Right on the heels of this year’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life, work, and legacy, comes what I can only label as a bunch of Uncle Tom-foolery. After being asked to comment on the verbal sparring between South Carolina Republican presidential candidate debate moderator, Juan Williams and Presidential candidate Newt
“I love to chide Black people about getting a job instead of collecting a welfare check” Gingrich, the African-American uber-conservative “Reverend” Jesse Peterson defended Gingrich’s earlier comments. He argued that Gingrich’s proposed suggestions were spot on accurate. In fact, he takes Gingrich’s ignorance suggestions to a whole deeper level, saying:
“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…I’m going to put them all on the plantation. They need a good hard education on what it is to work.”
There are so many disturbing things going on with his remarks, that all I could do was literally shake my head and hang it in shame. In my opinion, this is self-hate at it finest. I’m not sure whether all of this vitriolic, divisive, racist rhetoric going on this campaign season is a joke or if it’s the sad reality of how some of our GOP candidates (and their associates/supporters) REALLY feel about people of color.
Are we being punk’d? I know the muck racking gets unusually out of hand come campaign time, but this is the worst I have ever seen. And all this even before the South Carolina primaries, which is a known place for “down and dirty politics.”
…But, never mind the fact that “Reverend” Jesse Peterson is Black, himself. So is he going on this little field trip, too? Methinks he should. Because while he argues that Gingrich was “100 percent right” in his assessment of the plight of African Americans, and that Blacks “don’t want to hear the truth,” I argue that neither Gingrich nor Peterson have a clue. But oh, how all of that could change if “Reverend” Peterson was placed on a plantation…by himself. Why you ask?
1). Perhaps “Reverend” Peterson’s tune would change if he experienced the inhumane treatment and cruelty in nearly EVERY form that African Americans had to experience for centuries on the very plantations he wants us all to revisit. Maybe Peterson forgot that slaves were sold like head of cattle and considered 3/5th of a person according to the Constitution. Maybe Peterson forgot that slavery was not a positive experience for those enslaved because families were torn apart, women were raped, and men were emasculated. Maybe Peterson forgot that slavery was hard, arduous, back-breaking labor for men, women, and children that reaped absolutely no benefits for those who labored – be it in the Big House or in the field.
2). Maybe Peterson should take up plantation living to go back to the days where having a sense of autonomy and independence were only things dreamed of. Seems like he needs to revisit that experience in order to really “appreciate” getting crumbs from the GOP’s table. Since slaves aren’t compensated for their labor, but instead rely upon their masters to provide everything like food, shelter, and clothing, perhaps Peterson would enjoy having his very life depend upon the “benevolence” of his masters. Hey, at least he wouldn’t have to worry about those pesky bills, right?!
3). Living on the plantation could be great for Peterson because then, he could get a grip on reality. It may be the case that Peterson could gain some insight on the fact that plantation life is nothing like Gone With the Wind, or any other romanticized notion of sprawling mansions, sunny skies, green pastures, and happy, obedient slaves singing Negro spirituals. Maybe plantation living would serve him well so he can remember how far African Americans have come in order for him to even have a forum to freely speak such ignorance and foolishness.
What do you think about “Rev.” Jesse Peterson’s recent comments? Weigh in the comments section!