Jimmy Carter Says Attacks On Obama About Race

Former President Jimmy Carter has brought his peanut-farming/house-building two cents into the Obama opposition fracas by saying that racism is behind a lot of the more fevered criticism. Carter said some white people are “afraid” of a black president and believe that African Americans are less qualified.

“I think it’s based on racism,” Carter said at a town hall held at his presidential center in Atlanta. “There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.”

The Georgia Democrat said the outburst was a part of a disturbing trend directed at the president that has included demonstrators equating Obama to Nazi leaders.

“Those kind of things are not just casual outcomes of a sincere debate on whether we should have a national program on health care,” he said. “It’s deeper than that.”

More after the jump.

And then there’s this “American’s being attacked by their own government” tirade from a Tea Party leader who calls the president the “Racist-In-Chief” and an Indonesian Muslim.

One) Where do they find these people?

Two) Why do they claim to want a “civil” debate then engage in ad hominen attacks on the president?

Three) Why won’t they get off my TeeVee?

There will be some who will argue that Carter was out-of-line for arguing that this healthcare debate that’s not about healthcare is really about racism. But what else is it? I’ve studied socialism. I know what socialism is and this, my friend, ain’t socialism. Fidel Castro is laughing at you. So is Hugo Chavez if you think healthcare reform and the bailouts are indicative of a socialist wave coming through the country. Especially when the bailouts started under the previous administration. The government also grew tremendously under the previous administration and there was barely a peep from these Tea Party people so they can’t be suddenly AFRAID of their government now if the Patriot Act didn’t even worry their little heads at night — along with unwarranted wire taps and internet surveillance.

And Mr. Tea Party in this clip ADMITS that the screaming isn’t about healthcare but about the president himself and what they perceive him as doing. If it’s not about healthcare and if the socialism banter is a red herring, then what else could it be? Are people really that worked up and crying because of Cap and Trade? Are allusions to Nazi Germany common sense when the Nazis were in the war-making, people exterminating business? Last time I checked, the Obama Administration had not floated a “let’s cart all the white folk off to Guantanamo, but leave the Italians because they’re close enough” ethnic cleansing program. Stop insulting the evil that was Nazi Germany by comparing a president who reminds me more of Mr. Rogers than Hilter.

Of course, I would like to ban people from calling people Nazis altogether, from both sides of the aisle, as it’s insulting because no one has remotely come close in American political life to actually being a Nazi. I mean, if wanting everyone to have health care makes you a Nazi, then I’m a Nazi for holding doors open for little old ladies. It makes no sense. If it doesn’t have a totalitarian sheen to it and some warmongering meets let’s kill off an entire group of people, it ain’t a Nazi.

Which leaves us with Jimmy Carter’s argument, that this is really about Obama being a black man and all this socialist, secret Muslim talk is merely code for “black guy scary.” It doesn’t matter that it’s Will Smith and not Wesley Snipes, “black guy all da same and all black guy scary.” No one thought the world was ending when Bill Clinton tried to kick start Universal Healthcare. There were complaints from the Republicans and the industry and Harry and Louise ads and mocking tones about “Hillarycare.” But there wasn’t crying and screaming in the streets mixed with gun toting and swastikas by a recalcitrant minority of people who seem unable to grasp that election ’08 is over and Sarah Palin lost.

(I’m going with a hunch that McCain is probably too mainstream for these folks. The whole tacky affair does have a Palin-esque quality to it though.)

I’m all for free speech, so part of me wants to leave the whackadoos to themselves to whackadoodle their little hearts out. What concerns me is all the fomenting of irrational hatred for the president that goes beyond his policies and to actual attacks on the man’s character and being. That all the provokers like Mr. Tea Party and Glenn Beck and others who poke the bear, stoke the fire and agitate, agitate, agitate for ratings don’t care that it only takes one person to soak up all this insanity as the literal truth and translate it into violence. The fringe is fired up all right, but fired up into what?

46 thoughts on “Jimmy Carter Says Attacks On Obama About Race

  1. Carter, we know that white people ain’t just start becoming prejudiced. I think Obama just forgot. This should tell us all something about "how’ Obama really got in office. I’m not sure this thing is always about "votes". We should have learned that lesson from G. Bush back in 2000. When Obama gets some balls, that’s when all this stuff will quell. Until then, they are going to keep pushing the punk around. Man up! They are really afraid of the people behind Obama, they are just too afraid of the jews. Let’s be for real.

  2. Carter stated the painfully obvious. Painful to thinking people, because we know how overwhelmingly sick the majority of Americans really are. Painful to the Republicans, "tea baggers," "birthers," and the like because it must be extremely disturbing to face what they’ve been trying to conceal. Let’s face it, people America — and all it stands for — will soon come crashing down. Too bad it has to happen on President Obama’s watch!

  3. not all white people are racist, and not all white people who criticize obama are criticizing because he’s black. people ARE allowed to not like his policies and/or actions. trying to guilt people into agreeing with something they don’t agree with by calling them racist is a stupid way to attempt to garner support.

  4. Danielle, actually, Limbaugh and Coutler are Nazis. Hee, hee. But that’s beside the point. To the wingnuts who can’t understand why Obama is so charismatic and intelligent, he is Adolf Hitler, Stalin and the Anti-Christ all rolled into one.

  5. @swiv,Not all white people are racist. But a lot of them are.Not all opposition to healthcare reform is race-based. But a lot of it is.If the shoe doesn’t fit you, don’t wear it. I seriously doubt that Danielle–or most others here–believe that white people are some kind of monolith.

  6. Carter is right. This is not the "race card" that some think black people carry in their back pocket for all occasions. This is not in our imagination. This is real and scary and serious. I just talked to a friend who works in a hunting and fishing sports store in Backwoods, USA. He says that gun sales have sky rocketed since Pres. Obama got in office, and the kind of ammunition people are buying is not for killing possum. People are buying hundreds of dollars of ammunition that can shoot through military tankers and ain’t enough deer in the country to kill. It makes me wonder if the FBI is watching these people like they should because that is more suspect that Timothy McVay purchases. White supremacist group membership has skyrocketed for the first time in years. Nobody can tell me this isn’t about race. What makes me boil is that when someone finally does cross that line into violence, Beck, Rush (well maybe not Rush), that pastor praying for someone’s death, and these other instigators (Fox News crew) will all act shocked at the outcome. "No one could have predicted this" will spill from their lips. Really? I would love to hear Secret Service tell how much their work load has grown. If I were a betting woman, I’d put money on the correlation between Rush/Beck commentary and an increase in threats against the Pres.

  7. @ Juliai would hope not. but what’s a lot? is that most? is it 1 percent, is it 10 percent? is it 40 percent? a lot of black, hispanic, and asian people are prejudiced/bigoted and if given the oppurtunities that white people have given/taken/whatever, they’d oppress people based on their race, too.

  8. msladee:Considering that candidate Obama campaigned strongly on reinstituting the assault weapons ban during the Democratic primaries and Eric Holder said the Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban is it any surprise that folks want to buy stuff now?Julia:Instead of using a nebulous word like "a lot" why not give us a percentage of white people that you think are racist?

  9. @swiv – I agree with you on "not all white people are racist, and not all white people who criticize obama are criticizing because he’s black." But what is missing is that some white people are doing just that and it’s THEIR voices that are being heard loud and clear. Unfortunately, the ones that have legitimate policy concerns are not speaking out about those in their camp that are racially motivated.Many want to be naive to the fact that race plays a part in almost every part of American life whether subtle or in your face. There’s no such thing a "race card" because race IS an issue. We are all dealing with the negative effects of our past, or for many whites, reaping the benefits of our past. We forget that because the law now states that we are equal that it was just less than 50 years ago that Jim Crow was still in place. It’s hard to make a lot of ground as a whole when there are people that are still alive that lived through those times. Laws can not take away what people think and many think the same way they thought 50 years ago and pass those sentiments on to their children.I could go on, but Danielle has rules about lengthy comments 🙂

  10. Could someone explain to me why in the world ASSAULT weapons are being sold anyway!!! The very word seems criminal to me. These are military type weapons, why should regular people be stocking up on military weapons unless they’re planning to go to war!?!@swiv – people have always found a reason to oppress people, in the US it’s based on race (color of skin/ethnicity), in Africa it’s based on tribes, in Asia it’s based on something else. But there are consequences for ALL of it. Here, we’re still dealing with the consequences. And keep in mind the oppressor will try to continue to oppress at all costs because they don’t want to let go of their power. Wouldn’t that mean that race is still a huge issue in this "post racial society" (that’s a little sarcasm because I believe there’s no such thing)?

  11. Mannnnnnn I wish I could have responded earlier. Well, I am home now lol. I found this hilarious. White folks pullin the "Black" race card. Where Pres. Obama didn’t want to cry racism, he knew someone else would. Lo and behold, we have decent White folks willing to call a spade, a spade. Pres. Carter isn’t the first White guy to say the truth. Tim Wise said it before on CNN, I believe. But, I know more and more White people are going to admit this truth because simply, this obvious racism has severely affected THEIR progress. What Obama does isn’t for Black people alone. It’s for the nation. So, White people should be crying racism at this point and I am glad some have the courage to do so.

  12. Tiffany:If two white people are standing side by side and both are criticizing Obama how can you tell which is doing so b/c of racism and which is doing so purely on policy reasons? I can’t read minds and I’m guessing that neither can you. Also the word "assault weapon" was coined to refer to a very specific type of weapon. However, the word has been over used by anti-gun liberals to refer to any gun they don’t approve of and to scare people which appears to have worked in your case. In any event, I would refer you the 2nd Amendment.

  13. @ Scott:"Instead of using a nebulous word like "a lot" why not give us a percentage of white people that you think are racist?"You want a percentage?I’d say 40%. But that number might vary depending on where you are in the country. 40% in Massachusetts might be too high, but in Mississippi it’s probably too modest.But let me tell you something, based–like that percentage–purely on personal experience: sadly, no one has the capacity to hate on African-American’s like other African-American’s. And the one group that may are Black immigrants from other parts of the world.

  14. Once more @ Scott: "If two white people are standing side by side and both are criticizing Obama how can you tell which is doing so b/c of racism and which is doing so purely on policy reasons?"If one of them has a t-shirt on that says ‘JEFFERSON DAVIS IS MY HOMEBOY’, that’s probably the racist.

  15. If the criticism is policy based, "like 856 billion for the cost of the health care program is a lot of money." then it’s legitimate. When it’s "I want my country back!" without any idea why they think the country left them, it’s race and stupidity based. Most of the folks protesting can’t begin to articulate why they’re protesting. Challenging health care would require thought. After eight years of reflexive/reactionary policy making, folks have gotten out of the habit of thinking about what the impact of a policy will be.

  16. @ scott: if person A is voicing their concern over a particular policy (like being worried that universal healthcare will raise their taxes and they’re barely making it) and person B is saying he’s a Nazi and wants to destroy America, I would have to say person B’s criticism is due to race. Mind you a lot of racism is based in fear that power and entitlement whether real or not is being lost (ex. "I want my America back").By the way I do understand the 2nd Amendment. But since this particular amendment has been such a source of controversy, it’s often based on who can argue they’re point the best and which judges are open to both arguments. That in point, I still don’t understand why people would stock up on military type weapons and ammunition unless they’re planning to go to war. These guns are for shooting people not animals.Alas, I must get back to work 🙁 Thanks for the great discussion!

  17. khia213:So you are assuming that b/c people may not be able to articulate their reason(s) for opposing socialized medicine that they are racists? That is quite an assumption to make.

  18. @swiv: please see: Your Experience Is Not Representative Of Everyone, A In B Situation Is Not Equivalent To X In Y Situation, and You’re as Bad as They Are at http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#wrong@scott: interesting derailing tactic. you’re missing my point, but I think you know that.At both of you: why so opposed to notion that SOME people’s objections to Obama are race-based? (And, for God’s sake, don’t be ridiculous and ask me to quantify "some.") If YOUR objections aren’t based on race, fine, but why defend others’ motivations?

  19. "If two white people are standing side by side and both are criticizing Obama how can you tell which is doing so b/c of racism and which is doing so purely on policy reasons?"Scott, it’s usually pretty obvious. Someone actually criticizing Obama’s policies, is criticizing his policies. You know, "I disagree with the President’s plan for health care reform because of reasons a, b and c."OTOH, what we’re hearing a lot of are *not* policy discussions. We’re hearing people say they disagree with the President because he’s an Indonesian Muslim who was born in Kenya and a Nazi Marxist who wants to create concentration camps to lock up white people. WTF? And when policy is brought into the discussion, what they’re saying is flat out lies ("death panels" for instance, or "keep the government’s hands off Medicare"). I’m sure there are many people with valid, non-racist criticisms of the President’s policies. But they’re getting drowned out by the racist, crazy ones. And that’s partly the fault of the media, which loves to cover such stuff.

  20. @ Juliawho said i was opposed? it happens. and it’ll always happen. SOME portion of the population will be prejudiced and bigoted. and that some includes ALL races. but to "guilt" people into supporting someone by saying their racist for disagreeing is a silly concept. @ Tiffanyof course people will find reasons to oppress others. the only reason that race is an issue in america and not in other places of the world is because other places in the world are racial monoliths. the minority population is small and miniscule. however, the minority population will experience racism and prejudice. and this will happen anywhere, in africa, in asia. point is that all races contain people who are prejudiced and bigoted. and the percentages between the races isn’t going to be all that different. the only thing white people have in this country is the ability to act on those prejudices. that doesn’t mean that the bigoted feelings and thoughts of people of color in this country any more right.

  21. "So you are assuming that b/c people may not be able to articulate their reason(s) for opposing socialized medicine that they are racists? That is quite an assumption to make."If you (generic you, not you personlly. Scott) can’t say why you oppose something, why are hollering so loudly about it? Why are you going to protests about it? To give a personal example, I believe in global warming, but I can’t explain the science behind it, it just sounds to me like it’s true. Since I can’t articulate my reasons, I’m defintely not going to put myself in a position of being a spokesperson for the global warming cause.

  22. @ juliathat site is interesting. was it written by someone who sees discrimination and racism in everything? i wonder if this is the be all and end all to supposed "intellectual discourse."

  23. "Since I can’t articulate my reasons, I’m defintely not going to put myself in a position of being a spokesperson for the global warming cause."he’s right. there are other reasons that one disagrees with certain topics. and not all who disagree come from an informed point of view. and not all who come from an informed point of view come from a racist one, either.

  24. @ ScottI can see how taking the one statement (gun sales) out of the context of an entry (gun sales+ ammunition type+ lack of legal prey +increased white supremacist group membership in certain areas of the country) would make that statement seem irrelevant to this discussion. Yes, the policy reform could possibly, (but not probably) be the reason for the phenomenon I described in that area. I had hoped that the context clues around that particular statement would show that I was not referring to people stocking up on guns for the hell of it. I find a difference between John Do buying what I consider heavy artillery and Jon Doe, card carrying member of the KKK buying heavy artillery. Maybe I didn’t make this association clear in my post, so I hope this clarifies the confusion.

  25. Can’t everyone just admit that it is impossible to live in America without being a little prejudiced (at best) and racist (at worst) to one group or another? To some degree our history has affected us all, it’s inescapable. You don’t build a nation based on white supremacy, domination, and a whole lot of other-ing then expect everything to be hunky-dory, no matter who you are. That said.When Jimmy says the attacks are about race, we all know who he’s talking about. He’s talking about the birthers and the deathers. He’s talking about the assault rifle-toting fringe. He’s talking about those screaming for the return of "their" America. He’s talking about a seeping of the hostile fringe into the mainstream. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t think that every white person with an opposing viewpoint hates black people.

  26. Former President Carter is absolutely correct. But before we go too far down this road, let’s all acknowledge that the 70k tea baggers (if you watch Fox that means 2 million) do not nor ever will represent most of white Americas’ views (it may feel like it some times, but it doesn’t). It is a very dangerous thing to stir up race relations, because there are many who find comfort in castigating each of us into villainous roles simply because of our skin color. As someone stated on here before, people and their views are not monolithic. There are those who would defend the tea baggers as simple white folks who do not agree with the President, and some will even tote out a man of color to show that these "events" are multiracial. They do this in part because they are trying to convince mainstream white folks that it’s okay to support them, but by and large, we see through their ignorance and hate just as easily as you.Kudos for former President Carter who continues to be the favorite whipping boy of the Right. Whether you agree with him or not, he is one of the few President’s that arguably went onto greater "things" after his term in office.Peace.Rick Beagle

  27. Can someone please tell me if you’re not informed then how can you oppose something? You can’t oppose something if you don’t know what it is, can you? Well that’s logically speaking, but these birthers and other crazies obvious are basing any of ‘opposition’ in logic.

  28. @ScottYou said"the only thing white people have in this country is the ability to act on those prejudices. that doesn’t mean that the bigoted feelings and thoughts of people of color in this country any more right."Um, that is a problem…!!! I could care less what you (generic you, not personal) THINK or FEEL about me as a Black woman, or anyone else for that matter. Its the ability to act on those prejudices to my or any other person of color’s disadvantage or danger that makes racial bias so disdainful.

  29. @ scott….how can one guilt someone? no one can make you feel guilty.That is what gets me the most about the whole race topic….its is so hard to have one because people do not listen instead they react…ie get deffensive.there is a portion of the protesters that are fueld by ignorance and racialy motivated. How else could you expalin some of the images on the signs …

  30. snobfanforeal’Your question about the percentage of whites that are racists is unanswerable because racism isn’t a simple yes-no question, there are degrees of racism.Most white liberals support affirmative action and voted for Obama, but they don’t want a black man fucking their blond, cheerleader daughter.Some are completely beyond race and wouldn’t care about their white daughter being with a black man.Some are complete racists and would want a lynchin’ if a black man pursued their daughter.I think the same applies to all races.But my opinion on the percentage of white Americans that are completely beyond race is that it is very low – certainly below 10%, and likely below 5%. And likewise I would judge that it is about the same in the black community. I have always been skeptical of the educated, Southern, white liberal; I think most of them are closet racists. Get them in a room together, they’ll say nigger.

  31. "I could care less what you (generic you, not personal) THINK or FEEL about me as a Black woman, or anyone else for that matter."if that’s the case, why are so many people worried about the birthers or deathers? it’s not like they can vote the president out (legally).

  32. "how can one guilt someone?"by stating that their disdain for obama is race based. being called a racist is a label the overwhelming majority of whites don’t want. you ever hear of the concept of white guilt?

  33. Jimmie got it right! The white man is scared! It’s funny, because the European has done more damage around the world for thousands of years, but they are scared of Africans. Maybe it’s the fear of retribution. Natural law says, what goes around comes around. I’m patient enough to wait. Becks and their minions will have their comeuppance!

  34. @ TarheelioYour wrote:"But my opinion on the percentage of white Americans that are completely beyond race is that it is very low – certainly below 10%, and likely below 5%."Kind of high don’t you think? Let’s try 0.2%. Practically speaking, that’s Phil Jackson and David Bowie.

  35. You intellects are confusing me. I oppose Obama’s cowardness, am I a "racist"? I do not need white people to defend me, just stand up to their own people, would be helpful. The Republicans found the "punk" button and they are pushing it. Man up!

  36. Carter is an 84 year old White man, born and raised in the South and he’s not refighting the CIVIL WAR. I believe he’s on spot. is ALLL of it race-based…of course not. but, so much of it is that they’re drowning out folks who actually want to have a policy decision. they thought they could control the ‘crazies’, and guess what – the ‘crazies’ now RUN THE DAMN SHOW.

  37. There will never be a conclusive number on the percentage of people who are racist. I’d argue that most people believe that they are not racist but when faced with certain situations the racism comes out. This goes for all people – not just whites. Of course every opposition to Obama’s policies are not based on racism. But, when you hear Mike Huckabee say that he doesn’t support the healthcare policy b/c he doesn’t want to pay for someone who chose to drive a fancy car instead of buying health coverage, you gotta wonder…

  38. rikyrah, as we witnessed with the president calling Kanye West a "jack ass’ – the people who are really running the show are the people with the camera’s and the control of the people’s minds with the media. Who do you think gave the "crazies" the exposure in the first place? If America fell off the map tomorrow…

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