Black conservative Jesse Lee Peterson is, to put it simply, not afraid to speak his mind. During the 1950s under Jim Crow laws he grew up on an Alabama plantation where his great-grandparents worked as slaves, but today Peterson is regularly featured on major news networks claiming that racism doesn’t exist, the Democratic Party lies to minorities to intimidate and control them, and July should be officially declared as White History Month. An author, radio and talk show host, most of his family and friends have turned away from him — but he says that’s a small price to pay for standing by his beliefs.
“It doesn’t matter. I love what’s right, I love my country and I don’t need any friends.…The Democratic plantation really is worse than the plantation I grew up on. We were not told about so-called racism; we worked hard. My grandparents worked hard and their parents worked hard. We were very independent. Unlike the Democratic Party — their plantation causes you to become dependent on them and not on yourself. Once you become addicted to that, they will not let you off. If you try to get off, you are attacked. You’re called Uncle Tom, a sellout, the N word, all kind of craziness because they do not want you to leave that plantation.”
Long before Peterson rose to fame as a conservative media personality, he struggled with the fact that he was raised without his father: While pregnant with Peterson, his mother married his stepfather and cut ties with his biological father. Growing up, he harbored resentment toward her, viewing her as a cruel and controlling woman for what he sees as turning him against his father. According to Peterson, the hardest thing he ever did in his life was forgiving her when he was 38 years old. “I went and told her that … ‘all of my life I resented you because you tried to turn me away from my father; you had no patience and I [became] like you.’ … The worst thing that can happen to boys and girls is that you turn them away from their fathers, because when you turn them away from their fathers, you turn them away from God.”
“When I forgave her, then God forgave me [and] he took away the anger. The anger, the fear disappeared, the doubt, the worry, and all that stuff. I realized then that black people were suffering, not because of racism, but the destruction of the family and the lack of moral character.” From that came the religious nonprofit BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of the New Destiny, a group established by Peterson in 1989, which focuses on spiritual counseling for men who were raised without fathers.
The more Peterson devoted himself to Christianity, the more he realized that his new beliefs were not ones he felt aligned with the Democratic Party. “I can no longer identify with the Democratic platform because the Democratic platform is anti-God, anti-family, anti-country, anti-military, anti-unborn child,” he says. “I became a Republican conservative, and I am 100 percent Republican conservative. I’m so far right that I can hardly see myself.”
He also believes that the Democratic Party espouses a dangerous and incorrect view about the role of racism in American society. He explains, “When I was a Democrat … I blamed white people for all my weaknesses and failures. I suffered for it. It wasn’t until I really began to look at myself to understand if I’m black and a Democrat and racism is holding me back …why is it that it’s not holding the black people back who are telling me that it’s racism? They are married, their kids are going to good schools, they have families.”
“I realized I had been lied to [by the Democrats], that it wasn’t about racism, that white people were not holding me back and the Democrats didn’t care about me, they were lying to me.” Peterson says that getting rid of the fear he believes is instilled by the Democratic Party is necessary for survival: “As long as you have fear, you only get worse, you don’t get better,” he states. “That’s what the Democrats, the liberal media [does]. If they can intimidate you, then they can control you. If they can make you angry, then they can control you.”
“It’s not a race problem,” he clarifies, “it’s a spiritual problem.”
Peterson is the author of several books. His most recent, “The Antidote: Healing America from the Poison of Hate, Blame and Victimhood,” speaks at length about the individuals whom he calls “race hustlers and media hacks [who] promise to ‘fundamentally transform’ America.” Peterson goes on to say that transformation is just “fool’s gold” in the form of welfare and subsidized housing, and that the true antidote is the one he was able to find for himself in the Republican Party.
In addition to being an author, Peterson hosts a weekly digital talk show called “The Fallen State,” where he interviews individuals on both sides of the political aisle. His most memorable interviews, however, are with his liberal guests.
When asked why they would choose to appear on his show, he replies, “I think they come on because first of all it helps get their message out. I don’t display anger and hatred towards them, you know? It’s not a personal thing to me, just because we disagree or you may call me a name.” Some of his interviews don’t end well, with some guests cursing him out or even walking off set mid-question. Peterson says the key to his success is not playing into the anger they show: “Sometimes they’re yelling at the screen and I’m like, ‘Look, look, look …’ ‘What is it?’ ‘Did you have fun?’ And that kind of throws them off, you know? Because I don’t have the spirit of anger, they can’t pull any anger out of me, they can’t get a reaction from me. And people can only suck the life out of you when you overreact to them. If you overcome that anger, there’s nothing or anyone on Earth that can stop you from moving forward in your life, but you’ve got to overcome the anger so that you don’t have the fear and the doubt.”
Peterson believes the only way to wake up to what he sees as the country’s misgivings is through God, and uniting the country means following religious beliefs like his. “I want to see human beings judging each other based on character, not color, the way it was when I was growing up,” he says. “I especially want to see families again, I want to see men and women getting married, and become good examples for their children so that they can see the right way to go so that when they go out into the world, they won’t be deceived.”
“I want to see good education, not this crap that the kids are getting now: lying about the country, lying about the racists and all that. … I really want to see America great again, and the only way it’s going to happen, we got to bring back the values, the moral values and the belief in God. God, that built this great nation. And I have a sense that we’re on our way right now back to that.”