Jerry Falwell Jr’s Racial Blackface Joke with a COVID-19 Mask Results in an African-American Liberty Professor Resigning in Protest

Jerry Falwell Jr made a blackface joke on Twitter on May 27, 2020.  While it was directed at Virginia Governor Ralph Northam it has highly insensitive in light of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. As a result of Falwell’s blackface an African-American Liberty University professor resigned in protest.

“There is nothing wrong with you if there are times you get weighed down by the heaviness of the suffering in the world.

Rachel Samson

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Psalm 57:5 ESV

Jerry Falwell Jr.

As rioting and unrest continues as a result of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and elsewhere, Jerry Falwell Jr. made a racist joke that led to an African-American professor to resign in protest. Here is what happened. On Twitter on May 27, 2020 Jerry Falwell Jr continued his protest of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. For those outside Virginia Northam was involved in a racial scandal in February 2019. In his medical school yearbook from Eastern Virginia Medical School in the 1980’s Northam appears in a blackface photograph. It became a political scandal in Virginia. Northam first admitted and then afterward he denied it and persisted in the issue until the scandal became a non-issue with Virginians. Falwell brought up the blackface and in his Tweet on May 27 he also pushed for the hashtag calling for a number of counties to secede from Virginia. For more background on that read this article.  Here is the tweet which I grabbed from John Fea’s blog.  

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

That was followed by two more tweets which you can see below. Pay attention to the COVID-19 mask that Jerry Falwell Jr created. 

Over at The Root they wrote about Jerry Falwell Jr’s blackface mask issue. Here is part of the article. Part of it is baffled as to why some people are making such an issue about a mask. But the article also points out the blackface issue.

First of all: Can we just acknowledge that the conservative resistance to wearing face masks makes no sense? This isn’t like the push to reopen the economy because, for all of that campaign’s faults, it’s at least about getting people back to work. The anti-face mask thing, on the other hand, just seems like arbitrary defiance for the sake of defiance. It’s just odd that all of these Republican officials, including y’all’s president, seem so hellbent on dying on that particular hill. (Editor’s note: Perhaps literally. COVID-19 is not a game.)

Falwell—the man who once had arrest warrants issued for journalists because they were covering his widely criticized decision to reopen Liberty U’s campus despite the dangers of the COVID-19 outbreak—took things a step further by randomly invoking racism to make his point.

For those who are unfamiliar with the story, Northam caught black people’s collective side-eye last year when a photo from Eastern Virginia Medical School’s 1984 yearbook was unearthed, showing him in blackface next to someone in KKK attire. Northam initially apologized for the photo then later denied it was him in the photo at all. This was certainly a drag-worthy offense, but Falwell is still way out of his lane here.

On its face (pun intended), Falwell’s tweet just makes it seem like he’s planning to wear a mask with a Klan member and a white guy in blackface on it. It just looks like him being racist as hell, which is probably why he needed to clarify things in a separate tweet.

“Just so folks outside Virginia unfamiliar with the pic on the mask understand: it is from the personal page of the medical school yearbook of @GovernorVA,” he tweeted. “Just a way to shine a spotlight on the fact that Democrats are and always have been the real racists in this country.”

In response to Jerry Falwell Jr’s blackface comment a Liberty professor who teaches online submitted his resignation and wrote a strongly worded protest. Christopher House is a tenured communications professor at Ithaca College. He also is the senior pastor at Christian Community Church.  You can read his resignation below. 



Analysis and Closing Thoughts

This blog wonders if there will be more people who will resign and follow Christopher House’s lead. To this day I remain puzzled as to why some people think Jerry Falwell Jr deserves to be respected and ask why do people want to attend Liberty? For me it makes no sense. What makes Jerry Falwell Jr’s comments even more heinous is the timing in which everything is going on. Minneapolis is in a state of unrest and a riot is spreading and here is Jerry Falwell Jr making a racial joke while the fallout from George Flyod’s death continues. Can a person be any more insensitive? Some may say its wrong for me to tie those together. I firmly disagree. Floyd’s death teaches us that racism is a serious issue and it also tells us that Falwell reveals his white pride which is quite racist in his conjecture. To make such a perverse joke about blackface with everything going on is like  making inappropriate jokes in the wake of the Rodney King or Treyvan Martin situations.  A blackface joke is always inappropriate – but even more so when there is racial unrest. No person of decency, integrity or humility would act that way in the way in the aftermath of such an incident. Yet Jerry Falwell Jr continues to push the outrageous. How narcissistic of him.

Why people consider Jerry Falwell Jr a Christian is beyond me. Why people want to attend Liberty is beyond me. Why people think that a degree from Liberty will help them in the world is beyond me. A degree from Liberty is about as reputable as a degree from Trump University. This blog has deep respect for Christopher House and applauds his resignation. People need to walk with their feet. May more do so and may courage continue as people make for the exits. 


17 thoughts on “Jerry Falwell Jr’s Racial Blackface Joke with a COVID-19 Mask Results in an African-American Liberty Professor Resigning in Protest

  1. The other day, Rush Limbaugh had noted that the best way to end the requirements for wearing a mask, is to wear a MAGA Mask. They will demand that you remove your mask, then.

    Remember back in the 70’s to 90’s, when all comedians made racial jokes, including Red Foxx, George Jefferson, Chico and the man, and a while slew of others, including Eddie Murphy? If my memory serves me right, we all participated in… laughing, and tipping our waitresses. Oh, the good ole days, when racist jokes came from both sides, and no one was offended. We got some wimps today. Thin skinned. Kleenex can’t keep up production.


    • Now there is a credible source Rush Limbaugh.. (Rolls eyes) l regret that l once took him highly. George Will, Rick Wilson, Bill Kristol have all had good analysis on him. The Bulwark had a solid article about him recently that showed his challenges and issues.

      And Ed it’s different when George Jefferson makes a joke. That was also in the 1970s. Adjust with the times. And if you want to talk about snowflakes l can think of a few who are instigating problems.


      • I listen to him everyday. And NO, I won’t ADJUST with the times. It’s still a CRIME today as it was IN THE OLD DAYS, to pass a phoney bill. It’s still a crime today, as it was in the OLD DAYS to LOOT (stealing). It’s still a crime to rob people of their goods, services, and money. Those claiming racism have NO IDEA what racism even is. People are too sensitive today. GROW SOME F*****G BALLS, MAN. That’s for those who cry racism at the drop of a hat.

        But, “with the times” doesn’t want to prosecute BLACK FOKE for stealing, cuz it overcrowds the prisons.

        Come on, man, you can’t be serious about adjust with the times, are you? Are you saying we should LOOK THE OTHER WAY when crime is committed, and LET criminals get away with STEALING OTHER PEOPLE’S STUFF? I can just see the meme now: Adjust with the time, Legalize crime!


      • I think Limbaugh copied it from the Babylon Bee.

        I never cared much about Liberty. During my formative years the world was full of people claiming to speak for God saying silly things. When we moved to the South I met someone for the first time who admitted to have graduated from Liberty. He said “Yeah, I know, Liberty”. Very nice guy though. The most recent thing I remember about Liberty was that the predicted covid outbreak there never materialized. It’s almost as if a virus doesn’t pay attention to ideology.

        One of the reasons I left social media was that I don’t know what innocent, everyday thing we do these days will be the wearing blackface of tomorrow. I did make a prediction once that Barack Obama would someday be vilified for his old-fashioned views concerning live sex in middle school lunch rooms.

        One of our society’s many mistakes is the weaponization of taking offense. If someone takes offense, that indicates a problem they need to work through, not a problem with what someone else is doing.


      • I listen to him [Rush Limbaugh] everyday.

        I never would have guessed…

        I used to know a few dittoheads who “listened to him every day” and went forth to Witness for Him like Calvary Chapelites. Listened to him myself only intermittently since 1989 or so (here and there, with gaps of up to years in-between) and noticed something I wouldn’t have if I’d listened to him regularly:

        When he started out (“Conservatism as Theater”) he did not take himself 100% seriously. Like he knew this was Theater, not Philosophy. Seemed to enjoy the back-and-forth and tweaking the noses of the Other like a proto-South Park. “Get Flushed by Rush!”, “Having a Gorbasm”, crude sense of humor but it was there.

        Years later, even that crude humor was gone. All that was left was the Dead Serious Concentration on The Holy Cause of a religious fanatic. And a steadily-growing Ego which tipped over into self-deification — “Talent on Loan from God” became “I Am Infallible and Inerrant” while his Base chorused “AAAAAA-MENNNN!!!!” to every Word coming over the radio. The Cult of Rush had become a CULT(TM) for real.

        “Evaluation, Spock?”

        Like Anton LaVey and Elron Hubbard, Rush Limbaugh listened to his own PR until he believed it more than any of his followers. Like that Twilight Zone episode (or the Tragedian in The Great Divorce), he had worn the Mask for so long it had become his face.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I never cared much about Liberty. During my formative years the world was full of people claiming to speak for God saying silly things.

        Remember the WEIRDEST guy at Trump’s kickoff rally months ago?
        The self-described “Messianic Christian” in Jewish prayer shawl blowing a shofar?

        Well, he was claiming Private Revelation (i.e. Speaking for God) of Hillary going to California to molest children a la Pizzagate; his exact words were “Spiritual Discernment”.

        My reaction was “Your ‘Spiritual Gift’ cannot ‘Discern’ between Donald Trump and Jesus Christ. Why should I believe any ‘Spiritual Discernment’ you tell me?”



        In a way, Rush Limbaugh functioned as Donald Trump’s “John the Baptist” or “Elijah” figure, preparing the way and setting up conditions (“Limbaughizing Evangelicals”) for the appearance/reception of the coming Messiah figure:

        Or an analog of The False Prophet in Revelation, pre-grooming the future Base (“Limbaughizing Evangelicals” in the manipulation sense) for the appearance/reception of The Beast who shall deceive the very Elect.

        Took around 30 years of grooming plus Entropy over that time to reach the end stage.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Missed the Marvel Comics analogy to the above:
        “Rush Limbaugh as Silver Surfer, Herald of Trumpus Galactus!”


  2. Just the latest Stupid People Trick to come out of God’s Anointed, JFJr.
    (As for Northam, that sounds like some sort of Frat Boy sick humor with a side of Bart Simpson Syndrome, entered into with no thought of anything other than “Lookit ME! Am I Not Edgy?” and giving all the grown-ups a stroke.)

    To this day I remain puzzled as to why some people think Jerry Falwell Jr deserves to be respected and ask why do people want to attend Liberty?

    2) LIberty U as an inside track to the levers of POWER, the Inner Ring of He Who Sits at His Right Hand.

    A degree from Liberty is about as reputable as a degree from Trump University.

    Are you sure LU and TU are not one and the same?
    The only difference being LU adds God-talk to the mix?


    • P.S. Your pic of JFJr up top:
      It’s canted at a “crooked” angle, just like the Supervillain Intro scenes in Sixties TV Batman.


  3. In a skit on Saturday Night Live, Eddie Murphy did WHITE FACE.

    In the early 2000’s, a movie came out called WHTE CHICKS, where 2 black men (fbi) played 2 white girls.

    People today have no sense of humor, faking it that it is offensive. Black Face was NEVER OFFENSIVE to anyone during the day that it was happening in real life. It only became offensive due to Barrack Obama becoming president, with all of the false accusations of racism.


  4. Just today, another name for the virus popped up on my YouTube “Recommended” list when I was checking reputable medical channels:
    “Chinese COMMUNIST Party Virus”.
    (Video Link had channel name that sounded vaguely TRUTHer.)


    • “Chinese COMMUNIST Party Virus”

      Seems like a response that misses the point. One the one hand, to the CCP and their supporters in the West, China is the CCP and the CCP is China, so the distinction “Communist Party” only matters to you, not to them. But to address the point that’s being missed:

      This is like a white person saying “I’m not racist, because I don’t have racial prejudice against black people.” They’re not calling you racist because they think you have racial prejudice against black people, they’re calling you racist because they hate you and want to hurt you.

      Similarly, they don’t call you racist because they think someone who calls it the Chinese Virus has racial prejudice towards people from China; they’re calling you racist because they hate you and everything about you. Qualifying it as “Chinese Communist Party Virus” won’t make them stop hating you, or stop calling you the worst things they can think of.

      When someone attacks you, don’t try to fight back on their terms. Don’t try to fight back at all. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. If you’re like me you usually fail miserably at this when caught in the moment, so perhaps use reading this comment as a moment to prepare for the next time it happens. Think about your attacker and try to understand where they’re coming from. How are they hurting? Where can you find common ground? How can you model Jesus for them?


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