up. The appointee will arrive at the gig with a lifetime warranty of no autonomous forethought and reasoning, just a semblance of notoriety, less rambling, and a palpable pulse. They’ll gladly represent the worst bloc of the Republican Party and Supreme Court majority, right on schedule, in its unalloyed quest to maintain political power. 

Words by Dr. Eric Hawkins (“Dr. Hawk”)

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