As the founder of the first Jewish-Chicano radio program “Phoenix Talkback”, I have a few things to say about Conservative Radio Host Jesse Lee Peterson. Peterson recently covered the issue of the Children Refugees fleeing Central American, along with the issue of immigration, in general. He also had a few things to say about Israel, and that’s where I come in.
A little bit about Jesse Lee Peterson: Jesse Lee Peterson is, supposedly, a reverend, a religious man, a Man-of-the-Cloth, a Christian. Although I am Jewish, not a Christian, my own sense of tolerance throughout my life has guided me to respect others in their religious beliefs. But after hearing Peterson spout off on the radio, I could easily see how he is one of those Christians who moreso value a vengeful God over a loving God. Peterson embodies the message of Hate, I’ll argue, due to what he is and how he goes about spreading his words. Peterson is a Black Tea Party Radio Host who is just another in a long line of charlatans who have used the mask of religion for their own gain. In the history of the media and communications, selfish religious types like Peterson have taken to the airwaves to spread their message of hate and fear along with their instructions of how to send your money to them, Ca-ching! Jesse Lee Peterson could be considered as a Black version of Pat Robertson. Yet as an African-American, Peterson disowns himself from his own heritage by saying “I am not an African, I do not have an Afro . . .” while offering other disclaimers against members of his own ethnic group. In other words, Peterson, who is Black, hates Blacks because they are, essentially, irresponsibly bringing problems amongst themselves. In this way, Peterson compounds and complicates his own messages because he damages his own credibility by appearing so self-hating. (Why should we respect him if he doesn’t even respect himself? Is he not a member of those he criticizes?) He might as well be White because his own words resemble what would normally be heard coming out the mouth of any run-of-the-mill racist Cracker. To other Black People who believe in love and cooperation, Peterson is a homophobic, self-hating, Black person, and observations like these have long been held in the Black Community against Peterson.
I don’t think Peterson gets along with anyone, except other racist Tea Party types who dismiss everything that comes out of his mouth except hardcore Tea Party ideology; as long as he preaches the message of the Tea Party, despite his obvious contradictions of his Black identity, of himself, he is accepted and Peterson doesn’t seem to care. Just like all the other Opportunistic Evangelical Christians in the media before him, Peterson leverages all of his hatred to create conflict and confrontation. After all, it’s good radio, it spikes up the ratings, and he, Peterson, can then use this infamy to support other endeavors, like the school he runs through his non-profit organization.
Peterson does a weekly radio show. Peterson is also member of “Choose Black America”, a new F.A.I.R. front group designed to rally black Americans against Hispanic immigration.
I caught a couple of Peterson’s recent radio programs after the Children Refugees started to arrive in the United States. Peterson’s view has been hard-line, ultra Conservative, “immediate deportation”, as he sees this as an invasion that threatens the Black Community. He conducts a litmus test of his guests, first asking “Do you love Black People?”, then “If you love Black People, then why are you encouraging an illegal invasion into the Black Community?”. (This set of litmus test questions sounds like it was written out of the minds at F.A.I.R.) Clearly, Peterson is not a humanist, else he would have some matter of, an iota of, an inkling of, sympathy, understanding, and humanity, for the children who had fled for their lives; Peterson expresses the most extreme inhumanity and selfishness of Anti-Immigration Movement. Yet . . . Peterson echoes the extremist view of fully supporting Israel in whatever Israel does against the People of Gaza. How can anyone who claims to be Christian religious leader simultaneously support the carnage Israel has recently conducted in the wake of the murder of three Israeli teenagers AND throwing the Children Refugees under the bus? How? This is a contradiction in values that everyone but Peterson can see. Surely he must be in a minority of Christians and Evangelicals who pick and choose who they think are worthy to be saved and those who are not.
But spreading this kind of hatred, this obvious contradiction of values, on the radio, is a much different, much more serious, matter. How many who listen to his show nod in agreement to all the hatred Peterson spews? Is he merely a representative of all the distrust, prejudice, and hate in his community, or is he trying to politically incite his community? As he is a member of “Choose Black America”, Peterson is a political operative acting on behalf of F.A.I.R. to keep the Anti-Immigration Movement alive and operating in Southern California and in the Black Community, in general.
My radio show, “Phoenix Talkback”, recognized the similarities and the level of cooperation between Chicanos and Jews. We did this by merely co-existing together in each program. We did this by example and to show that there really isn’t that much different between different types of people. Jesse Lee Peterson, however, does the opposite, pointing out and exploiting those differences between people and among people. Peterson’s living example on the radio is, to me, the worst example of humanity. So when Peterson began to spew RW talking points about Israel, I had to take a closer look at his meaning. Not only does he offer the inconsistency of supporting Israel over the Children at the border, he mirrors the most extreme of evangelical prophecies of supporting Israel because once Israel is seen as having been “returned”, Christians achieve the Rapture. In this way, our Black Tea Party Radio Host, the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, does a big service for F.A.I.R.’s agenda against immigration reform. In other words, I don’t think he believes in supporting Israel, I believe he uses his radio show for this political agenda. In turn, Peterson gets something out of using the Rapture for his own gain. He is truly selfish and evil.
We must overcome politics for the sake of humanity. The movement for Comprehensive Immigration Reform needs a radio show as powerful, more powerful, than the divisive, hate propelled, Peterson Show.