Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, was officially reprimanded twice on Friday and had his radio show canceled following a series of racial remarks and about Trayvon Martin’s slaying and evidence that he had plagiarized conservative publications.
“We reprimand Dr. Land for his hurtful, irresponsible, insensitive, and racially charged words on March 31, 2012 regarding the Trayvon Martin tragedy,” Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission said in a statement. “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 further reprimand Dr. Land for quoting material without giving attribution on the Richard Land Live! (RLL) radio show, thereby unwisely accepting practices that occur in the radio industry, and we acknowledge that instances of plagiarism occurred because of his carelessness and poor judgment,” the statement added.
“[W]e have carefully considered the content and purpose of the Richard Land Live! broadcast. We find that they are not congruent with the mission of the ERLC. We also find that the controversy that erupted as a result of the March 31 broadcast, and related matters, requires the termination of that program.”
In late March, Land had accused President Barack Obama of pouring “gasoline on the racialist fires” by discussing the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He also suggested that activists like Rev. Jesse Jackson and MSNBC host Al Sharpton were trying to “gin up the black vote for an African-American president who is in deep, deep, deep trouble.”
The radio host later tried to explain his comments and defended the idea that white people would be scared of black people because a black man is “statistically more likely to do you harm than a white man,” according to the Associated Press.
“Is it tragic that people react that way? Yes. Is it unfair? Yes? But it is understandable,” he reportedly said.
While examining Land’s remarks about the Martin case, blogger Aaron Weaver determined that the Southern Baptist leader had plagiarized part of his rant from a Washington Times column. Land was later found to have stolen content word-for-word from the Washington Examiner and Investor’s Business Daily without attribution.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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