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Thank you, President Carter.

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:06 PM
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Thank you, President Carter.

Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 04:30:31 AM PDT

for pointing to the racism that underlies much of the right wing frothing against Barack Obama.

Listen carefully to Carter's remarks.

The former President repeated these same thoughts in his interview with Brian Williams, discussed in WeBetterWinThisTimes diary:
BREAKING NEWS: President Carter Calls Out Bigotry

Deoliver47's diary :: :: Carter's remarks are already getting pushback. For the first time in many months I tuned in to Morning Joke, on MSNBC. He led off this morning, with Mika the trusted sidekick nodding her head in agreement, "refuting" Carters assertions, with the same talking points that are used whenever the current racism contra Obama is pointed out. "Oh...but they really hated Bill and Hillary more..." yaddda yadda. The smears are "really Obama's fault because he's such a leftist..."

I turned off the tv and headed here.

But I wanted to talk about my memories of Jimmy Carter this morning and why I think his remarks are so important. I lived in DC during the Carter years. I remember the Carter's decision to send daughter Amy, to DC Public School. My close friend became her home room teacher, and was allowed to teach their daughter even though they were fully aware of my friends civil right's activities. Amy, though often pilloried in the press, was beloved by DC's black residents.

I've written about Carter before here, though in connection to my only visit to the White House, to a jazz concert hosted by Carter. Jazz on the White House lawn was the diary and one line in the reporting about that concert is telling:

Carter was a jazz fan. In his introduction, he told of how he had, before becoming an eminence, frequented jazz clubs, and he said something no other president had said before: jazz did not have the stature it deserved in its native land because of the racism here.

A child of the South, Carter grew up in a racially segregated world:

In addition to a strong work ethic and iron will, Jimmy inherited the legacy of racial segregation from Earl Carter, who believed wholeheartedly in the system. Carter's mother balanced this by offering a very different example to her children. A working nurse and outspoken iconoclast, Lillian Carter nursed her black neighbors even when they had no money, cheered for African American athletes -- boxer Joe Louis and baseball great Jackie Robinson -- and generally refused to abide by the social code of segregation. "That gave Carter this unique perspective," notes Brinkley. "He had the kind of new liberal South, that his mother represented. And the old South ." As a politician in the 1960s and 70s, Carter would be well served by his ability to understand both sides of the racial divide.

In 1976 he spoke about this childhood at a speech honoring MLK Jr.

I sometimes think that a southerner of my generation can most fully understand the meaning and the impact of Martin Luther King's life.
He and I grew up in the same South, he the son of a clergyman, I the son of a farmer. We both knew, from opposite sides, the invisible wall of racial segregation. The official rule then was "separate but equal," But in truth we were neither--not separate, not equal.

When I was a boy, almost all my playmates were black. We worked in the fields together, and hunted and fished and swam together, but when it was time for church or for school, we went our separate ways, without really understanding why.

My mother knew no color line.

A few people challenged them, not in politics, but in the way they lived their lives. My mother was one of those people. She was a nurse. She would work twelve hours a day and then come home and care for her family and minister to the people of our little community, both black and white. My mother knew no color line. Her black friends were just as welcome in her home as her white friends, a fact that shocked some people, sometimes even my father, who was very conventional in his views on race.

Lillian Carter, his mother was a civil rights activist up until the time of her death.

Bessie Lillian Gordy was born to James Jackson Gordy (1863-1948) and Mary Ida Nicholson (1871-1951) in Richland, Georgia in 1898. She volunteered to serve as a nurse with the U.S. Army in 1917 but the program was cancelled. Instead, she worked for the US Post Office at Richland before moving to Plains in 1920 where she was accepted as a trainee at the Wise Sanatorium before completing her nursing degree at the Grady Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia in 1923. Lillian's family initially disapproved of her choice of a career in nursing, but she continued her training and became very successful, earning the respect of both the black and white communities. "Miss Lillian," as she was often known, allowed black people to enter her home through the front door, rather than through the back door as was the social norm, and would often have them in her living room for casual conversation just as she would a white neighbor. These conversations would even continue after her husband Earl was to arrive home expecting the guests to depart.

Lillian Carter said that the strongest influence on her liberal views was her father. James Jackson Gordy, "Jim Jack" operated a Post Office in Lillian's hometown of Richland and was always cordial and often dined with the black workers. This was very unusual in the early 20th century but Lillian decided that she would follow her father's example.

Jimmy Carter understands racism. He does not simply tar the South in his statement, but points out that it exists across the US.

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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. But CNN says, Michael Steele, A BLACK MAN, says "it's OK" so that should be the end of it?
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