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September 16th, 2009
07:03 AM ET

Carter: Racism plays major role in opposition to Obama

(CNN) - Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that racial politics played a role in South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress last week and in some of the opposition the president has faced since taking office.

Former President Carter tells NBC Nightly News that racism has surfaced in opposition to President Obama.

Former President Carter tells NBC Nightly News that racism has surfaced in opposition to President Obama.

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American," Carter told NBC News. "I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that shares the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans."

"That racism inclination still exists, and I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people - not just in the South but around the country - that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply," Carter said.

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Filed under: Controversy • Politics
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Kate

    I'd like someone to replay President Obama's comments that preceded the "Liar" cry. If I recall correctly, wasn't he saying "Those who are saying.....aren't telling the truth." So didn't he draw blood first? I.e., wasn't Obama saying that his opponents were lying? Wasn't he calling them liars?!?!?

    I don't expect an intelligent person to say "You're not telling the truth" in the middle of a discussion about a complicated issue with a lot of nuance, a lot of grey. Such a statement is a discussion stopper. That's because it's a logical fallacy (of "false dilemma" or the "either-or" fallacy). It suggests that the subject is black and white (no pun intended) - that there is only one right and one wrong answer. Such a response is generally used by persons who doesn't understand the intricacies of a subject and want to stop the discussion (but who know they can't just put their hands over their ears and yell "Liar Liar" like those same people did when they were a kid).

    As a lawyer, the president knows very well the difference between "de jure" (what the law says) and "de facto" (what in fact happens). He knows that a provision that "immigrants won't get benefits" won't achieve that result unless there are some provisions describing how to prevent it. But he doesn't give his opponents an intelligent answer (like telling them that their concerns are valid but the details of enforcement will be handled through detailed regulations....). He just calls them "non-truth tellers" (i.e., "liars")

    September 21, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  2. Kenneth Jones

    A slight amendment to my last post:

    If every black individual in the UNITED STATES (not "on the planet") had voted for Obama, he still would have needed the white vote.

    September 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  3. Kenneth Jones

    I don't believe that Mr. Wilson would have blurted out "You Lie" if Mr. Obama had been white. Having said that, however, I don't believe that all opposition President Obama faces is based on him being a black man. And that is the impression that Jimmy Carter gave. Look, every president has faced opposition during his term in office, starting with George Washington. Why is Obama any different? Because he is a black man? What those who are quick to cry "racism" whenever there is opposition to Obama's policies fail to realize is that are actually doing the president harm.

    The "racism" charge will only cripple President Obama's credibility to lead (an basically assure that a black man never holds that office again), because the premise is that a president who happens to be black should be treated differently than a president who happens to be white. And that only reinforces the ridiculous notion that a black man is incapable of leading this country.

    Are there those who resent a black man being president? Of course there is. But to suggest that ALL criticism and opposition directed at Obama is "racist" – is absurd. And for those who would argue that they are NOT saying ALL opposition to Obama is racist – tell me this then, how do you distinguish between opposition to Obama that is indeed racial in its intent and opposition that is sincerely based upon ideological differences only? This is why Carters comments are irresponsible and harmful. Has Mr. Carter and others playing this race card forgotten that Barack Obama was voted into office with the help of whites? If every black individual on the planet had voted for him (and most did) he still would not have won if whites did not vote for him.

    September 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  4. hiram simmons

    I live in the south and everywhere I go, when ever the president is mentioned, the first word out is black. i don't believe all republicans are racist, but all racist's are republicans. They just transfered from the KKK to the republican party and was welcomed with open arms. I am 80 years old and this is the most disrespect to a president in my life time. President Carter was not the best president but he was surely the most honest one ever.

    September 18, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  5. Steve Wright

    In one response to my original post, there's this:
    "Racism in America did not start with Black folk..."; then there is a litany of historical examples of white racism. I could add several examples; having worked in Dr. King's movement before he was murdered. However, everyone, including President Carter, needs to move beyond the 60's. Otherwise, we will all be caught in the past; and caught in a cycle of victimization.

    I'm glad the commentator acknowledged there is Black racism (even though he denies any specific examples- like Van Jones and Rev. Wright); but then the excuses and justification for Black racism begin.

    There's also the confusion of the term "racism" with bigotry or bias. They are three separate things. Racism is the belief of one race being superior to another. It doesn't matter if you're Black or White; if you believe one race is superior, you're a racist. If you believe that Blacks are superior because "Black folk were never in any position of power to carry out such atrocities towards Whites.", you're a racist.

    Joe Wilson was rude and inappropriate to President Obama; but it was not "racist". His apology will never be enough for the liberal bias toward Southerners, nor the bigotry toward conservatives in the MSM.

    Then there's this absurdity:
    "Anyone of color who speaks out against the injustices in American society are labeled racists by Whites."
    My wife is "a woman of color" who speaks out against ALL injustices, as I do. My wife got an MBA and is very successful in the corporate world; not because of what I did for her nor because of affirmative action; but because of her own efforts. BTW, she's more successful than 95% of the white guys in her company.

    Again, there's racism on all sides; especially among Asians. But, it is dramatically better among whites than when I grew up; or even 20 years ago. Based on what my wife hears in private, I don't think Black racism has improved much. I don't see how it can when it's justified by historical victimization that no longer exists.

    September 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  6. M. Serrano

    This country lives in such denial! But the truth is the truth and whether you like it or not is not going to make it any lesser than the truth. It’s simple; if you’re white you probably find it difficult to see racism at work in our country. But…if you are a minority believe me when I tell you will find that racism is rampant. You name it, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians. Go ahead ask them! They will all invariably tell you that they have been a victim of discrimination at one time or another. I applaud Carter for having the guts to denounce what we all know but are fearful of sounding out on. Hurray for Carter

    September 17, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  7. Ron

    Someone here commented on "Black Racists." Isn't that like the cart going before the horse. Racism in America did not start with Black folk. Lynchings were not carried out by Black folk. Riding in the back of the bus or separate public facilities were not created by Blacks. These were "power and control" plays and Black folk were never in any position of power to carry out such atrocities towards Whites. The creation of Federal organizations such as the Equal Opportunity Commission and Acts such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is powerful testimony that racism did and still does exist in America. Yes, there are Blacks who are racists; but one must keep in mind who created them: those who were in power to do so. You can push and oppress a people – no matter what their skin color – to the point where they hate and despise you. So it is not that "nobody wants to talk about Black racists." What you are attempting to do is place Blacks into the same circle as the White racist. You can't do that. It is not the same. What have Blacks – who were powerless – historically ever done to Whites to make them despise us so much? Nothing. Van Jones and Rev. Wright are not racists. Anyone of color who speaks out against the injustices in American society are labeled racists by Whites. When you call them racists, you call everyone in their congregation racists. Comments such as this are indicative that many White folks still don't get it. They still don't understand Black folk. Patriotism in America is just a word made up by White folk to mean agree with them. Racism is a serious problem in our land. That many White folk don't want to hear the truth about the matter is indicative of it. That is why it will always be here; and – like a dreadful disease – will consume us.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  8. Jay

    Carter needs to shut his mouth. People battling against health care has nothing to do with race. Clinton tried to do the same thing and was shut down. I have no problem with a black man being president either. (Yes I’m white) In fact I think Obama is a likable guy! I just cannot bring myself to believe in some of his polices, and that is the basis of which what I disagree with, not his skin color! And come to think of it I cannot stand Biden, so what dose that say? Am I now a raciest against my own color? I think the race card is played because there are no other cards in the deck for some people. Racism falls both ways.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  9. Steve Wright

    Sure racism still exists in America; but nobody in the MSM wants to talk about Black racism from those like Van Jones and Rev. Wright. Nor do I recall Carter "calling out" Black racists.
    Also, where was President Carter when there were fringe extremists in the anti-war demonstrators? Maybe he didn't notice them because the media Carter relies on for information down played those extremists; even though there was a much higher percentage of extremists in leftist demonstrations than among the peaceful folks trying to be heard this year.
    But the true problem created by Carter's comments is that it discounts the very real concerns of a growing, large number of patriotic Americans. To characterize as racist the 99% of Americans, who have traditional values and valid, legitimate grievances.

    September 17, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  10. ELIZABETH

    You have to agree with President Carter. There were millions of people who did not vote for President Obama. While he was on the campaign trail they called him a monkey among many other racial terms. Nothing has changed for them now so they they hit the trail again just repeating the same old stuff. We as a country grow older but we do not mature. Growing up I was told that this country is a melting pot. While that idea is good, it is so far from the truth. For those on the right, there is more of a melt down but surely they are not melting together with the rest of the country. LOOK AT HEALTH CARE

    September 17, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  11. chuck rampart

    Turning "you lie" into a racist statement is to big a stretch even for Elastic Man, and the efforts to stoke this fire is transparent to all monitoring what's important in this news cycle. When one politician calling another a liar is news, and purportedly news about race, we're in trouble as an informed nation. Joe Wilson's error was venue and bluntness. The accusation itself addressed his assessment of the content of Obama's character, not the color of his skin. The insulter apologized; the insulted accepted. ###

    September 17, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  12. todd

    I don't know how much of it is prejudice, but I do feel like there a certain lack of respect that the President gets. Things like the yelling out during his speech to congress; the lack of denouncing the lies that are spread by the law makers, and the constant non- issue bickering that goes on in the house. The sad thing about the U.S. is that, whenever something is done by or commented about a none-white, the question rather it was racially motivated, is always in the back of our minds. Right or wrong , this is what happens when a society is dominated by one race for an extended period of time.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:58 am |
  13. Ollie

    I think racism in this country has to be brought flat on its face. I also believe that some of the protesters are motivated by out President race. I am a naturalized United States citizen and I remember moving to this country twenty something years ago with my mother and younger sisters. Things were bad back then and to me they seems to be getting worse. What are we teaching our children? A debate on healthcare policies or any other policy is one thing but when race is dragged into everything is this country it's disgusting. I am so ashamed, the world is watching us. This is a constant discussion in my household. My husband and I have taught our children to see pass the skin tone of others and to love and respect them for who they are. We should be teaching that in the home, in the classroom, at church, anywhere it can be echoed and RACISM will eventually die. It must DIE. I feel sick.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  14. MarkC

    It's interesting that one of the biggest anti-Semites in the world today, former President Jimmy Carter has the gall to raise the 'race issue' in the current debate over Rep. Wilson's unfortunate outburst the other day. I recall no racially-edged epithet being hurled at the President. It showed poor taste and a total lack of respect, yes, but was in no way that I could discern based on racially-based rancor.

    I believe that Mr. Carter should stick to those things he does best, working with Habitat for Humanity and such groups and stop meddling in either national or international politics, and perhaps we can one day forget that he was probably the worst president of the 20th century, and about his effete response to the Iran crisis during his Administration.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  15. gary smith

    My home town was in northern NJ I now live in North Carolina and I can tell you that racism here comes from all directions. Jimmy Carter is absolutely correct.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  16. Clyde Woodfin

    I agree that racism definitely plays a role in some peoples feelings toward Obama. I believe that this occurs on both sides of the isle. I would also point out that the criticism of Obama's policies coming from the Right are inherent of anything that deals with helping people and essentially anything the Democrats put forth. Anything designed to take care of our own population constitutes names like Communist, Socialist,etc. So, I would say that the criticism of Obama comes from a combination of racism, partisanship, and an everyone for themselves sort of attitude in this country.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  17. Aaron

    Former president Jimmy Carter was completely right! And i am glad as a White man he can come out and tell the truth. This is blatant racism towards President Obama, and it comes from a deep-rooted hate for Black people. Some people hate the fact that there is a BLACK president. Yes it was pure "hate" behind the congressmens disrespectful outburst.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  18. carol young

    totally agree, hope he takes it further and establishes some kind of bigotry forums or classes for people like wilson

    September 17, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  19. Ray Kinserlow

    I live in the South. Don't really know about the the North, but I can give you an iron clad guarantee racism plays a big part in the criticism of President Obama around here.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:49 am |
  20. bob s

    i think the idea that a black man cannot run the country is not only ridiculous but ludicrous. look what a white man (george w bush) did over the past 8 years. george bush performes more traitorous acts to the u.s. and the constitution and is allowed to go scot free. how can a black an make things any worse?

    September 17, 2009 at 7:49 am |
  21. Ron

    I applaud President Carter's courage to "tell it like it really is." Many a White-folk simply do not want to hear something like this; perhaps because they may feel picked on as individuals. But no one should be surprised that America has long suffered from a dreaded disease of White Supremacy; and it appears that it is a disease that will be very difficult to cure if we are in denial of the fact.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  22. Daniel

    Wow, this is a bit odd to me. Last I checked the man was elected president! I'm not saying there are not ignorant racist out there but come if they really made up the majority the man would not be in office. Need a new arguement to fight off the opposition, this one is a bit over played.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  23. Michael Moore

    Former President Carter spoke the truth but Some blacks and white refuse to see what is stand in front of them. "Gorilla glue", Guns at a rally where the President happens to be, so call tea parties tired of the taxes and big government? so where were the Tea baggers the last six too eight years when taxes codes were chanced not in the working mans favor or fail education program or Iraq ( which was a Big Lie). Now, the counrty was left in a state of ruin for the next man to clean up and that happens to be President Obama eventhough it can of easily have been McCain and Palin. So, would Joe Wilson have yelled Lair at McCain or would people be showing up with guns outside where President McCain was speaking? I think we all know those thing along with the racist comments would not be happening. Since, President Obama won now white and black folks feel racsim could not be an factor in the opposition toward President Obama. Please! I sure the are 60 percent of the protesters that are mad about his policies but the 40 percent of the people just hate the fact he won only needed a reason to pull the sheets out and show their true hate. President Carter said it right not all the people are out there being hateful but let us not be blind not to see the true Hate that many of those people have for President Obama and his family.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  24. Wendy

    Calling someone a liar doesnt make a person a racist. Niether does disagreeing with the POTUS. If that made you a racist, then every person of color that disagreed with GWB is and was a ULTRA Racist.

    Former President and Nobel Prize Winner Jimmy Carter is and was a great leader, but he got it wrong here.

    Let me ask all of you, will "racisim" ever truly ever be gone? People hate because of religion, people hate because of the size of a perons body parts, hair color, accent, place of birth. In general PEOPLE Hate for their own reasons. Plenty of people from all walks of life hate because of the color of skin. I am hated because I am a "white girl". That has been said to my face by a former employer of mine.

    So do me a favor, those of you that feel that "racisim" is not gone, get your OWN PERSONAL PREJUDICES in check, and YOU stop hating as well.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  25. Capitolist

    You of all people Jimmy should know that only ONE can judge. Are you serving two masters?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  26. Tante Waileka

    Carter was the worst president of the 20th century. Inflation was over 20% when he 'led' the country (down the garden path).

    Carter should be in jail for being a traitor, he SIDED with Hamas. He is an as* nothing more.
    Racism, sure there is racism in this country. Obama is a racist in point of FACT. Just like Kenye. AFRICAN AMERICANS lead the Racism in this country today, not white people.

    Obuma, btw, DID lie about the agenda of the healthcare bill. It WILL cover illegal ALIENS. We need to do what Canada does (that banana republic got something right!) They charge employers with a FELONY offence if they hire illegals, so there are not the issues with illegals in that socialist country as there are here.

    But playing the 'race card', hmmm, what do you expect from (some not all) african americans who think they are 'entitled' to something because 165 years ago their ANCESTORS were slaves. Anyone heard of surfdom?? We can all argue that our ancestors were slaves, no matter the color of our skin or country of our origin.

    Carter needs to get treated for his stupidity, perhaps a lobotomy would help. He probably has eaten too many spoiled peanuts.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  27. Denis

    Being that I can not respond to the article on President Obama calling Kanye West a Jackass (I guess it is too much for cnn to handle-they closed the blog), I will do so here. Because Obama is half white, does him comment about West constitute racism? Or, how about partial racism? Now that the liberals are calling everyone that disagrees with them racists, we should come up with the varying degrees with which we can qualify each offense. Do you see the hypocrisy here? I take such offense to the idiot liberal mentality on display here. Especially the peanut farmer. This is his attempt to rectify the worst presidency in the history of our country, his own. What right does this fool have to call me a racist because I disagree with the President? I think he should have to go to the floor of the senate and apologize to me and everyone else he offended. Are we to believe that Carter is not a racist? He is from the South, right? He owns/owned a plantation, right? He is white, right? HE IS THE RACIST.

    September 16, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  28. zeke

    yes i think race have everything to do with it because all the president want is to get all our americans insured but that's a bad thing to alot of people. look like everything he comes up with that will help middle class people white or black they are making a big thing out of it. when bush was in office gas prices was at $4 to $6 a gallon that was coming out of our pocket everyday but those people didn't raise hell about. all he want to do is help alot of people just give him a chance.

    September 16, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  29. S Davis

    I watch the teabagging demonstrations with interest, as I'm sure my family pays more in taxes than most of those demonstrators, and would like my tax bill to be reduced, too. But as a woman of color, I don't think I would be welcomed at the demonstrations, from what I can see.

    All of this rage and fear about taxes and health care coming out now would have been more appropriate 2,4, 8 years ago, when it would have helped; but now we are stuck with the mess and don't seem to understand that the status quo is not acceptable.

    September 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  30. DaringD

    So anyone who speaks their mind is a Racist? Shame on Idiot Carter and his Idiot Sheeple.
    I will continue to speam my mind, you have not silenced me. Call me what you want, I call my self FREE

    September 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  31. Amy C.

    It just seems to me that no matter what Obama does, it somehow creates a controversy for the republicans. He can't take his wife on a date without creating a controversy. How many times did Bush go to his ranch in Texas during his presidency? I didn't hear anyone from the GOP getting angry about that one. I don't think it's an overt racism, and honestly I think most people don't realize that their animosity might be stemming from racism, but it does seem like there's about 10 times as much criticism for Obama as there was for previous presidents (hyperbole intended). I would also like to add that if Obama was white or had a more common name nobody would have even thought to ask for his birth certificate. Nobody asks for any other president's birth certificate. I'm pretty sure McCain was born near the Panama Canal (technically at that time I know it was owned by the US), it still begs the question of why nobody asked to see his birth certificate. I also believe that calling any of our presidents a nazi and comparing them to Hitler is incredibly insensitive (it also negates their claims that he's a socialist, socialists and fascists are not the same thing people).

    September 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  32. Ben

    If you're a 71 year old white male like me who grew up in the deep south with ancestors who fought in the Civil War on the side of the south's you know racism when you see it. This is racism. Carter knows it and I know it. Yes, there are those who are not racist and are truly expressing their opinion. They are entitled to do that. I doubt they were the same people who called anyone who disagreed with Bush unpatriotic. But my guess is the ones who scream "unpatriotic" to Bush disenters are the same bunch who are birthers, calling Obama names and didn't want their kids to to listen to his speech. So much of the rherotic is just like what I heard from segregationist for years growing up. It all the same scare tactics. Its about money and power and the chance some one might get something of yours. Make the insecure, uninformed and narrow minded people think there are some who do nothing and they are going to get something of yours.

    September 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  33. dorothy

    Why is Carter getting involved?

    Racism has always been a problem and will not change just because Obama bought his way into the White House.

    Racism is also within other ethnic races why just talk about the 'blacks'?

    September 16, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  34. dorothy

    I don't think racism is the problem.
    I think Obama's principles and his behaviour are a detriment to his presidency and to himself. He is neither black nor white.

    Obama personally 'stands up' for 'black issues' when it is not within his position as president of the U.S. to do so. There are two examples within the last two months that he got involved in and there was no need for it. Sitting in the Rose garden with Biden and the Harvard professor having beer was so low class, not to mention his most recent comment.

    September 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  35. RoseanneMarie

    Wow! This is so way over the top. I have so much respect for President Carter but why would he waste his time with this racism comment. Even if it's true, which I'm sure in part it is, why give any credence to ignorance by drawing attention to it. The same could be said for our beautiful African American sisters and brothers that don't agree with President Obama. Do we say that they are against Obama's health care bill because he is half white? Of course not, because it is not true. Instead of embracing one another like we as Americans said we would when we elected this Brilliant and Real Man for president, we are segregating ourselves again. Our President Barack Obama is here today because two intelligent human beings did not see color or race, and decided to create a child out of love. I wish we could all be like our Presidents parents, and take all of our strengths, and love for each other and our country, and put our heads together and fix our problems. It's amazing how perfect creation born out of tolerance can be. So lets stop the racism game, and learn to work together to create answers to all the problems we are faced with today, and restore our country back to all it's glory, please.

    September 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  36. jewel quigg

    I don't approve or disapprove on what Mr. Jimmy Carter said about
    Africa-American and race. But Throughout the years, I have seen good and bad presidents, They say one thing and do another. If this president will do what he said. Let him, If not ! BUT A WOMAN IN THE
    OFFICE. I beleave she can do the job. { i'm disable, over 57, and white }

    September 16, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  37. John Alesso (Author: The American Freedom Formula)

    Jimmy Carter has done wonderful things in his charity work with Habitat for Humanity. He should stick to those things that actually improve America.

    He had finally gained a legacy worth having... and then this. Carter was a failure as president, but he could have permanently and honorably changed his legacy of failure if he had just stayed out of his most prominent area of failure... politics.

    His attempt to racially polarize Americans morally and politically erases any good he has done. It is not helping the President, and it is only enciting a new burst of racism in America.

    Jimmy, your legacy has now reached a new level of failure. STOP LIVING IN THE PAST. WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT AND EVEN THE RNC HAS A BLACK PRESIDENT.

    While racism absolutely still exists in pockets of our society, it's damaging effects have been diminished to far below the hate that drives your politically motivated hatemongering. Yes, Jimmy, by making those remarks you have committed a HATE CRIME.

    Welcome to your NEW legacy.

    September 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  38. Tina

    Oh, thank God, someone has the guts to come forward with the truth. Thank you, Mr. Carter! No one else has the backbone to admit that racism is the driving force behind the "Tea Party Twits" The media and politicians do not want to touch this issue with a ten foot pole. Racist behavior was seen at the Palin campaign rallys in Florida, but totally glossed over by the media, including CNN. Did anyone believe it was going to stop there? And Ms. Palin did nothing to stop it. In fact, she encouraged it. That is the way wing-nut politicians are handling it, encourage, foster, and nurture the discourse, with the hope of their objective,kill anything President Obama. Kind of like hiding behind the white sheets. Some might say, "playing the race card". Sorry guys, this race card was already played by you. Fueled and propagated by you. If the Tea Party organizers were legitimate, they should have not tolerated or allowed the hate filled signs and behavior this past weekend. Not too credible. Mr Wilson, surely does not want us to believe "he just lost control", bull crap! It was contrived and planned. His past record speaks for itself. If it walks like a duck and speaks like a duck, it is a duck.

    September 16, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  39. Susan Campbell

    Thank you Jimmy Carter for vocalizing what so many people are thinking and feeling but afraid to speak. I am sick of people saying to me that "racism is over, we elected a black president." Did everyone get the racist ideas zapped out of their head when President Obama entered the White House...get real. We have made long strides but the battle is not won.

    September 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  40. JEZEBEL58

    What would you say to those people who are walking around with signs of Hitler and their president dressed as a witch doctor,a joker and send him back to Africa and people shouting Barack Hussein Obama and sneering.These people should check their history to see how the black people got to the United States and think to themselves why were the blacks kidnapped and put in chains and brought to this side in droves.They were brought to work the cotton fields and plantation and now that they can speak for themselves and are hardworking people,we should go back to where we come from.Mr.Carter is right,it's all about racism because these people are not getting the correct information they are going on the internet and getting information that they believe is right.These people should be trying to fix their health care system with their insurance companies and doctors instead of demonstrating against something they don't really don't understand.What do you think would happen if Mr.Obama gives a speech to the american people that he is leaving the health care system as it is,I am positive these people would find something else to demonstrate against.Bin Laden is still out there and the americans are fighting against their leader,go figure.

    September 16, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  41. Diane

    Maybe if people stopped screaming Nazi, Socialist, Communist ect and just stuck to a civil exchange of ideas, people wouldn't think they were being racist.

    September 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  42. jason kelley

    anyone who brings up racism when someone disagrees with the president or his administration is an IDIOT! Munir- (a comment from above) outbursts like this are not "unheard of". Democrats have done this a few times and a big deal was never made about it, Harry Reid called Bush a "loser" in 2005 but i guess when the shoe's on the other foot its ok.. sounds like a double standard to me..

    September 16, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  43. Judye

    Had JC Watts been a candidate for President,I would have voted for him.Being born in the south does not automatically make you a racist.What about New Haven,Conn. There will always be those who look only at the easiest answer,but do not look deeper.Read the Constitution...then read US and world history.See how dangerously close we are coming to losing the liberty our ancestors gave their lives to preserve.No matter who is in the White House,on the Supreme Court,or in Congress,NONE of these has the Constitutional right to MANDATE that EVERY CITIZEN be forced to purchase anything!Again,READ THE CONSTITUTION,and if you find that power,PLEASE show me where it is. Already,there is buzz about additional tax on soft drinks,limits on fast foods,bike trails and paved walks so children will walk to school or ride their bikes,so they will be healthier.How many of our Washington Elites are planning to send their children to school on their bikes,or pat them on the head and send them walking off to school? The health care bill HR3200 as posted on HR site had millions designated for these walks,and bike paths.If govt. takes away our free choice and takes over insurance so ALL can be covered,Why work?We can all drop out,collect food stamps,WIC for our babies,housing allowances,and let big brother tell us what to eat,what to wear,and we can bow down and praise our generous leaders.How long would America last?When would the presses quit printing cash,and who do you think would survive.Not the masses,but those now in charge with NO TERM LIMITS.When your biggest worry is re-election,something is VERY WRONG>

    September 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  44. jazzjmg

    I agree with President Carter... and I'm shocked that it took so long for it to be said. An african-american dare not say it . . .so we waited. And an 80+ year old man stood up and faced it head on. Thank you President Carter

    September 16, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  45. jim vicalvi

    If it wasn't coming from a traitor of carter's demented, senile status this might be humorous. They have both gone around the world telling people how bad the USA is.carter because of his senility and obummer because of his mentor wright {20 years worth}. obummer's father only made a small "donation" at the beginning of his life and then he was carried by a white woman for 9 months and raised by this same woman for most of his life. obummer is not black. He is a white man with a tan. People spend millions of dollars getting tans Just think of the money that obummer has saved. Racist? Just sounds like some kind of a diabolical plot by the radical left. carter just smoked to many goobers.

    September 16, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  46. johnson

    Yeah Jimmy, it was all about race. Get a clue – there are actually some people who have not fallen under the spell of Obama and believe he is the second coming of Christ. Your opinions get more and more bizarre everyday.

    September 16, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  47. Diane L. Pelletier

    Regarding the health bill. I totally agree with Pres. Jimmy Carter on just how racist Joe Wilson is, but we really can't just leave it there. Finally for the first time we now know which of our elected officials in congress are racist. For those that we thought were (republicans and yes even some democrats) racists it's all out of the dirtey little secret closet and all I can say is shame on all of them oh forgot they have no shame and really don't care. Most of these people will get reelected in 2010 and 2012 so that tells you where are nation is and shame on all of us. Will it change not in my life time it just plain makes me sick to my stomach. We should be better than that. I am a 64 year old woman, a mother, a grandmother and I am white am my father who was a red neck taught me never look at a persons color look at their hearts and who they really are. Diane from Calif.

    September 16, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  48. Phil Slaughter

    I believe President Jimmy Carter's remark about some whites not believing a black is qualified to be president is right on the mark. I am a 62 year old white man and have seen many changes over my lifetime regarding race relationships. I am old enough to remember separate schools, restrooms and etc. Things are much better now, than in the 60's. However, I have white friends and relatives who would not vote for a black person. However, that being said I have felt a few times some blacks I know are also racists. Like I stated, I have seen many changes in my lifetime, but do not expect to live long enough to see the day when everyone views people as people and not black, white, brown or yellow. I voted for President Obama because his views are closer to my views.

    September 16, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  49. Martell

    I am so tired of race being an excuse for incompetence.

    So we don't agree as Americans, the race case is simply showing that you have no other substance in a debate.

    My backround 100% Mexican, 1st generation ...but I am simply AMERICAN. ....and I have NEVER used it to benefit my ambitions in life..... please shut up already with the victim role.....it's old and weak !

    It is obvious Mr Carter has nothing intelligent to add to our country's current and past needs.
    Please Ms Carter, keep him home.... off the air.

    September 16, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  50. Euro-American

    I have lived in Europe for many years and know the parliamentarian system there first hand. First and most important: these countries have more than 2 parties. You know why? That keeps the big parties honest (as much as possible). America needs either more independent representatives, who will only decide with their conscience and not party affiliation, or we need at least two more parties in this country. And let the ultra right come out with their own party instead of hiding inside the Republican Party. What are we afraid off what we don't have already, but in a covert version hidden within. And Mr. Wilson certainly qualifies for their party's chair. This is a democratic country and it's citizens majority will deal with him. And it will be much easier for real Republicans to distance themselves from him. As the 2-party system works now they can't.

    September 16, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  51. Paul Mysza

    i get racial text messages, and emails from people i know almost everyday. i am continually telling them to stop this nonsense. i have not talked with some of these people for some weeks now. these people are the same people who are calling our president a communist and/or marxist. it is amazing, that during the clinton admin. these same people never made these kind of remarks. they didn't like him, basically because he was a democrat. that was their only reason for not liking him, but with Pres. Obama, these people are going way overboard with their remarks. Their opening line usually includes the "N" word. This is a good indicator that these people are racists. Their parents are even worse. They tell me that this is how they were brought up and that things round here will never change. I was hoping for change.

    September 16, 2009 at 10:45 am |
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