For a discussion on the controversy over Don Imus' comment about the Rutgers women's basketball team, co-hosts Keith Weinman and Gail Fallen welcomed their "friend" Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, who called Rev. Al Sharpton "the devil" and said that because of fears of being deemed "racist," whites are allowing their "enemies" to "destroy them." Peterson further stated, "This is not going to end until white Americans stand up."
On the April 13 broadcast of Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Mornings with Keith and Gail!, co-hosts Keith Weinman and Gail Fallen invited Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson to discuss the controversy over former radio talk show host Don Imus' reference to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." In addition to calling Rev. Al Sharpton "the devil," Peterson, who is the founder and president of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), argued that white people are allowing their "enemies" to "destroy them" out of "fear of being called a racist." As Media Matters for America noted, after Hurricane Katrina, Peterson claimed on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes that "[n]ot all ... but most [African-Americans] lack moral character. Look what they did to the [Louisiana Super]dome. In three days, they turned the Dome into a ghetto."
Weinman introduced Peterson as "a friend of Mornings with Keith & Gail! and The James Gang here on 600 KCOL, and a friend of all of us." Discussing CBS Radio's firing of Imus from his nationally syndicated show, Peterson stated that "for Imus to go and ask Sharpton for [forgiveness] was absolutely insane. It's just insanity. How do you give that kind of power to the devil?" Peterson later added, "This is not going to end until white Americans stand up."
Near the end of the interview, Peterson claimed that the "white audiences" he speaks to "are afraid to deal with black people for fear of being called a racist." According to Peterson, "White folks -- the white man is losing his wife, he's losing his children, he's losing his business, he's losing his community, and he's giving it to people who don't deserve it." After Peterson complained that he "can't believe that we have a society where white people have this type of fear," Weinman said, "Always a pleasure ... We'll look forward to a next visit."
As Colorado Media Matters has pointed out, Peterson has a history of making racially inflammatory remarks. He is the author of a September 2005 article titled "Moral poverty cost blacks in New Orleans," in which he characterized the black response to Hurricane Katrina as "a pathetic performance by the black community in a time of crisis" and claimed that "most" members of the black community "were too lazy, immoral, and trifling to do anything productive for themselves." Peterson also asserted that "[w]hen 75 percent of New Orleans residents had left the city, it was primarily immoral, welfare-pampered blacks that stayed behind and waited for the government to bail them out."
From the April 13 broadcast of Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Mornings with Keith and Gail!:
WEINMAN: We wanted to sum it up quickly because we have the chance for the reaction this morning from a friend of Mornings with Keith and Gail! and The James Gang here on 600 KCOL, and a friend of all of us, the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson with BOND, the Brotherhood of a New Destiny. Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, good morning and welcome again to Mornings with Keith & Gail!
PETERSON: Good morning. Thank you guys for having me on. I absolutely appreciate it.
WEINMAN: Your -- your overall reaction, the first thought that comes to your mind with regard to the whole Imus story and where it's at now.
PETERSON: I cannot believe that -- that white Americans are giving in to a gutless, racist male like Sharpton or Jackson. I just don't know what it's going to take for white Americans to stand up and not allow themselves to be intimidated. You know, if this were David Duke running around trying to intimidate this country, white folks would stand up against him. But because Sharpton is black, they're allowing themselves to give into it. When Imus made those comments, he was only talking about the basketball players, the girls on the team. He was not talking about all black folks. He did not insult all black Americans. And for some -- and for Imus to go and ask Sharpton for an apology was absolutely insane. It's just insanity. How do you give that kind of power to the devil? He didn't, he didn't do anything to Sharpton. He didn't say anything about Sharpton. It was about the girls. If he owed anyone an apology, he should have just said to them that he was sorry and move on with this. This is out of control. This is ridiculous.
WEINMAN: Which Imus did do repeatedly. He repeated -- he repeatedly apologized to the team. And, and you're saying the fact that Imus actually went and, and apologized to Sharpton was over and above beyond the call of duty, was -- was unecessary.
PETERSON: It wasn't necessary at all. I don't understand why white men feel that they should give into another man like that. He didn't do anything to Sharpton. And, if you noticed, when he went to Sharpton to ask for the apology, Sharpton refused to give it. And that's what the devil does. The devil likes to control you so he's not going to forgive you. And Sharpton is about Sharpton. He's seen Jesse Jackson get away with this for 50 years and now he's doing the same thing, and white folks are giving in to Sharpton and all they're doing is creating someone else to come along and do the same thing. This is not going to end until white Americans stand up.
PETERSON: Right now I'm on a speaking tour. I'm in, I think I'm in D.C. somewhere, Virginia. And, you know, when I speak to white audiences I often ask, how many of you are afraid to speak up when it comes to the issue of race and morality concerning black people? And 99.9 percent of the time, 100 percent of the people raise their hand. And this includes clergies and non-clergies alike. Men and women. And they are afraid to deal with black people for fear of being called a racist. But what they don't understand is when they give that kind of power to their enemies, their enemies will destroy them. And that's what Jackson has done and Sharpton has -- is now doing that. You -- in life, you're going to have to stand up and, yes, you may lose a few material things, but if you don't stand up you're going to lose your soul. White folks -- the white man is losing his wife, he's losing his children, he's losing his business, he's losing his community, and he's giving it to people who don't deserve it. And I just -- I can't believe we have a society where white people have this type of fear.
WEINMAN: Always a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time. We'll look forward to a next visit.