My Thoughts on Jimmy Carter and the Race Issue

Jimmy Carter’s made quite a splash with his accusation that opposition to Barack Obama’s policies–be they health care or otherwise–are racially motivated.

When I think of someone with Jimmy Carter’s background going on in this fashion, my thoughts turn to this, from Thomas Sowell’s Black Rednecks and White Liberals:

The cultural values and social patterns prevalent among Southern whites included an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotion and flamboyant imagery.  This oratorical style carried over into the political oratory of the region in both the Jim Crow era and the civil rights era, and has continued into our own times among black politicians, preachers and activists.  Touchy pride, vanity and boastful self-dramatisation were also part of this redneck culture among people from regions of Britain “where the civilisation was the least developed.”  “They boast and lack self-restraint,” Olmstead said, after observing their descendants in the American antebellum South. (p.6)

This basic truth is the simplest way to destroy any thought of white supremacy.  It’s the “nuclear weapon” of the race card war, and it’s interesting that a Southern white first came up with it.  But people like Jimmy Carter are reluctant to employ it for two basic reasons:

  1. Jimmy Carter himself–along with Bill Clinton–are products of this.  Clinton’s presidency in particular saw almost all of these characteristics played out in the White House, to the dismay of his wife and colleagues.  But they were also part of why people found Clinton compelling.
  2. Many of the woes of the black community stem from the simple fact that, during and after slavery, black people picked up many of these bad habits.  I am opposed to reparations, but I think a collective apology from the Southern white population for passing on such a slovenly legacy is in order.

It’s also important to note that Barack Obama, with a father directly from the “old country” and raised everywhere from Kansas to Hawaii to Indonesia, is only involved in this as a matter of personal choice.

The truth hurts, Jimmy, but it’s time to face it honestly rather than wrapping it in some moralistic smokescreen, which is another bad habit you need to break.

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