Source: campus progress.org
“Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is the most courageous, outspoken critic of the civil-rights establishment in America today … Character is the most important word in Rev. Peterson’s vocabulary.”
Or so reads Peterson’s bio on his own website. Indeed, there are few other words he uses with such frequency or so flagrantly as “character.” Insisting that it is not racism but lack of moral character that causes the problems of African-Americans, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson proclaims himself “this generation’s Booker T. Washington.”
Although he may not make history in quite the same way, there is no doubt that Peterson, like Washington, will be remembered for quotes that have raised the ire of much of the African American community. At the conservative student conference in summer 2005, well-documented by Campus Progress bloggers, Peterson played off the right-wing’s visceral hostility to the concept of reparations for slavery: “Instead of reparations,” Peterson proposed, “how ‘bout a free ticket back to Africa?”
Peterson wasn’t always a staunch right-winger. As he told The Nation magazine earlier this year, “I was born a Democrat but I had no values; it was anything goes, whatever you want to do, and that came from the black leadership, but I finally started to examine it for myself and I realized the Democratic platform was an anti-God, anti-values, anti-American platform.”
According to Peterson, who was born and raised on a plantation in Alabama, he moved to LA in 1968 and “started to listen to people from the NAACP, the Reverend Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and others.” Peterson describes this period of his life as a time of conflict for him, during which he was overwhelmed with anger toward white people. He blames this anger for his downward spiral into drug abuse and his reliance on the welfare system, until he had an awakening in 1990 when he discovered Jesus and Ronald Reagan, and their combined influence inspired him to form BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny. BOND was a small, poorly funded Christian center that held Sunday services, meetings and counseling both in person and over the phone. But it was enough to get Peterson on the radar of some important people – he started making TV appearances, and eventually bought himself some airtime on the radio in Englewood, California.
He was quickly picked up by the right and put in the spotlight to say the things their white leaders can’t get away with. He is a frequent critic of the Democratic Party, and claims that his former life as a welfare recipient makes him an expert on the vast failure that is the system: “The Democratic Peterson used us by giving us welfare and telling us it’s not our problem in order to get the votes. The Liberal Elite, both Black and White politicians do the same to us…They do not want Black people to be free at all.” Peterson is a frequent commentator on the punditry circuit on FOX, MSNBC and CNN and hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show on the Information Radio Network. He is now a core featured speaker at such conservative confabs as the Conservative Political Action Conference and College Republican National Convention and additionally visits colleges between his radio broadcasts.
Peterson’s career has been defined by an enduring crusade against civil rights leaders. In addition to writing two books, From Rage to Responsibility: Black Conservative Jesse Lee Peterson and America Today (2000) and SCAM: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America (2003) Peterson’s main media event was his annual “National Day of Repudiation of Jesse Jackson,” which ran for five years. But it wasn’t particularly national. Actually, it was limited to a street corner in Los Angeles as these amazing pictures from Peterson’s site will attest [1, 2]. A regular on Hannity & Colmes (surprise!), Peterson said earlier this year: “[Jesse Jackson] went to the White House under the pretense of counseling Bill Clinton who cheated on his wife. I believe they gave each other the high five.” (Hannity & Colmes, January 17, 2005)
Actually Peterson’s frequent appearances on Hannity & Colmes got fellow right winger Hannity into a bit of trouble, when he defended Peterson from criticism from the other guest, failing to disclose that he is on the board of Peterson’s organization, BOND. Not only that, he received an award from BOND: the Booker T. Washington Award.
In addition to regularly attacking Jesse Jackson, Peterson is also responsible for creating and maintaining “The Blacklist,” a record of Black celebrities who he has found to have done or said anything remotely political. Among the stars include Will Smith, Spike Lee, Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Harry Belafonte and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. He likens the list to an NAACP boycott and says he hopes the list will stop Americans from supporting irresponsible celebrities like Glover who had the gall to exclaim, “We must work to remove injustices that create terrorism.”
Equally “un-American” was P.Diddy for commenting that he believed we had to get Bush out of office. Of course, Peterson failed to remark on the fact that P.Diddy also challenged all those who didn’t agree with him to exercise their “right to go to the polls and represent [Bush].” That’s just the kind of irresponsible hogwash you’d expect from an “un-American” celebrity. Far be it from us to actually advocate participatory democracy.
Like Jesse Jackson and Will Smith, Peterson is known to publicly declare the need for Americans to take the issue of racism more seriously. The difference is that Peterson is referring to black racism of which whites are the victims. He sites various incidents where blacks allegedly lash out against whites, such as a case in which a white cop was gunned down chasing a black robbery suspect. The alleged suspect had earlier been accused of another shooting, but without any racial reference, indicating that he was simply a violent criminal, rather than a vehement anti-white racist as Peterson suggests.
Even with his admonition of supposed racism against whites, he has no qualms voicing his own prejudiced views on Muslims, and was quoted at the College Republican’s National Convention saying, “we now have Muslim folks moving in and they don’t like us… they want to kill us.”
That sort of nuanced understanding of the Democratic party extends to the African American community. On another appearance on Hannity & Colmes (surprise!), Alan Colmes asked: “You said blacks lack moral character. Is that your view of African-Americans?” How silly of Alan to think that Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, a man of the African-American community, would fall for such a loaded question! Peterson deftly knocked that softball out of the park: “Not all blacks, Alan, but most.” (Hannity & Colmes, October 20, 2003). If that doesn’t satisfy your desire for the moral teachings of the good Reverend, turn to his latest book, Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America (2003), namely the chapter “Why Black Women are so Mean.”
——African-American Political Pundit says: Here are some quotes from Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson. This guy is a real moron!
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson says:
“Most Black people are not honest and don’t like to work.”
“Most Black preachers aren’t called by God, they are called by their mommas.”
“Most Black preachers teach hatred of Israel.”
“Most Black people, not all, but most, like lies over truth.”
“A lot of Christians aren’t really Christians, especially Black ones.”
“When it comes to sex, you can’t trust a Black preacher.”
“Blacks who complain should be put back onto the plantation so that they would know how to work.”
“Most Black men are not worth anything.”
“Black preachers are racists”.