More Links in News & Events

Transcript of Former President Jimmy Carter's Remarks on Racism at an Emory University Townhall Meeting

Question: Do you still believe that racism is an issue that President Obama is facing in passing bills in Congress?

President Carter: Yes, I do. Let me answer this question very carefully.

I think it is completely legitimate, and to be expected, to have tough, sometimes even unfair debates about major issues that face our country. Health care is one. I think it is within the bounds of political propriety, for instance, for opponents of President Obama's proposal to raise the false claim that there are death squads, and that everybody that is over 65 years old is going to be deprived of medical care, to let them die early. Those are the kinds of claims that have been made against them. That's okay.

But when a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the President of the United States of America as an animal or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, or when they waved signs in the air that said we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kinds of things are beyond the bounds of the way Presidents have ever been accepted, even with people who disagree.

And I think people that are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African-American. It's a racist attitude, and my hope is, and my expectation is, that in the future both Democratic leaders and Republican leaders will take the initiative in condemning that kind of unprecedented attack on the President of the United States.

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top