Hatewatch

Black Pastor Who Thanked God for Slavery Hosts Anti-NAACP Rally

Barbara Coe, head of the anti-immigrant hate group California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR) and a self-described member the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which considers black people a “retrograde species of humanity,” will be speaking this Sunday at a tea party rally “to expose NAACP lies and their big government agenda.”

Ho hum, you say? Read on.

The rally, which is scheduled to coincide with the NAACP’s 102nd annual convention, is being sponsored by the South Central L.A. Tea Party. Its founder is Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a controversial black minister and radio personality who once thanked God for slavery; has said that most blacks “lack moral character;” and who in 2009 wrote an article headlined “Obama hates the white man,” for the far-right World Net Daily.

His beef with the NAACP? According to the press release announcing Sunday’s rally, Peterson’s tea party group alleges that, “NAACP has made numerous false allegations of ‘racism’ against Tea Party groups, but has yet to provide a shred of evidence backing up their baseless claims.” (This charge against the NAACP is false. A full report on extremism in the tea party movement can be found at teapartynationalism.com).

Peterson, a former follower of both Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan, has some surprising links to open racists and nativists besides his connection to CCC member Barbara Coe.

Self-described white separatist Virginia Abernethy, who sat on the editorial advisory board of the CCC’s The Citizen’s Informer, told Max Blumenthal of The Nation that she considers Peterson a friend. He was among the putative leaders of Choose Black America, a now-defunct anti-immigrant group launched by the Federation for American Immigration Reform – which itself is a hate group founded and funded by John Tanton, the racist architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement. In May 2006, Peterson faced down protestors who called him a “Sambo” when shared a stage with founding father of the anti-Minuteman movement Jim Gilchrist – who has been known to turn a blind eye to white nationalists in the past. (For more on Peterson, his connections to white nationalists, and his failed attempted to launch a yearly “National Repudiation of Jesse Jackson Day,” see Blumenthal’s excellent 2005 profile, “The Minister of Minstrelsy.”)

Other scheduled speakers at Peterson’s rally include Obama-reviling San Diego talk show host Rick Roberts; anti-abortion Oakland Pastor Walter Hoye; Muslim-bashing rabbi Nachum Shifren; and “Tea Party Review” publisher William Owens, Jr., who is black.

They’re a motley crew. Roberts’ website currently features an article claiming that “Obama doesn’t care about black people.” Hoye was jailed in 2009 for violating a city ordinance requiring protestors to stay at least eight feet from anyone entering an abortion clinic. Shifren spoke at an anti-Muslim rally put on in 2010 by the anti-Semitic English Defence League, saying, “To all my Jewish brothers who have called me a Nazi, and have asked why I’m poking my nose into England’s business, I say to them they don’t have the guts to stand up here and take care of business.”

Peterson should feel right at home.