Tags: Confederate Flag | Jimmy Carter | racism | Newshour | South Carolina

Jimmy Carter: Violence in Last Year Proves Racism Still Issue

By    |   Thursday, 09 Jul 2015 09:32 PM

There's still "an innate racism" in America, and the Confederate flag "has been, for some people, a lingering element of this," former President Jimmy Carter says.

In an interview on "PBS NewsHour" with host Judy Woodruff aired Thursday, Carter, who’s promoting his 29th book, "A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety," tells Woodruff the deadly race violence in the slayings of nine church members in Charleston, S.C., and other "black confrontations" over the past year prove the nation has "a long way to go."

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Many Americans "breathed a sigh of relief" in the 1960s, believing the race issue was over "after we had 100 years of racial discrimination, with separate but equal," he says.

"When the Supreme Court and Congress and everybody else agreed to have that, all the churches — and after the [Lyndon] Johnson years of Voting Rights Act and Martin Luther King, Jr., and Andy Young and others being successful, I think the United States kind of breathed a sigh of relief and said, 'Well, we’ve resolved the race issue and and there won’t be any more detectable, or at least elements of the American society where whites are in the supreme position to the detriment of blacks,'" he says.

But he notes, "the recent high publicity about the police and black confrontations and the tragedy in Charleston have reminded us that we still have a long way to go."

Carter adds, "There's still innate racism in our country that needs to be addressed accurately and I think the Confederate flag has been, for some people, a lingering element of this."

"Georgia did away with it 14 years ago, and the governor that did it was soundly defeated when he was up for re-election probably because of the flag," he tells Woodruff.

Democrat Roy Barnes, who was governor of Georgia from 1999 to 2003, received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his successful effort to take down a Georgia state flag that prominently featured the Confederate battle emblem.

He was defeated in his re-election bid in 2002 by Sonny Perdue, the first Republican to be elected governor in Georgia since Reconstruction.

Carter made similar observations about race relations last month in an interview with AARP Bulletin.

"Many Americans still have racist tendencies or feelings of superiority to people of color," the 39th president tells the publication.

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There's still "an innate racism" in America, and the Confederate flag "has been, for some people, a lingering element of this," former President Jimmy Carter says.
Jimmy Carter, racism, Newshour, South Carolina
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2015-32-09
Thursday, 09 Jul 2015 09:32 PM
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