UPDATE 1:23 a.m.: Joseph Grof is a recent Liberty University graduate, Class of 2020. He saw university president Jerry Falwell Jr.’s tweet of a medical mask with a picture of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam supposedly in blackface with another classmate in a KKK outfit from a college yearbook.
“The stuff he said, originially, was awful,” Grof said. “I absolutely agree with that, and it caused a lot of pain, especially for Liberty, in general.”
In his apology, Falwell says “I actually refreshed the trauma that image had caused and offeneded some by using the image to make a political point… I apologize for any hurt my effort caused…”
When we spoke to Grof, we showed him Falwell’s apology tweets. He read them for the first time during his interview.
“I really think that this is genuine on his part,” Grof said. “So I’m going to do my part as a Christian and lend him the forgiveness that I’ve been lent by Jesus.”
“I accept his apology, and the only thing I can add is that I would hope that we’ll see some action that follows the apology that demonstrates how real that apology is,” said former Lynchburg Mayor Carl Hutcherson.
Hutcherson said some of these actions he suggested could include promoting more diversity on Liberty’s campus and for Falwell, himself, to be more mindful of any future tweets he plans to post.
“I would hope that it would encourage him and influence him to the point that he takes a reasonable approach to these things he does from now on, just like all of us have to do,” Hutcherson said.
“Liberty is still a great school; it has a lot of great programs,” Grof said. “Just because its leaders said some dumb things doesn’t discredit the faculty and the rest of the school, I don’t think.”
UPDATE 9:35 p.m.: Local media personality Andre Whitehead has posted a video apology from Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. that discusses his tweet regarding Governor Ralph Northam in Blackface.
That video can be found below:
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Liberty University President Jerry Falwell has gone to Twitter to apologize for an image he posted involving Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook, saying he would only wear a face mask if it included the referenced photo.
This is a developing story and we will have more on WFXRtv.com and tonight on WFXR News First at Ten.
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