Now everyone's tea'd off

Jesse Lee Peterson hit all the right (or wrong) buttons: Gays aren't born that way, most African Americans hate whites, and President Obama is the worst thing to happen to this country. In his interview with Patt Morrison published Wednesday, the South L.A. tea party activist also had harsh words for civil rights activists and called the Democratic Party platform "anti-God" and "anti-anything that's good."

To say the reader reaction (about two dozen of you sent letters) was mixed would be an understatement; starkly polarized would be more accurate. Many said Peterson's views amount to hate; others called him a hero. There was no middle ground.

Here is a selection of those letters.

— Paul Thornton, letters editor

Bakersfield resident Konrad Moore weighs Peterson's blacks-vs.-Latinos take on immigration reform:

"Peterson's criticism of Obama highlights the divisive philosophy of the tea party.

"Support for immigration reform does not reflect a binary choice involving a preference for one group over another. Rather, it reflects an interest in affirming America's grand tradition of extending opportunity to those immigrants who contribute to the nation's growth and who are destined to help define its future."

Michael Colavitti of Chatsworth is heartened by Peterson's words:

"I thank God for Americans like Peterson. He gives me hope for the future of this great country.

"Self-inflected victimhood and perpetual reliance on government for one's sustenance — crossing all racial boundaries — is a major hurdle that we must get over to attain self-

respect, contentment and an appreciation for what God has blessed us with in this country.

"'Leaders' like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Obama are doing nothing but a disservice to the black community already struggling with these issues."

Ventura resident Brenda Tzipori discusses same-sex marriage:

"First, I snickered behind my hand, then outright guffawed while reading Peterson's responses.

"Obama is the worst thing to happen to America? Really? Obama's leadership dwarfs the travesties of legalized enslavement and Jim Crow?

"Peterson believes himself fit to counsel gays. He states that homosexuality is only about sex. Guess what: Heterosexuality is also about sex. Interracial marriage was once illegal in many states based on the same argument Peterson makes against homosexuality.

"With no basis in fact, Peterson states same-sex marriage will destabilize society. News flash: Authentic problems like poverty, lack of healthcare, unequal access to education and gun violence have that market cornered."


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