Church Leader Comdemns Black leaders for Standing Up for Trayvon Martin
In response, some black pastors within the nation’s largest Protestant denomination say Richard Land’s comments are setting back an effort to broaden the faith’s appeal beyond its traditional white, Southern base.
Land says he stands by his assertion that President Barack Obama “poured gasoline on the racialist fires” when he addressed Martin’s slaying and that Obama, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton have used the case “to try to gin up the black vote for an African American president who is in deep, deep, deep trouble for re-election.”
Land, who is white, said in an interview he has no regrets about his remarks. He said he understands why the case has touched a nerve among black leaders, but he also defended the idea that people are justified in seeing young black men as threatening: A black man is “statistically more likely to do you harm than a white man.”
“Is it tragic that people react that way? Yes. Is it unfair? Yes? But it is understandable,” he said.
The comments come as the Southern Baptist Convention is trying hard to diversify its membership and distance itself from a past that includes support of slavery and segregation.
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