Recently, former President Jimmy Carter gave a provocative interview with AARP magazine which alleged that many Americans have racist tendencies. Perhaps the 90 year old former President still ruefully remembers his own role in the Civil Rights movement and that colors his judgment.
After the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Brown v. Board of Education s in 1954, Jimmy Carter served on the Sumter County (Georgia) School Board which did not school desegregation in Carter’s home town. In fact, this school board tried to block construction of a new “Negro Elementary School” in 1956 because it was too close to a “white school” and “the children, both colored and white, would have to travel the same streets and roads in order to reach their respective schools.” To that end, Carter requested that the state school board stop construction until a new site could be found. The state rejected the proposal because of the staggering cost. So Carter and the rest of the Sumter County School Board reassured parents that they “would do everything in its power to minimize simultaneous traffic between white and colored students in route to and from school.”
People can change or learn to hide their seamy side better. But the nonagenarian former President both impugns many Americans for harboring racist tendencies. Moreover, Mr. Carter has tarred of Southern Republicans and Tea Partiers as racists.
Prior to the Obama Administration, many Americans considered Jimmy Carter to be the worst President in American history. In his post-Presidential years, Mr. Carter had redeemed much of his reputation by his association with Habitat for Humanity and the Carter Center by “waging peace and fighting disease”. Yet in the last 10 years, “the Elder” Carter has stridently injected himself into politics.
If advisors cared to protect Mr. Carter’s flagging reputation, they ought to ease him out of the limelight for his own good. Or maybe he wants to regain the reputation of being the Worst President in American History.