Your morning jolt: Jimmy Carter on the ‘abominable’ issue of race

So far as we can tell, NBC made the most extensive use of President Jimmy Carter’s observations about race and Barack Obama.

Here’s the clip from Carter’s interview with Brian Williams in Atlanta:

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Said Carter:

“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. 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 shared 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 a 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 grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”

The interviewed aired after the U.S. House officially censured Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for his outburst last week during Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, and after two Georgia congressmen _ David Scott and Hank Johnson _ said Wilson’s remarks were indicative of racial undertones that have swelled since Obama’s election.

You know that former Georgia Supreme Court chief justice Leah Ward Sears on Tuesday endorsed former prosecutor Ken Hodges in the Democratic race for attorney general.

Hodges faces state Rep. Rob Teilhet (D-Smryna) in next year’s primary. Teilhet was endorsed this week by Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur), the chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, as well as a several top Democrats from the Savannah area.

Among them were state Rep. Al Williams of Midway, the immediate past president of the black caucus. How effective that endorsement will be is open to question: Williams has appeared on a list of delinquent tax filers kept by the Department of Revenue.

On the Republican side of the race for attorney general, Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens has won the endorsement of House Speaker pro tem Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock, and Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons. House Rules Chairman Earl Ehrhart of Powder Springs and Jan Jones of Alpharetta have also jumped on board.

Georgia Equality, the gay rights group, has endorsed Lisa Borders in the Atlanta race for mayor. Southern Voice has a portion of the endorsement posted online:

Borders, the current City Council President, stands out among a group of highly-qualified mayoral candidates running this year. The Georgia Equality Board of Directors found Borders to be the candidate with the best fluency and understanding of the issues important to LGBT Atlantans, as well as the candidate best-equipped to govern a city in need of a decisive leader with keen insight into public safety and municipal management.

Borders on Tuesday also launched the first TV spot in the campaign, touting her “tough” choice to support a property tax increase to end public safety furloughs. The campaign of Kasim Reed took issue:

It’s misleading and disingenuous for Ms. Borders to take credit for ending the furloughs when her lack of leadership was the very reason our public safety officers were furloughed in the first place. These furloughs were a direct result of her opposition to a modest half mill increase for the 2008 budget. Apparently, Ms. Borders thought furloughs of police officers and firefighters were just fine until she decided to run for Mayor.

You saw that state Sen. Eric Johnson of Savannah, once the top dog in that chamber, has resigned his seat _ which will allow him to raise campaign contributions during next year’s legislative session. It is the political equivalent of burning one’s boats on the shore.

And it’s something that state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine says he won’t do: “As for me, I want to reaffirm that I will continue to remain on duty for Georgia as I promised,” he said in a statement shortly after Johnson’s decision was announced.

Meanwhile, for those of you who think that much of politics is loud, sweaty and often scripted, there’s this:

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Linda McMahon has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer after announcing her candidacy for the United States Senate, representing the state of Connecticut. Vince McMahon assumes the duties of Chief Executive Officer in addition to his current position as WWE® Chairman.

While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s

  • Wilson’s son says congressman is not racist.
  • Borders, Reed tout mayoral endorsements.
  • Johnson resigns from Senate, allowing him more fund-raising freedom.
  • AARP won’t get answers to more than 140 questions it had for AGL.
  • Douglas County nixes Sunday drinks.
  • Clayton voters approve schools SPLOST.
  • Cobb County says no to renting Vinings condos.
  • Bernice King knew where Coretta’s love letter was.
  • Stimulus helps $331 million in transportation projects.
  • Some opinion:

  • Cynthia Tucker on the role of racism in health care debate.
  • Teach and reward good sportsmanship.
  • Commercial real estate crisis threatens recovery.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • Cordele Dispatch: Jody Powell’s death stuns community.
  • And beyond:

  • NYT: Iran arrests children of dissident clerics.
  • NYT: The good ol’ boys.
  • WP: Many employers to raise cost of health benefits, survey finds.
  • WSJ: Spy chief says U.S. hunting al Qaeda more effectively.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    39 comments Add your comment


    September 16th, 2009
    10:16 am

    It’s incredible that Lisa Borders thinks she can take credit for ending the furloughs on police and fire when she was against the first initiative to prevent furloughs and didn’t take a stance after the furloughs until the rest of the city counsel had already voted. She’s misleading the public.

    Bill White

    September 16th, 2009
    10:18 am

    Jimmy hates conservatives, Hebrews and patriots who fight for our common values in this country. He claims to possess a moral compass yet he spews such vitriol when he suggets that the honorable Joe Wilson is a racist. This is so beyond slander, it’s treasonous. The second worst president only to Hussein Obama, needs to be brought up on treason charges for weakening our nation by giving the store away to jihadists and by uttering such dangerous statements. People like Jimmy Carter definitely put our nation at risk. Will anyone have the guts to take him on? I know of many good Americans who can do it.


    September 16th, 2009
    10:20 am

    I have to agree with Reed on this one. In no way did Lisa Borders lead the charge to end furloughs. In fact, she did everything in her ability not to vote on the matter (City Counsel Pres. only votes in a tie). At least Norwood and Reed our being honest. I don’t trust Lisa one bit.


    September 16th, 2009
    10:22 am

    My man Ox was respectful is his comments about former Sen. Johnson. Look how Austin Scott responded on Twitter yesterday:

    “ScottForGA: Can’t take on both simultaneously? How will you ever be Governor? I’m sorry you abandoned the responsibility of your elected office, Eric.”

    Silent Majority

    September 16th, 2009
    10:27 am

    Who is Lisa Borders? Is she a Cousins Construction puppet? Was she behind the racist Turpeau memo? Is she a republican or democratic? Did she really help end the furloughs? It’s hard to tell, but one thing I do know is that she’s less than forthcoming.

    Lisa Lisa

    September 16th, 2009
    10:41 am

    I’m tired of people beating up on Lisa. She’s the best candidate in the race. Norwood is too stupid to be mayor and Reed is too dark skinned to ever be mayor of this city. Borders ‘09!

    General Sherman

    September 16th, 2009
    10:45 am

    Jimmy Carter is a senile old fool looking for attention.Why does he and other democrats want to put race in all discussions. I did not hear anything racial said when wilson called Obama a liar. He was telling the truth,and it hurts.I wish more politicians and citizens had the nerve to speak the truth instead of calling it racism!

    Dash Riptide

    September 16th, 2009
    10:52 am

    Carter’s view says more about him and the lens through which people of his generation see the world than it does about most, though certainly not all, of the vocal opposition to Obama’s presidency. The real problem is that Obama has been acting like Cinderella and burning through his political capital at an unsustainable rate, as if the presidential limousine is going to turn into a pumpkin in 2010 when the spell that got him to the inaugural ball finally wears off. The same sorts of protests will occur in 2013 if a white guy gets elected with Republican majorities in the House and Senate and the new Prez acts as though he has some sort of mandate. Count on it. It’s not about the current president being black; it’s about the fact that no one elected president in the 21st century will be able to unite Red and Blue America – at least not for the foreseeable future.


    September 16th, 2009
    10:56 am

    Why doesn’t Kasim’s camp attack Norwood? This black on black crime must stop. Kasim is verbally abusing her and as a strong, black woman in Atlanta I will not have him assault her with these verbal attacks. Why isn’t he saying anything about Mary?

    norman ravitch

    September 16th, 2009
    11:03 am

    Joe Wilson has been victimized by the Negro Interest. Americans will se what having a black president really means and they won’t like it. O’Bama is through.


    September 16th, 2009
    11:03 am

    If Carter is senile what about Andy Young’s aging mind? His power has gone down like the Dow. First he supports Hilary and now makes the unintelligable endorsement to back Kasim! If you aren’t going to listen to Carter then Andy’s “wisdom” should be viewed as senile as well.


    September 16th, 2009
    11:03 am

    Let’s get the record straight on a few things:

    1) About 90% of Atlanta’s population couldn’t give a rat’s behind about the mayoral race, gubernatorial race, or anything political right now. They’re still a-chatter over Kanye and Taylor Swift and politicians acting badly like Joe Wilson.

    2) Lisa’s public record on voting is just as available as Mary’s. Not sure about Kasim’s, but that’s a different level of legislature. If that is available easily online, I’d love to see it.

    Plain Jane

    September 16th, 2009
    11:05 am

    If Borders didn’t really end the furloughs, why wasn’t she called out in Sunday’s debate? Call me naive, but I don’t believe a mayoral candidate would lie about her stance on an issue so blatantly. Hopefully, these issues will become more clear as the race heats up.

    I must admit, Kasim Reed is everywhere and seems to be outworking his opponents. I like his energy. Depending on which poll you believe, he’s not really that far behind with over 25% of Atlantans still undecided. However, they all have some work to do in my eyes.

    Wild Bunny Rabbit

    September 16th, 2009
    11:12 am

    Why does the media continue to focus on Jimmah? He hasn’t been relevant (except to embarass Georgia and the USA) since he got elected in 1976. Most people really don’t care what he has to say so why does the media make such a big deal when he opens is big mouth and makes another foolish comment? Question for the day: Where was mister self-appointed “human rights/election monitor” during the recent elections in Iran?

    mark thomas

    September 16th, 2009
    11:43 am

    i think jimmy carter is the rascist just because you disagree with with obama does not make you a rascist! he has became an anti american idiot and i wish he would speak up about all this acorn abomination and the czars wich to me seems unconstitutional instead he just stirs up the pot! i am sorry i voted for him he is a disgrace to AMERICA

    American Sharecropper

    September 16th, 2009
    11:55 am

    The accusation of “Racism” reflects nothing more than the hearts of those who level the charge. With no substantiation, no evidence to back up the ugly smear, the msm slavishly repeating the slander as though the mere weight of the charge gives it merit. Jimmy Carter is a pedophile. See how it works? I don’t have to substantiate my ugly accusation, no evidence necessary and if Jimmy were a Republican, no doubt the msm would repeat my words without question.

    Those who would smear a fellow American with such slander should be immediately called out by their own, the fact that the Democrat party doesn’t gives proof to their own lack of integrity. Apparently those who run that party have neither shame nor integrity.

    General Sherman

    September 16th, 2009
    12:34 pm

    Carter,I agree ,but have given up on Andrew Young.He is and always will be a racist and he is senile along with Jimmah!


    September 16th, 2009
    12:42 pm

    I, along with many white Georgia conservatives who are opposed to Obama, voted for a black man… Herman Cain when he ran for U.S. Senate. Race makes no dfference to us… ideology does, and thankfully most Americans are opposed to Socialism. As for Jimmy Carter, he’s a bitter old anti-semite.


    September 16th, 2009
    12:49 pm

    Keith, well stated


    September 16th, 2009
    1:17 pm

    Jimmy Carter’s comments just make me sad. To say that those who oppose a Obama are racists is just incredulous to me. I do agree with the other posters that he may be speaking for his generation, however that is no excuse for this educated, world-renowned man to say something so careless. What is worse – disagreeing with him because he is biracial or agreeing with him just because he is biracial. Both ideas are VERY dangerous. Conservatives don’t agree with him because he has radical ideas that the govt can solve all of the nations woes, that he feels the need to apologize for the US every time he goes overseas, to surround himself with tax-cheats and nitwits like Van Jones, and finally his connections to left-wing groups like ACORN. THAT is the problem. Not racism.


    September 16th, 2009
    1:54 pm

    Sadly, Jimmy Carter is soooooo right. Wilson may not know it. His son is in denial. Can’t really add anything to the argument. Carter has said it all and he said it well!

    Wild Bunny Rabbit

    September 16th, 2009
    2:18 pm

    If only my amphibious attack back in April, 1979 had been successful: the Islamic fundamentalists would not have overthrown the Shah leading to the boiling caldron of terrorism in the middle east; we would not have had a hostage takeover; we would not have enjoyed 20% plus inflation; we would still have the Panama Canal and we would not have to listen to his continued babble as if he were some kind of expert on all topics.

    cletus T Rockafella

    September 16th, 2009
    4:00 pm

    Having met Mr. Carter, I found him to be both engaging, in a primitive sense, while remaining totally uninformed as to what is truly going on. I found him inarticulate, and not very sensible in his views. Mr Carter, to me, was one of the worst presidents this nation ever had, and he continues to look for venues in which to place him in the spotlight. He carries no weight, never possessed good management skills, and was totally incapable as a politician throughout his career as a politician. Which, in today’s case, IS the problem. Too many ‘Mr Carters’ exist to propagate their agenda, or to fill their pockets with dollars. Or both. I personally wish Mr. Carter would move to china, they will welcome his views there.

    William Teller

    September 16th, 2009
    4:11 pm

    Jimmy is not senile, he has always been in the twilight zone. He was out of touch as president and he is just going where no man has gone before. He’s a shining example of the good die young. Robert McNamara is waiting for him with open arms!


    September 16th, 2009
    5:28 pm

    Jimmy Carter hit the nail on the head, he is far from senile wake up people this is for real.Robert Kennedy said in 40 years a Negro Man cuold be president,you have had 40 years to get ready ,hes here.

    Bill White

    September 16th, 2009
    6:00 pm

    I agree with a previous poster. My aunt in Brasstown voted for Herman Cain + I supported her choice. These days we oppose Hussein Obama because he is a Kenyan citizen who has been planted into the presidency to cede this once-free nation to the jihadists. Hopefully, he will be stopped before this happens. If Jimmy Carter stayed in office, we would be speaking Arabic right now. My views do not make me or my aunt racist. I grew up very closely with Roosevelt, my African-American friend. I also think there are many good Muslims in the world who love us and want to export their oil to us–so please don’t tell me I’m ignorant. My AJC friends, we need to realize that there is good and evil on this planet. Jimmy Carter, Hussein Obama equals bad. GW Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condy Rice equals good. See, it’s so simple.


    September 16th, 2009
    10:00 pm

    Jimmy Carter is a proven racist. In Carl Sanders autobiography he recounts how the carter campaign mailed a picture of then candidate Sanders hugging a black player for the Atlanta Hawks after they Hawks won their first game. The photo was mailed to all barber shops in the state as well as white churches.

    In the book, The real Jimmy Carter: how our worst ex-president undermines American By Steven F. Hayward the author collaborates Governor Sanders story of how Carter played the race card in order to be elected governor.

    The Real Jimmy Carter: Jimmy the Faburcator runs for Governor (Page 46) and Playing the Race Card (Page 48)

    Long time Georgia Voter

    September 16th, 2009
    10:36 pm

    Kudos to President Carter for speaking his mind and risking the wrath of racists (both self avowed and those in self denial). The good news is that racism is dying out. The bad news is that we still have a bunch of racists in America and they deserve representation in Congress too (and clearly they have it).

    Herman Cain?

    September 16th, 2009
    10:38 pm

    You voted for Herman Cain? Now that’s just plain stupid. The man can has the grammar of a 4th grader.

    Good Christian

    September 16th, 2009
    10:42 pm

    Jimmy Carter was one of the finest, Christian men we ever had in office. He was more committed to Jesus Christ than all the Presidents, period. He has lived his life following the word the Lord and doing for others. I’d be a bit more careful when judging and casting stones from your glass houses.


    September 16th, 2009
    11:42 pm

    It is infuriating how the stupid liberals, excuse the redundancy, will use efforts like this that might corrupt the nation for generations in order to win politically with their shameless supporters! As you can see in this blog, even on the liberal AJC, the former President is a disgrace that haunts us since his unfortunate presidency with his desperate and bias efforts to be heard, even if it is screaming fire in a crowded building by playing the race card! But then, what do you hear on the local news of the blog – a couple of replies on both sides of the spectrum implying a split among the respondents!
    What is really at the heart of this powerful rebuke of the Obama policies and his administration is the outrage of realizing that the man is the radical that only conservative radio reported! And there’s the realization that the “mainstream media” betrayed the country, and that this President and his anti-American liberal cohorts are hellbound on destroying the uniquely American values and institutions that make us greater that other nations of this time. There’s the constant speeches and official presentations that show an arrogance that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes, and a willingness to risk Americans’ economy, healthcare, culture and their very lives, in order to dictate and control like socialists; all the while, they dismis or smear the American public for opposing the “chosen one”!

    Outraged is Radical

    September 17th, 2009
    6:13 am

    That last guy, named Outrage, is so radically right that he absolutely blinded. He gives Obama zero credit for his shift to the right since leaving the Senate and his numerous attempts at satisfying the right since . President Obama kept President Bush’s Defense Secretary and he’s keeping most of the irresponsible tax cuts pushed by the former conservative Administration. As far as the health care is concerned, the President started the debate by getting rid of the single payer idea push by liberals!

    The Far Right is Wacko

    September 17th, 2009
    6:25 am

    If you sit around listening to hours of talk radio no wonder all you can do is make bogus claims and call people names. Please quit claiming your nutty views as “uniquely American.” There is nothing unique about your copy cat opinions. You just appear to be crazy like the rest of the bunch.

    You guys really are the gift that keeps on giving. Keep it up and the Democrats will dominate for another generation.

    cletus T Rockafella

    September 17th, 2009
    8:28 am

    Mr. Carter is all about Mr. Carter. I became evident when his lobbying for a nobel prize began. Mr. Carter was a known racist as governor, which comes as no surprise to anyone who worked in his administration. Regarding Mr.Carters Christianity, this will never be known, as he is/was a master at masking his true intentions. One thing people ARE sure about regarding Mr. Carter is he was not experienced in management, formulating sound decisions or leading a country.

    Owl Gore

    September 17th, 2009
    9:49 am

    Do they just let Jimmy wander around when it is obvious that the man had lost his mind? I prefer it when Jimmy Al- Carter sticks to kissing thug, dictator, leftist arse over sea. He should keep his demented thoughts to himself. The man is no Statesman.


    September 17th, 2009
    4:25 pm

    I feel really proud of the image that Hank Johnson and Jimmy Carter are giving the state of Georgia.

    ::Rolls eyes at the two twits above named hank and Jimmy::

    Betsy Conerly

    September 17th, 2009
    6:53 pm

    I was there. The 9-12 March was a march for freedom directed at the congress as well as the President. There was no racist element involved!
    I am appalled at the comment President Jimmy Carter made about the protest on 9-12 being racist and the people being low class. I was there and I did not see one un-respectful act in the entire crowd consisting of grandparents, parents and children. It was a mostly white upper middle class group but there were upper middle class blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc. there as well. No, we did not wear our suits and ties or our white gloves but some of us have them. I personally asked one black woman for a hug for coming and showing this was NOT a racist event. She replied with a hug saying “No, this is not about race it is about freedom.”
    I have always respected Jimmy Carter as the one of the most honest president in my lifetime. This comment is disgraceful and totally untrue. What right does he have to spread such defaming comment, especially since all he saw was what was on television. All of the hotels in Washington DC and nearby were full. We had reservations at the Willard Hotel and were lucky to get the last two rooms. All of the other upper class hotels were booked with freedom marchers too. This was not a low class racist group!
    I knew your lovely aunt, Jimmy. I volunteered with her at Bulloch Hall and we belonged to the same D.A.R. chapter. I was always delighted and charmed to have the chance to talk with her on her world views. I also volunteered to sit in her home during the funeral so your family could feel secure. And now you call me racist and low class? I was free to do this and happy to do it because she was a grand lady. But this comment by you bringing up racism is so unlike her.
    I am ashamed of you! I hope you were simply terribly misinformed. You owe a sincere apology to the honorable, upstanding freedom loving Americans who stood up for the rights of freedom and capitalism by attending the 9-12 March.
    The race card got O.J. Simpson off on a murder charge. Now are you trying to force socialized medicine on the country in the same way? And in case no one has noticed, President Obama is half white. He is in a position to bring this country back together in peace and harmony if he so desires. He is not playing the race card; others are doing it for him. Why? My only problem with President Obama is the same problem I had with President Bush they want too much government! They are taking away the freedom upon which our country was founded.
    The American public has just finally been pushed too far. We did not like Hilary Clinton’s medical plans either. All we want is for government to do its job and stop protecting us from ourselves. We are quite capable of remaining a free capitalistic, charity giving country if government would stop interfering. We are quite capable of remaining the best place in the world to live if we could clean up the congress and restore our nation to the principles on which it was founded… a government of the people by the people and for the people.
    This was a march for upholding the Constitution of The United States of America. It was simply a march to defend our rights and freedom as American citizens. I do not know how anyone could possible describe it as racist or low class unless you think George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers were low class. They may have been racist but we are not! Our country has come a long way from being racist except in a few extreme factions.
    We need to unite this country, not divide it along racial, class or any arbitrary lines. We were marching for the United States of America for freedom. Your comment was totally out of line! I carried a flag that said “Proud to be an American”

    Betsy Conerly
    Alpharetta, Georgia


    September 19th, 2009
    3:01 pm

    I love Carter and Obama, they are what is right with America!!

    I have never seen so much disrespect and hatred in my life.
    What is the difference in the way these people are saying and their signs than
    a terriorist talking. Full of hate!! Shame on them!!

    Fed up

    September 20th, 2009
    8:24 pm

    People must have forgotten what a mess this country was in when Mr. Carter was president.The economy was sick. The Iranians had take over our embasssy and taken the personel as prisoners. The disaster that happened when the military tried to rescue them. Carter went to N. Korea and made a deal with them on nuclear technology. Now they have nuclear weapons and are a threat to their neighbors.He cut the CIA budget so thin the agency had to pull agents out of countrys every where including the middle east. Where these terrorist come from. I’ll always beleive Carter is the cause of all the terror attacks we’ve had since he left office. The USS COLE, The Marine barracks in Lebanon, the world trade center, and MORE. He did not do these things to hurt America. But he in so naive. I beleive America’s enemys were laughing at him. And America has been paying for his mistakes every since,