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This past week, I debated Professor Michael E. Dyson on “The Case For/Against Reparations for African Americans” at the annual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists in Milwaukee. Condace Pressley, president of the NABJ, had invited me to participate in this forum to argue against reparations.
The debate was poorly organized and unfairly administered from the start. Professor Dyson arrived 30 to 40 minutes late, yet was given both the opening and closing statements. And he received overwhelming applause from an audience of nearly 300 (liberal) black journalists, even though the main thrust behind his words were personal attacks against me. He and others called me “ignorant” and I was labeled the “white man’s boy.”
As he wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times of the debate later, “If you’ve ever wondered what a self-hating black man who despises black culture and worships at the altar of whiteness looks like, take a gander at the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson.”
In my opening remarks, I stated that black Americans don’t need reparations, that instead what they need are intact, two-parent homes with good fathers leading them. I stressed that blacks are suffering nowadays primarily due to the lack of moral character and not due to racism. I also stressed that education is important, but it will not repair the moral and physical damage that has taken place over the last 40 years at the behest of the fraudulent civil-rights leaders.
My words were met by the crowd of black journalists with boos, jeers and laughter. This was curious to me, because I always thought that the responsibility of a journalist is to be objective and look at both sides of an issue. But these “journalists” instead attempted to degrade me because my point of view did not align with their motives.
During the question-and-answer portion of the debate, Vernon Jarrett, a founder and former president of the NABJ approached the microphone. He scornfully asked me, “Are you for real? Do you believe what you’re saying? You’re just a pawn of the white man. You have this little white boy [indicating my assistant] running around passing out your newsletters.”
I answered the man’s insulting comments this way, “I’m saddened by your statements, because you’re an old fool, you have no wisdom. Normally older people gain wisdom.” I then had my assistant, Doug, who actually is a light-skinned black man, stand up so the audience would see him.
Mr. Jarrett answered, “Don’t get me started – I’ll talk about your mama!” This from a man billed as one of the nation’s foremost media commentators on race. Amazing.
Michael Dyson is popular amongst most blacks because he uses his pedestal as an “educated” man to justify blacks’ rage and hatred, and never demands that blacks take responsibility for themselves and their own failures and character flaws. The agenda of many of the black “journalists” in attendance at this debate is clearly more important than the truth and, because they are without the truth, the best they can counter my words with are personal attacks, boos and degrading laughter rather than facts and real solutions.
I pose a threat to Professor Dyson and these black journalists because I don’t hate whites and I call on others to do the same. Dyson knows that if blacks overcome their anger, then they’ll no longer listen to him and he’ll lose his influence. It’s no wonder, then, that Dyson attacked me as he did – he and these black journalists tried to squash any threat whatsoever to their power base, and there is nothing more sacred to elite blacks than their own personal wealth and power.
Unfortunately for them, I’m still here. And as long as I am, I will continue to fight for the well being of all people – a battle that will forever threaten the power of those like Michael Dyson and the National Association of Black Journalists.