Conservative Erects Lighted Cross To Support Med Workers, Newsweek Calls It 'Burning Cross'
More than 360,000 Americans have now tested positive for the coronavirus and millions more are out of work as the global pandemic is now affecting virtually everyone alive.
We are definitely living in a time of great fear and uncertainty, as Americans worry about their physical and financial health and the health of their families.
Many Americans are coping with the unprecedented situation by acts of generosity, volunteering to help their communities, reading the Bible and spending time with family.
Others are surfing the internet, streaming TV shows and catching up on reading.
Finding comfort in things that you love during such a trying time is understandable, which might explain why at least one establishment media outlet has reverted to talking about one of the left’s favorite narratives: Racism.
Conservative radio host Erick Erickson took to Twitter to share a photo ahead of Palm Sunday of an Easter cross in his yard decorated with Christmas lights.
“Two brothers who went to school with my kids are making these and selling them for $20. They’re then taking the money and buying snacks for area hospital break rooms. I added the lights,” he captioned the photo.
Two brothers who went to school with my kids are making these and selling them for $20. They’re then taking the money and buying snacks for area hospital break rooms. I added the lights. pic.twitter.com/4stTVxiebg
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) April 5, 2020
A very kind gesture indeed on the part of Erickson.
But upon waking up, the conservative Christian was alerted by Twitter notifications that his attempt at fundraising for health care workers was racist.
Commenters on the post apparently felt the image closely resembled a burning cross in a yard — something synonymous with the Ku Klux Klan.
“I woke up this morning to my social media feeds overrun with trolls accusing me of burning a cross in my yard. Two teen brothers are making crosses and selling them and all the money goes to snacks for doctors and nurses at local hospitals,” Erickson explained.
“I, and a number of neighbors, stuck the crosses in our yards and wrapped them in Christmas lights. It is, after all, Holy Week, and scripture tell us ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ We’re in a global pandemic and can’t go to church. I thought it was a nice thought.
Stuck the crosses in our yards and wrapped them in Christmas lights. It is, after all, Holy Week, and scripture tell us “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” We’re in a global pandemic and can’t go to church. I thought it was a nice thought.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) April 5, 2020
Liberals on Twitter, like commentator Bill Palmer of the radically anti-Trump The Palmer Report, leaped on the issue.
“Erick Erickson with a burning cross in his yard is the only thing about this week that doesn’t seem surprising,” Palmer wrote.
Erick Erickson with a burning cross in his yard is the only thing about this week that doesn’t seem surprising.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) April 5, 2020
Newsweek ran with the story online, and pushed it with the headline “CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST ERICK ERICKSON CRITICIZED FOR PLACING ‘BURNING CROSS’ IN FRONT YARD.”
The article itself was not particularly inflammatory, feeding the impression that the headline was clickbait — intended to appeal to the kind of liberal readership that turns to Newsweek for information about its world.
“For Christians, this year’s Holy Week begins Sunday and ends next Saturday as Erickson and millions of other followers of the faith trace the events that led to Jesus Christ’s death by crucifixion on the cross,” New York City-based Newsweek writer Ben Fearnow wrote. “But despite the well-lit cross tying in with Erickson’s Christian faith, he was immediately criticized for what many said was a shocking image. The conservative blogger’s name sprang up as a trending topic Sunday morning as thousands of comments deluged his post.”
Nonetheless, a commenter called it a “burning cross” — a flaming, hair-on-fire, anti-Trump commenter who publishes a wildly left-wing political blog, no less — so Newsweek could call it a “burning cross” in its headline, too.
Newsweek changed its headline, but not before National Review’s Dan McLaughlin saved a photo of the original headline and shared it on Twitter.
tfw you knew your clickbait headline was false & had to change, but you left the original URL pic.twitter.com/w2RtzxKb0j
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) April 6, 2020
Newsweek’s story is now headlined “CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST ERICK ERICKSON ACCUSED OF RACIAL INSENSITIVITY FOR PUTTING LIGHTS ON CROSS IN HIS YARD.”
The saga seemed to end when Newsweek toned down its hysterical headline.
Still, the entire story is bizarre when you look at it objectively.
Who looks at a cross adorned with Christmas lights on the eve of Palm Sunday and sees a burning cross? I suppose it is more proof for the argument that Democrats walk through life seeking things to become offended about.
The left is obsessed with two things: Racism, and portraying conservatives as terrible people.
Apparently, far-left Newsweek was delighted to find that Erickson’s Twitter post had the potential to cover both bases in a two-for-one.
Unfortunately for the left, the truth was that the radio host was covering his own two bases: Sharing his faith ahead of Holy Week and raising money for refreshments for his community’s brave health care workers.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.