Just days after the founder of the Christian magazine RELEVANT, Cameron Strang, was accused of being racially insensitive, he’s “stepping aside” from his position.
There are many examples of this insensitivity, but the most obvious may be when he rationalized a lower-selling issue featuring the band The Roots by saying, “Maybe our audience doesn’t want to see scary black men on the cover.”
If that was a one-time incident, it would be bad enough, but there were far more stories from former staffers making it clear that Strang had serious problems when it came to issues involving race.
No wonder Strang announced yesterday that he would be leaving his position for the foreseeable future.
… I’ve learned how my insensitivity has hurt people, and when it came to women and people of color on our staff, I was blind as to how some of my statements were especially insensitive and hurtful. Hearing that I’ve hurt so many members of our team and ended up reinforcing toxic systems I want to help tear down has been hard. I’ve caused pain to a lot of people and I’m deeply sorry.
Last week, we took steps to address the criticism internally and add new measures of accountability that were missing from our operations. But that’s not enough. RELEVANT is a Christian company, and as its founder, I should be held to a higher standard. My public silence was a mistake because it seemed like I wasn’t taking the criticism seriously. The opposite was true…… this morning the RELEVANT leadership and I decided that I would step away from my position. Call it a sabbatical, or a leave of absence, but I want to use an extended period of time to engage a process of healing, growth and learning. I will be seeking counseling, as well as reaching out to Christian leaders about ways I can grow and better understand important issues, especially about race and equality…
I’m deeply sorry to the people I’ve hurt. I’m sorry for my toxicity and insensitivity in leadership. I don’t want to be that person anymore. Thank you for your understanding and prayer.
That… is a lot more sincere-sounding than I expected. But it still leaves a few questions unanswered. Namely, why did it take so long for Strang to admit he needs to change his ways? If RELEVANT is indeed a Christian magazine, why wasn’t Strang more humble and open to rebuke from his fellow brethren on staff? How will he know when it’s time to come back and what oversight will be implemented to make sure his problem doesn’t continue?
The criticism hasn’t changed. The only difference is that now it’s a PR crisis. Which makes the timing of the apology seem rather fishy, despite using all the right words.