ERLC Trustees Reprimand Richard Land, Halt Radio Program Over Trayvon Martin Comments
Two reprimands have been issued to Richard Land by the trustee executive committee of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
The ERLC trustee executive committee also is terminating Land’s weekly call-in radio show — the venue where Land made comments about the Trayvon Martin killing that ignited intense controversy, prompting the formation of a trustee ad hoc investigative committee.
The ERLC, led by Land since 1988, must “redouble our efforts … to heal re-opened wounds,” the executive committee said of Land’s on-air comments about the intrusion of politics into the Trayvon Martin case and his references to President Obama and the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson by name.
At the outset of its reprimands and broadcast termination, the trustee committee stated that Land’s statements “were very hurtful and offensive to the Trayvon Martin family and to many in the African-American community, including hundreds of thousands of African-American Southern Baptists. Damage was done to the state of race relations in the Southern Baptist Convention.”
The two reprimands of Land by the ERLC trustee executive committee state:
“We reprimand Dr. Land for his hurtful, irresponsible, insensitive, and racially charged words on March 31, 2012 regarding the Trayvon Martin tragedy. It was appropriate for Dr. Land to issue the apology he made on May 9, 2012 and we are pleased he did so. We also convey our own deepest sympathies to the family of Trayvon Martin for the loss they have suffered. We, too, express our sorrow, regret, and apologies to them for Dr. Land’s remarks. We are particularly disappointed in Dr. Land’s words because they do not accurately reflect the body of his work over a long career at the ERLC toward racial reconciliation in the Southern Baptist Convention and American life. We must now redouble our efforts to regain lost ground, to heal re-opened wounds, and to realize the dream of a Southern Baptist Convention that is just as diverse as the population of our great Nation.