Conservative Radio Host Erick Erickson Accused of Racial Insensitivity for Putting Lights on Cross in His Yard

Longtime conservative radio host Erick Erickson responded to accusations of racial insensitivity after posting a picture on social media Saturday night that many critics said looked like a "burning cross."

"I woke up this morning to my social media feeds overrun with trolls accusing me of burning a cross in my yard," he tweeted Sunday. "Two teen brothers are making crosses and selling them and all the money goes to snacks for doctors and nurses at local hospitals. 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."

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. I, and a number of neighbors

— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) April 5, 2020

Erickson, an evangelical Christian blogger and host of an Atlanta-based radio show, had earlier posted a picture to Twitter and Instagram just ahead of Palm Sunday that showed a radiating cross in his front yard. He remarked that kids who go to school with his children are making and selling the large crosses in order to support local hospital efforts to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

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

"Faith over fear. Update: figured I should note that I did not make this. Two kids who are the ages of our kids have been making these and selling them for $20 then buying break room snacks for local hospitals with the money. I added the lights," Erickson wrote on Instagram Saturday evening, immediately drawing shocked reactions.

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. 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.

"Erick Erickson with a burning cross in his yard is the only thing about this week that doesn't seem surprising," responded popular Palmer Report blogger Bill Palmer.

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

"I'm not sure Erick Erickson thought this one through," tweeted political scientist Miranda Yaver.

I’m not sure Erick Erickson thought this one through... https://t.co/6HDrljULLJ

— Miranda Yaver (@mirandayaver) April 5, 2020

"Maybe rethink the lights," added another concerned Twitter user.

Erickson did not respond to Newsweek's requests for comment Sunday.

He wrote on his The Resurgent blog last week that the U.S. government should not be "arresting preachers" who have chosen to hold services despite coronavirus warnings from both state and federal levels. But he also urged church leaders to "be responsible" when planning any events with congregations of people amid the pandemic.

Corrected 7:27 PM ET to reflect a revised headline.

erick erickson burning cross yard
Longtime conservative radio host Erick Erickson was accused of bigotry or having no awareness of U.S. history after posting a picture on social media Saturday night which many critics said looked like a "burning cross." Screenshot: Erick Erickson | Twitter