African American Alumni Call on Jerry Falwell Jr. to Step Down

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Thirty-five faith leaders who went to Liberty University released a letter criticizing the college president’s rhetoric, including his recent blackface mask tweet.

Nearly three dozen black alumni of Liberty University denounced school President Jerry Falwell Jr. on Monday, suggesting he step down after he mocked Virginia’s mask-wearing requirement by invoking the blackface scandal that engulfed the state’s governor last year.

In a letter to Falwell, 35 faith leaders and former student-athletes told Falwell that his past comments “have repeatedly violated and misrepresented” Christian principles. They said they would stop urging students to attend Liberty, would no longer donate to the university, and would urge fellow people of faith to avoid speaking at the school unless Falwell changes his behavior or steps aside.

“You have belittled staff, students and parents, you have defended inappropriate behaviors of politicians, encouraged violence, and disrespected people of other faiths,” they wrote, advising Falwell that “your heart is in politics more than Christian academia or ministry.”

Falwell, a stalwart backer of President Donald Trump, is the son of the late evangelist Jerry Falwell, whose legacy the alumni invoked in imploring the younger Falwell to “stop this infantile behavior.”

In response, Falwell said his comment about the blackface scandal was made in defense of Liberty students, including minorities, who would be affected by tuition assistance cuts proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat. Falwell said his involvement in politics was the spirit of Jesus Christ, “who was not silent about the establishment political folks of his era.”

“All they need to do is read the Gospels—Jesus got involved in politics,” Falwell said in an interview.

Last week, Northam issued an order that masks be worn …

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