The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, the super-conservative African American Republican who has campaigned vigorously against Kwanzaa (“The Racist Holiday From Hell” he has called it), the Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. and President Barack Obama, said he has a simple solution to black America’s employment woes: hard labor.
“One of the things that I would do is take all black people back to the South and put them on the plantation so they would understand the ethic of working,” Peterson told The Huffington Post’s Black Voices on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m going to put them all on the plantation. They need a good hard education on what it is to work.”
Peterson made the remarks after he was asked to comment on Monday night’s sparring between moderator Juan Williams and Newt Gingrich, during the Republican presidential debate after Williams asked Gingrich whether he thought his recent statements suggesting a lack of work ethic among poor black kids could be viewed as insulting.
“People don’t want to hear the truth,” said Peterson, the founder of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, or BOND. “Newt was 100 percent correct,” Peterson said. “Newt said that he would have black children, minority children work as janitors at school. Working as a janitor would build character, more so than the handouts so many of them like.”
“I know some people take it personally because a whole lot of folks don’t like hearing the truth; they like to be in denial,” he added. “Not all black people, but most black people know, and white people know, and black people say it more in private than they would in public, but for the last 50 years or so, generations and generations of black people have relied on the government or someone else to take care of them.”
“Many black women have had babies out of wedlock and passed that on to their daughters that if they have babies out of wedlock, they’ll get food stamps, free houses and your rent paid,” Peterson said.
Peterson, who was raised on a plantation in Alabama where he said generations of his family worked first as slaves and then sharecroppers, said he learned to have a strong work ethic by doing such backbreaking work as picking cotton.
Day in and day out, it was the same thing: get home from school, eat supper, change clothes and get into the cotton field, he said.
Nearly 30 years ago Peterson left the plantation and headed West to California. But today, he said, millions of blacks are on the mental “plantation” of the Democratic Party. To fight back, he said, he formed the Tea Party of South Central Los Angeles. Considering this is black and Latino neighborhood where residents have traditionally voted Democratic, it might be an uphill battle.
“I hope that once [black people] hear the truth, they will pull away from the Democratic Party and their godless leaders,” Peterson said in a recent interview with HuffPost. “When you tell them the truth first, they become upset … They think if you’re black and conservative, you’re an Uncle Tom. Once you let them yell and scream and carry on — because they will carry on — and when they calm down, they understand.”