Along Racial Lines….

April 23, 2014

2014-04-15_11-51-04Republican proposals, such as cutting food stamps and assuming the guilt of minorities and the mentally ill who are in jail, appeal to the rich, he said.

“Those kind of things just exalt the higher class, which is the whites, and they draw a subtle, but very effective racial line throughout the South,” Carter said.

SOURCE: Jimmy Carter: Southern White Men Turn To The GOP Because Of ‘Race’.

I think that Jimmy Carter and I have something in common. As we have gotten older we speak our minds more than when we were younger. To me it is kind of like “If not now, when??” I don’t have many reasons to hold back many of my internal thoughts. I don’t have an employer who might see my words as a threat. In many ways I just don’t care at least to the degree I used to if I hurt someone’s feelings with my worldviews.  Some feeling need to be hurt in those areas.

Jimmy Carter was not that great a president. He just wasn’t decisive enough for his times. He was just too ordinary. But I now consider him one of the greatest ex-presidents of my time. He is a true Southerner. He was born and raised in the deep South. He, like another southern ex-president, speak their minds even when it comes to the racial attitudes in their part of the country.  Carter’s words above would have been scandalous if he had spoken them from the White House.  I suspect that many Southern States would have tried to impeach him if he did dare to speak them then. But those of us who have studied American history on almost any level know that the mass exodus in the South from the Democratic party to the Republican party in the 1960s was due to the hatred of the Civil Rights legislation enacted by the Democratic president. Much of that hatred still languishes albeit behind the scenes in that area of the country.

Jimmy Carter can now speak from his heart about such matters. I like to think that I do the same….

6 responses to Along Racial Lines….

  1. 

    Rod, Thank you thank you for this blog on Jimmy Carter. I’m not sure this country will ever recognize the greatness of this man. It took them awhile to see it in Harry Truman but I hope someday it will happen. I love reading your articles. They reflect so many of my own thoughts and beliefs. Keep it up. Joyce

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    • 

      Hello Joyce, it is good to hear from you. Thank you for your comments. Yeah, Jimmy Carter was just too common sense for his time. If we had actually listened to this “malaise” speech we could have prevented all kinds of future troubles. Another one like this was Gerald Ford. Too much politics played around him.

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  2. 

    When Jimmy Carter spoke at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Library in Texas in early April, he said that in Plains, “We had boycotts against my business. I remember one time I drove up in front of the only service station in Plains, and they refused to put gasoline in my car because they considered us to be, I won’t use the word, lovers of black people.” This was before he was a governor, much less a president, so he was drawing ire for his views on racial equality back then, too. He probably wasn’t a good president, but he certainly is a wonderful human being.

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    • 

      Thanks for the comments Linda.

      Yes he is a wonderful human being. He has proved that by the 30+ years of public service since he was president. It strikes me that the Democrat ex-presidents have all been about public service after they left the Oval Office whereas the Republican version does almost nothing in that arena. Does this reflect on the basic differences between the two parties??

      I made regular business trips to Louisiana during the years you mentioned and was utterly appalled at the open racism of those times. Unfortunately much of it probably still exists, it has just gone below the surface… Sad isn’t it??

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  3. 

    It is sad. I was born in Louisiana but grew up in Texas. Racism is still blatant in some areas, but code words and terms are now employed by educated people–inner city, etc. I’m appalled when people sometimes assume that because I’m looking at them with blue eyes underneath reddish brown eyebrows that I agree with their racism or any other “ism,” and I’m quick to point out that I don’t. I’m unlikely to stand up for myself, but I can muster anger when someone else is being mistreated, even if that someone else isn’t hearing the particular conversation.

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    • 

      Good for you Linda. I feel the same way. Sometimes I am accused of painting with too broad a brush so I will say that while I saw some pretty blatant racism during my visits to the south in the 70s I very conscienciously DON’T put that label on everyone in that part of the country. There are a lot of good people there but sad to say that the bad ones seem top pollute the overall opinion.

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