Politics

Jimmy Carter: Civil Rights Movement Unrealized, Americans Still Racist

| by Kathryn Schroeder
article imagearticle image

Former President Jimmy Carter said in an interview with AARP that the civil rights movement did not fully succeed and that many Americans are still racist.

“The recent publicity about mistreatment of black people in the judicial and police realm has been a reminder that the dreams of the civil rights movement have not been realized. Many Americans still have racist tendencies or feelings of superiority to people of color,” Carter said.

Carter has repeatedly spoken out during President Barack Obama’s terms in office about how be believes racism has led to difficulties for the president.

"When a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the president of the United States as an animal or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler or when they wave signs in the air that said we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kinds of things are beyond the bounds," Carter told students at Emory University in 2009, CNN reported.

"I think people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African American. It's a racist attitude, and my hope is and my expectation is that in the future both Democratic leaders and Republican leaders will take the initiative in condemning that kind of unprecedented attack on the president of the United States," Carter said.

In the AARP interview, Carter also commented on the 2016 presidential election and how much money a potential candidate has reflects their chance of being nominated, or elected.

“I don't think anybody now can hope to be the nominee of the Democratic or Republican Party if they can't raise like a quarter of a billion dollars,” Carter said. “This massive infusion of money automatically polarizes our country. When hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent tearing down the reputation of an opponent in order to get elected, animosity and negativism carries on into Washington.”

Carter does not believe he could have run for president given the conditions today.

“There was harmony among congressmen when I was there, and I got just as much support from Republicans as I did from Democrats. I can't imagine myself as a successful candidate today,” Carter said.

Sources: AARP, CNN

Photo Source: LBJ Foundation/Flickr