Baptist Press reported on Friday that the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has issued two reprimands to Richard Land, president of the Commission and its prominent spokesman on public policy issues. The reprimands grew out of Land's comments on March 31 regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting. The comments, made on Land's March 31 radio show, "Richard Land Live!", criticized African-American leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan (April 10 Baptist Press report), saying: that "they need the Trayvon Martins to continue their central myth: America is a racist and an evil nation. For them, it's always Selma, Ala., circa 1965. They haven't noticed that the nation has changed." Land contended that criticism by African-American leaders was politically motivated:
Instead of letting the legal process take its independent course, race mongers are anointing themselves judge, jury and executioners.... This is being done to try to gin up the black vote for an African American president who is in deep, deep, deep trouble for reelection and who knows that he cannot win reelection without getting the 95 percent of blacks who voted for him in 2008 to come back out and show that they're going to vote for him again,Land issued a length apology on May 9, a week after meeting with key Baptist African-American clergy. The reprimands issued Friday criticized Land's "hurtful, irresponsible, insensitive, and racially charged words" and also criticized his lifting of those remarks from a Washington Times column without attribution. The Executive Committee also indicted that it is terminating Land's radio show.