Jim Crow was one of the biggest black eyes in American history. The images that come to mind of that era are segregated schools, separate entrances for blacks and whites, being forced to the back of the bus, potentially being turned away from a hotel on account of your skin color, and countless other degrading things. But believe it or not, a prominent black conservative pastor thinks Jim Crow was actually a good thing? How? Wait for it–back then, blacks weren’t full of hate.
It’s been amply established that Jesse Lee Peterson is wrong–bad wrong–about a number of things. He believes that Donald Trump is a shining example of a real man–even when it was proven beyond any doubt that he was a boor and a bully. He claimed that Bill O’Reilly was framed by liberals who are bent on taking down “white men of power.” And he believes that anyone who had a problem with Trump’s slagging of Mika Brzezinski may be girly.
But Peterson has been at his most outrageous with his bizarre stance on the Civil Rights Movement. This is a man who actually claims that it was wrong to protest against businesses who discriminated on account of race. He also believes that blacks were actually better off during Jim Crow because they weren’t as dependent on the government.
People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch recently discovered that last month, Peterson doubled down on this outrageously revisionist line. He called into Frances Swaggart’s television show, “Frances and Friends,” to discuss racism in America. Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Peterson noted that in many cases, Africans sold their enemies into slavery. He added that there were a number of instances where blacks owned slaves. For that reason, he argued, slavery wasn’t about race, but economics.
Really, Jesse Lee? Then how do you explain why blacks were told that they were enslaved in part because they were the “children of Ham” who had been cursed in the Bible? For that reason, slaves were often taught that they should accept their inferior status and obey their masters. If that isn’t hard proof that slavery was fundamentally about race, what is?
Peterson then said that the only way to overcome evil was “by not hating it.” He believes blacks ought to learn from Jews and others who have had to endure slavery and unequal treatment. But then he really went off the deep end.
“And black people were better off during the Civil Rights Movement, before the Civil Rights Movement, under the Jim Crow laws, than they are today because they didn’t have that hatred in their hearts.”
Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that blacks were better off in the days when they were essentially banned from voting? Or when they were shut out of Major League Baseball and the NFL? Or when they could legally be refused service at a restaurant on account of their skin color? Oh, silly me–none of that really matters because back then, they didn’t have anger in their hearts.
So in Peterson’s world, blacks have no right to speak up about racist policing because it’s a sign that they have hate in their hearts. They have no right to get outraged at racist dog whistles from politicians because they have anger in their hearts. The mind reels.
(featured image courtesy Peterson’s Facebook)