AARP Bulletin and former President Jimmy Carter, 90, covered a variety of topics in their recent conversation. Among them were Carter's marriage, campaign finance, and race. The latter is what has produced some interesting headlines. When the publication asked the 39th president what he thought about race relations today, he was adamant in saying that they have not improved.
"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."
Is it 1979 again? With these unfair remarks, Carter is once again striking a negative tone while reflecting on American culture. Nowhere did he provide context for his claim about the police's "mistreatment" of African-Americans. Deaths at the hands of police are always tragic, but if Carter was referring to the incident in Ferguson, Missouri, where Officer Darren Wilson killed an unarmed Michael Brown, he left out evidence from the DOJ report that said Brown had struggled with Wilson and tried to grab his gun. Nor did he mention the tragic instances in which the police were the ones being victimized. During a night of racial unrest in Baltimore, protesters threw rocks at local officers and burned police cars. In New York, three officers were killed.
Carter also ignored the fact that since his departure from the Oval Office, the country has elected an African-American president – twice.
These details did not fit in Carter's message of malaise. No, America is still full of racists.
At times, the Democratic Party has even rolled its eyes at Carter. In 2008, they did not even invite him to speak at their National Convention - a slight Carter says he's "gotten over."
Carter has done admirable work for Habitat for Humanity and I like to think he doesn't think ill of Americans as a whole. But, for the time being, he should consider keeping his opinions to himself.