Former President Jimmy Carter believes a "resurgence of racism" is occurring in the U.S.
During a Sept. 15 keynote address at a New Baptist Covenant summit in Atlanta, Carter said white Americans who do not speak out against segregation or discrimination when they witness it, for fear of losing a “privileged” position in society, are making “discrimination and animosity and hatred and division” acceptable, The Associated Press reports.
Carter, who convened the New Baptist Covenant in 2007 to unite Baptists of different races, ethnicities and theologies, is calling on Baptist leaders to make a difference in their communities and set an example.
The former Democratic president did not want the event to be political, but did note that there is “some degree of embarrassment” regarding the presidential campaign between his party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton, and Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Carter finds the multiple races, ethnicities and religions present in the U.S. form a “beautiful mosaic” and says the country has been resilient after previous deep divisions, such as during the Civil War.
"I think there will be a positive reaction after this election," Carter said. "I pray it will come out a certain way, but I think there will be a lot of lessons learned. And I think the average person in America now will be looking at how to do better things, how to have a superb American policy on peace and human rights and other aspects of life. I think we'll raise our standards as a public and I believe our next president will accommodate that inclination."
Carter has been outspoken about combating racism in America for some time.
During an interview with The New York Times in May, he remarked on how he views Trump’s campaign and its use of the racism that is present in the country.
“I don’t feel good, except for one thing: I think the country has been reawakened the last two or three years to the fact that we haven’t resolved the race issue adequately,” he said in the interview, according to The Hill.
“[Trump] has tapped a waiting reservoir there of inherent racism,” Carter said.
He added that Trump is only one example of GOP animosity towards President Barack Obama that shows “heavy racial overtone.”
“I think there’s a heavy reaction among some of the racially conscious Republicans against an African-American being president,” Carter said.