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Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Takes Issue with President Bush's Black History Month Remarks and White House Appearance with Al Sharpton

Contact: Ermias Alemayehu, BOND, Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, 323-782-1980, 213-804-1872

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 14 /Standard Newswire/ -- On Tuesday, President George W. Bush used an annual White House ceremony recognizing Black History Month to denounce displays of nooses and jokes about lynching. The president's remarks grew out of concern over increased reports of racial tensions. President Bush recognized several prominent black Americans and introduced Rev. Al Sharpton. The following is Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson's statement about what transpired at the White House ceremony:

"President Bush is a decent man and I voted for him twice, but I am disappointed by his words and actions at this Black History Month event. I personally don’t believe in a Black History Month. The achievements of notable black Americans should be incorporated as part of American history and reflected in the history books. The idea of a separate 'Black History Month' is misguided and offensive.

"It's especially disappointing that the president would echo the racially divisive words of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in order to remind white Americans to be more tolerant of other races.

"Mr. President, with all due respect, you were ill advised on this matter. America has moved light years ahead on the race issue--but Al 'the Riot King' Sharpton, whom you publicly validated, has built his career exploiting the races. Recognizing Sharpton is equivalent to promoting David Duke during European American History Month (if such a celebration existed).

"In closing, Mr. President, black Americans don't need hate crime laws, ceremonies to promote Black History Month or a manufactured holiday like Kwanzaa. Instead, they need to turn back to God, restore their families and overcome their hatred of whites. No well-meaning president or government program can do that for them."

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is the founder and president of BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny. He is also the host of "The Jesse Lee Peterson Radio Show." For more information, visit