LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. took to Twitter on Monday to apologize for a recent controversial tweet.
He posted the apology across three tweets. Here it is combined:
As Falwell’s apology states, he has since gone back and deleted the tweet in question.
That was one of the demands issued by the group of 35 African-American alumni who said “#LUDeservesBetter” in their letter to Falwell and Change.org petition. As of publication the petition has received around 37,000 signatures. In addition to the public apology and deleting the tweet, they demand a meeting with Falwell to discuss what happens moving forward.
“The reason why we want to meet with the four of us is because we want to get to that place of restoration and reconciliation want to restore him back to the faith and then get him reconciled back to a group of people that he offended quite honestly," co-author Eric Carroll said.
Carroll is a pastor in the Richmond area and shared the news with his followers on Facebook live Monday night.
“This man saw the error in his ways and we should be celebrating and thanking the Lord that he apologized," Carroll said. “Let me say it this way, I still support the University, I want to support Jerry Falwell Junior.”
Carroll said the onus was on the alumni to cal Falwell out for his actions.
“This is not the first time Jerry Falwell Junior has made an insensitive tweet, or an insensitive comment, or something like that. We should have stood up for this a long time ago we should have said, no after the first one, the second one that’s enough, but we didn’t do that," Carroll said.
The alumni are also calling for more people of color to be added to the university’s board of trustees.
“You can’t really understand the plight of an ethnic minority if you don’t have anybody to talk about it, or you only have one. Because you can clearly shut your ears to one, but it’s very difficult to shut your ears to four or five," Carroll said.
Liberty University released a statement Monday night reiterating Falwell’s 3-tweet apology. They said that Jerry Prevo, the chairman of Liberty’s Board of Trustees, said the members of the board’s executive committee are satisfied with Falwell’s explanation of his purpose and intentions.
Read the university’s full statement here.
Looking back, on May 27, Falwell tweeted the following:
I was adamantly opposed to the mandate from @GovernorVA requiring citizens to wear face masks until I decided to design my own. If I am ordered to wear a mask, I will reluctantly comply, but only if this picture of Governor Blackface himself is on it!#VEXIT#EndLockdownNow pic.twitter.com/twu7r4rWhdJerry Falwell (@Jerry FalwellJr) May 27, 2020
That tweet also included a picture of a mask that featured the picture from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical college yearbook allegedly showing him in blackface, as seen above in this article).
Since that initial tweet:
- More than 35,000 people have signed a petition asking him to apologize
- A Liberty University online instructor resigned
- A reply to that tweet became the rallying cry for a protest and later, a riot in Lynchburg on May 31
The same group of Black Liberty University alumni who wrote Falwell the letter that inspired the petition, wrote a thank you letter on Monday, after his apology.