Posted on May 11, 2012

Richard Land Apologizes Again for Trayvon Martin Comments After Meeting Black Southern Baptists

Adelle M. Banks, Huffington Post, May 11, 2012

(RNS) Southern Baptist leader Richard Land has issued a lengthy public apology for his racially charged comments about the Trayvon Martin case, and said he has sent a personal letter to President Obama seeking forgiveness.

Land, who leads the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, issued the two-page apology Wednesday (May 9), a week after a five-hour meeting with African-American leaders and other Southern Baptist officials.

Because of that meeting, “I have come to understand in sharper relief how damaging my words were,” he wrote in the statement released through his denomination’s news service.

Land had previously apologized for his comments, which charged Democrats and civil rights leaders with exploiting the killing of the unarmed Florida teen. {snip}

The latest apology included references to his “insensitivity” towards Martin’s family, and a clarification that “racial profiling is a heinous injustice” and that he does not believe U.S. racism is a myth.

Land also confessed that he “impugned the motives” of President Obama and civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

“It was unchristian and unwise for me to have done so,” he wrote, adding that he sent them letters of apology asking for forgiveness. {snip}


Ed Stetzer, a researcher for the Southern Baptist Convention who criticized Land’s comments, said he was grateful that black Southern Baptist leaders confronted Land, and wished more white leaders had spoken up.

“I am very glad that Dr. Land listened to them and apologized,” Stetzer wrote Wednesday on his blog.

[Editor’s Note: This article does not include the original comments by Land, which follow:

Land, on his “Richard Land Live!” radio show March 31, said, in part, that black leaders such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson should not have been so quick to jump into the Trayvon Martin case in which the 17-year-old African American was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, a Hispanic, in Florida in February.

“The rule of law is being assaulted by racial demagogues,” Land said, “and it’s disgusting, and it should stop.”