September 16th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Does racism have anything to do with opposition to Pres. Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Former President Jimmy Carter says racism plays a major role in the recent opposition to President Obama. Carter says part of this "intensely demonstrated animosity" is based on the fact that the president is black.

Former President Carter tells "NBC Nightly News" that racism has surfaced in opposition to President Obama.

Carter says that racism is bubbling up among many white people all around the country because they think African-Americans aren't qualified to lead. he calls it "an abominable circumstance."

The former president also says racism was at play in the recent outburst by Republican Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina, who called President Obama a liar. Some say a white president would never be treated this way.

But critics say all this is nonsense. The head of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele says President Carter is "flat-out wrong." Steele, who is black, says the opposition isn't about race, but rather about policy. He calls these charges of racism a distraction by Democrats to shift the debate away from health care reform.

Then there's Rush Limbaugh - he talks about how race rules all in what he calls "Obama's America." The right wing radio host suggests that race is at play in nearly every aspect of society today... including the story of the white kid who got beat up on an Illinois bus by black students.

Limbaugh also says racism is behind the media's treatment of Kanye West after his stunt at the video music awards, which Limbaugh considered relatively mild behavior.

Here’s my question to you: Does racism have anything to do with the opposition to President Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dave from Gainesville, Florida writes:
Jack, I'm a left-leaning member of a large, conservative, old Southern family, and I see and hear from people daily who do not support our current president. I can tell you that the racial component to the opposition is significant, even if liberalism is the primary foe. I have been battered by it, subtly and overtly, since the president began campaigning for his job, and I think Pres. Carter is on the mark, even if many of us deny it's the case.

Jerry from Pennsylvania writes:
I live in rural Harlansburg, Pennsylvania, and I constantly hear racist remarks about Obama. Several people have told me they hate him because he's black.

Chuck writes:
Race has nothing to do with it. The issue is specifically about what is right and what is wrong. The policies Obama chooses are not good for this country. We need less government, not more. This is what makes him a bad president, not the color of his skin.

Reed writes:
I am a southern-raised boy, and know that most of these people are lying. From first-hand experience, I know what they say behind closed doors. I am saddened that people are fooled by such covert tactics, disguised in a political shroud of distraction. Time could very well prove Obama wrong, but for now, he has been left with an unsolvable problem... and so they will crucify him for not being able to clean up the white man's mess, making him the scapegoat. It's a 21st century lynch mob using politics and rhetoric as a noose.

Kate from New York writes:
To some extent, yes – but not as much as some liberals make it out to be and not as little as some on the right pretend it isn't.

J.D. from Texas writes:
Lily white tea parties… Didn't anyone notice? That said enough!

Lloyd from Montana writes:
I just attended a tea party. I saw more racial hatred than I have seen in the last 40 years. I thought I was in Macon, Georgia in the 1960s. The only thing missing were the dogs and fire hoses. I fear this country has learned nothing.

soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Of course racism is behind the behavior towards Pres Obama. Look at all the rhetoric from people like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, that so-called man of the cloth who wants Obama dead....all redneck racism...As for that idiot Kanye West (who ever he is) and his behavior towards the white woman winning an award.....well. This nation has to get away from the terms African-American, Irish-American, Mexican-American, etc....You don't hear the American Indian going around saying "Navajo-American, Lakota-American, etc" do you? If you think about it, even the native Americans came here from someplace else also.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  2. JonUPS

    Does racism have anything to do with the opposition to President Obama?
    In someways perhaps like the issue of slavery was part of the larger issues of The War Between the States.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  3. Jerry Alpharetta. GA

    The election of President Obama to the Presidency is clear demonstration that racism is not playing a hand in the minds of the American people. If Hillary Clinton were the President today and said the same things that President Obama has said, she would have received far greater acrimonious assaults. But I guess that would be a gender issue. Americans are fed up with hearing great oratory with no substance. Example: House Bill 3200 in its current form does provide for payment of abortions. In the original form it did not, but Obama knew this and used clever words to skirt the issue but still make a true but totally misleading statement.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Sandra from Texas

    President Carter is absolutely correct. An 85 year old and a five year old have something in common. They both tell the truth and call it like they see it. A five year old doesn't know about consequences and repercussions and an 85 year old doesn't care.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  5. Judi from Frisco, Texas

    Please, stop asking Rush Limbaugh about anything. I can't think of a subject on which I consider him credible. That being said, race is absolutely at the core of the hatred being shown toward President Obama. This is not about health care or even the economy. It is very simple. Barack Obama literally made white American equal, and only equal, to black and brown America when he became President of the United States. There are a number of white people, some of them tea baggers, who hate him for that. The Republican party knows this and is exploiting these people for the purpose of causing the President to fail. These wonderful Americans are throwing the nation under the bus to make sure the President fails.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  6. Karl from SF, CA

    Helen Keller could see racism has everything to do with what is going on today with our President. The Civic War is far from over. Guns at rallies, calls of “I want my America back” at health care town halls, and a Confederate Congressman and retired Army Colonel, no less, calling the President a liar in a joint session of Congress. What’s next? We thought the civil rights bill bought us out of the dark ages of bigotry, but the predominantly Republican bigots, including those members of Congress that blatantly condone and encourage this, are flushing us back down the drain.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  7. valerie jacksonville, fl.

    jack, i don't care about the race card, and i'm black. but what i care about is what our troops are thinking. we have troop, who are fighting in two war. we have troop who are in othercountry to keep peace and democracy for those who want it. our troop are made of differ race,because they are americans. that what our country is all about.how do you think they feel about what is going on now in our country.the pepublicans been having unruly behavior that are pure embarrasmentto our troops in other countrys.tne republicans been having unruly behavior,the reblicans is for party only. how low.this is what they call patriotism.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  8. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    is the sky blue?

    Pablo in Arlington Texas

    September 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  9. wilson almeida

    of course it does, you can smell it through the tv
    have you seen any blacks w assault rifles in town halls meetings, what about the tea party train? the exaggerated right wing absurd paranoias reflect the distrust and discomfort they have regarding, african-americans in general (jfk suffered because he was catholic, and people thought he was going to obey the pope first, remember?); the white right wing only relates to equals, they are a potentially violent mob; call them racist is like saying a cat is a feline.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  10. Mel


    Never in history have we seen or heard any member of the House or Senate flat out disrespect a sitting President. Now ask the question again... Does racism have anything to do with opposition to Pres. Obama? Racism has gone no where!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  11. Ann from Charleston S.C.

    I think racism exists in this country and it is ugly. I don't think it exists as widely as it once did, but it is still here. Those who are racist cannot tolerate the thought of a black president. But I don't think racism is the whole story. I think a lot of the opposition is just plain dirty politics.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  12. Ray Kinserlow

    Oh, come on Jack, I'm from Texas. That's like asking me if the wind blows too much out here.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    September 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  13. Martin, GA

    Money is the American Dream and Racism is the American Lie!

    I want my nose to grow when I lie .... But not just mine, I wish everyone had a nose like mine that would grow and shrink with the deeds of the man.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  14. Maryjane

    Sadly YES!

    I'm currently staying at my mothers home and I can count 4 older white neighbors of hers that refer to black americans as n--rs and that's in CALIFORNIA.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  15. Jill

    Sometimes, but not always. I think it more has to do with his age and inexperience. People think they can be more disrespectful to someone who is younger, or who doesn't know his way around the business as well as they do. When you look at someone young and good-looking, sometimes it's easy to forget he's also the President of the United States and give him the respect he deserves.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  16. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Yes. There's a certain segment of Americans who will NEVER accept a Black man as their president. All the cries of, "I want my country back" and signs held high calling him an "imposter" or "illegal immigrant" and worse make it clear that they are NOT talking about health care.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  17. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    Bigotry is alive and well in America.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  18. Carolyn, Pensacola, FL

    I don't think all of the opposition to President Obama is racism but rather a reaction to the tremendous deficit spening and maybe even resentment of the AIG/Wall Street group giving theirselves mega bonuses, etc. However, there IS racism out there and it is being exploited trememdously by certain groups with an ax to grind.

    But look at it this way: At this time in America with the first Afro-American president, this is a great and major opportunity for white Americans to grapply with their prejudices and begin to understand their feelings. This is ALL NEW to Americans. Never in the history of this country has there ever been any other race except whites. It is all new and scary. White America needs to settle down and examine their own feelngs and hatreds and try to accept them and get past all the anger and fear.

    So once again, you can put this comment under moderation. Go for it. I will still enter my comments, anyway.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  19. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    There are bigots and racists of every kind. This man is the envy of many no matter what his race. Let's keep questions like this out of the loop, we need to focus and the positive.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  20. JustMe

    Republicans can call Obama communist, a liar, socialist, and all the more things they have said but now the Republicans are in a uproar because President Carter calls it exactly like it is! Those that live in racist areas knows it is very much alive. Sure with many Republicans it is about issues. I am a Republican but not a blind one! JustMe in NC

    September 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  21. Steve Canada

    I think that there is a "fringe group" of racist people...They are exactly that.."fringe"...The fringe left and right both have their spiritual leaders..The left, Jimmy Carter..the right Rush Limbaugh. Mainstream america (still the large majority) watch and listen with disgust at all this baiting and "gotcha" sound bites...The whole debate is disgusting, and the publicity given to it is even more so....

    September 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  22. Michael in Albuquerque,NM

    Yes. I had thought that the bigots had crawled back under their rocks. But, after the election of President Obama they have come out in force. They drop the N-word as often as a gangsta rapper in a Dave Chappelle skit....except they mean it. They were recorded at the 9-12 teabag march in the crowd using that language. They write threatening letters to progressive radio talk show hosts. It has all been documented. Just when we thought the bigots were gone, they show up to townhalls with guns. They are in opposition to all reason.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  23. Matt in Blacksburg, VA

    It has to do with some of the opposition, but not all. I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of the opposition to President Obama is based on politics and the polices put forward. There is legitimate concern, and the country needs to acknowledge this and work together to move forward as a nation.

    There is however a fringe group of people who will oppose anything the President puts forward because of his skin color. While they have become more vocal as debates like healthcare heat up, I believe the problem has been exaggerated. There are some in the Democratic party who are trying to divert attention from legitimate arguments by pulling "the race card". This needs to stop. Address the issue of race when there is an actual case, don't use the President's ethnicity as an ejection seat for when the debate heats up.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  24. Denise from Phoenixville, PA

    Of course it does, Jack! Why is America in such denial when it comes to racism? If we cannot even acknowledge this reality, then we cannot possibly change it. America has come a long way in having elected Obama in the first place, but don't forget that 40% of America did not want him to be president. Some of that 40% is now fuming mad that this black man is running "their" country! True, some of the opposition to Obama is not race-based, but let's face it–a lot of it is racist. America, pull your collective heads out of the sand and stop denying a very real problem that we have in OUR country!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  25. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    Race certainly play a role. People like Mr. Limbaugh are helping to fan the fires while at the same time behaving like the Red Queen beyond the looking glass and saying that the sentiments he (among others) are spouting are not behind the opposition movement.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  26. Larry, Providence, RI

    Just re-read your comments from Rush Limbaugh and you have your answer. He's always preached hate and bigotry against African Americans and his listeners go out and practice it. This is scary enough, but what makes it even more frightening is that the Republican Party seems afraid to challenge this man and for some inexplicable reason has made him a leader of their party.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  27. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes 100%, we saw plenty of it during the election how they sent out Sarah Palin to say some of the nastiest and completely wrong thing, and common sense did not kick in with those on the right to throughly reject it! Now the right even rejects good thing that President Obama does like encouraging our kids to stay in school, and striving to make our country better! The Right is completely wrong in every way!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  28. Kirk (Apple Valley, Minnesota)

    You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see that racism is playing a large part in opposition to anything President Obama tries to do. Michael Steele is the Republican version of what used to be called "the house negro" who would say anything his white masters wanted him to say. As for what Kanye West did, I wouldn't have cared if it was Frank Sinatra. He was a fricking jerk!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  29. ken mesle

    My question is where were these teabaggers back when President Bush inherited a record surplus and immediately turned it into a record defecit? If its really about government spending, where were they? The fact that they never mentioned a peep about Bush lying us into an unnecessary war in Iraq... the administration awarding no-bid contracts to their cronies... Fraud and waste left unchecked.... where were they? Their lack of action during the Bush Administration gives them no credibility what-so-ever with their claim that now they don't want to saddle their children with debt. Why would they rather spend our tax dollars destroying and rebuilding another country rather than safeguarding Americans from an unregulated health insurance industry? Do they really prefer having treatment decisions made by case managers whose bonuses depends on the number of claims and requests for treatment that they deny? I thinks its time for the lunatic fringe to grow up. Elections have consequences and the majority of Americans chose President Obama... They need to accept it and start acting like they love their country.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  30. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Yes. Threats have increased about 400% towards Obama even though he is only trying to fix the problems caused by Bush's policies. Where were these people going on and on about the trampling of the Constitution under Bush? They were NOT at any "tea parties" protesting him. That's for sure.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  31. John, Fort Collins,CO

    I feel it is unfair to apply the term "racist" to Congressman Joe Wilson or anyone else who opposes President Obama without specific evidence. We can only guess at what might cause him and the others in the right wing lunatic fringe to have eyes that spin like pinwheels.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  32. Eruptable XPOSE'

    I'm a Black man and a stunch supporter of the President and his initiative and I don't think this has to do with race. Simply put it, most of these protesters seemed like middle school drop outs who cannot distinguish the difference between a sentence or paragraph. Some body need to look in their faces and tell them to pursue their GED's and get on with their lives...Once there is life, there's always hope!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  33. Cindy in VA

    I believe that racism is the reason we are seeing the elevated levels of disrespect. Too many people think they can talk down to a black person because of their belief that black people are not equal.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  34. Derek (Sacramento, CA)

    Of course it does, Jack. It's the primary objection, veiled as complaints about "Socialism" or concerns about the budget. Jimmy Carter had the guts to say it as he sees it, and he's no fool. None of these protesters were ranting when Bush was president, yet suddenly they're concerned about their country. Welcome to racist America, circa 1957. The only thing missing are the white hoods and burning crosses.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  35. Linda in Arizona



    Thank you Jimmy Carter for telling the truth. Anyone who is from the south knows racism when they see it. Puleeeze.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  36. Rebecca in SC

    Of course it does. It is unfortunate that–no matter how blatant the racist insults on the placards carried by teabaggers–people in public life, media and politicians alike, are afraid to condemn them. Of course the Limbaughs of the world accuse anyone who does so of "reverse racism," but if that is allowed to cause American society to turn a blind eye to this growing (and dangerous) problem, we are in real trouble.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  37. Alveta, Maryland

    Something's will never change, the klan rally they had on saturday in DC, shows it all.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  38. Rick St Augustine Fla

    Of course it does...along with utter Ignorance

    Look up "Southern Strategy"

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  39. Jason - Raleigh, NC

    You're a white American male Jack - You know the answer to this question.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  40. Becky

    Yes, it has everything to do with it. Carter is right.


    September 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  41. Matt

    Yes...yes it does and anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  42. robin

    is all this about racism? does a bear poop in the woods?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  43. Becky

    In one word – because there's not enough room for everything I'd like to say – DUH!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  44. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    It's c rying shame, but true. Obama is working his heart out to try and fix what Bush and rich folks ruined, and yet he gets dissed.
    What else can that be but racism. I never saw a single white Republican protesting when Bush was running up huge deficits but now they're all of a sudden outraged. I'm outraged at the behavior these people against our president. I stood by and watched Bush almost destroy this nation and still had the manners to not forget that he was president. Obama is getting no such pass from right wingers now. THAT IS RACISM!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  45. Joan: Burlington, Vt

    Racism is part of the fabric of our nation, but not all Americans are racist. Some of the derogatory words/actions toward President Obama as a person may well be based in racism. However, disagreeing with his policies are most likely not racist based. President Carter's remarks gives each of us an opportunity to examine our own reactions to both the person and policies of President Obama to determine where we ourselves are coming from.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  46. Sheila Murawski Arlington, VA

    Trying to be objective here, but it seems that while all Republicans are not bigots, all bigots are Republican.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  47. vic padelford

    Asking if racism has anything to do with attacks on president Obama is a little like asking if National Socialism had anything to do with the holocaust. Some of these right wing bigots, including Rush Limbaugh would also deny the significance of the Holocaust. Of course racism is behind their attacks, and Steele is little more than a lackey to his right wing constituency.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  48. Harold In VA

    Gee, Jack. Isn't that sort of like the question about bears and the woods?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  49. Dead Eye Dick O'Herlihy

    Race doesn't have everything to do with opposition to Obama, probably 15% of it is politics, but how can Michael Steel be a judge of racism after he was made to kneel to Rush Limbaugh earlier this year?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  50. Daniel

    Of course it does. I don't think there's a person who doubts that statement. There may be doubt with respect to whether race plays a role in specific issues, but there's no question that it does in general. Some reports are coming out indicating - specifically in the South - that organized white supremacist groups and race-related hate crimes and protests are seeing a more rapid rise than any point in America's history. Scary!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  51. Shellie, Texas

    Jack, yes, I believe racism is behind much of the criticism of the President, and it is being stoked by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
    From the moment he was elected, they, along with FOX News, have done everything to destroy President Obama. In my opinion, their opposition has become sedition.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  52. Melinda, Ohio

    Jack, I really do think racism is a part of the outbursts, name calling and people showing up to town hall meetings and tea parties. Some of their signs they carry at these gatherings are directed at the President with racial slurs. I think Beck, Rush and Hannity help fuel these flames by their negative views on their shows. Even in one of my college classes we discussed the same issue that former Carter raises (we was discussing this before Carter even said it). The class agreed that we have never seen this kind of hatred toward any other President like we do President Obama. The Republicans are embarrassing to watch, because when our local newspaper show pictures of people that go to these gatherings, these people carry signs that show how little education they have.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Norris

    Does racism play a part! What do you think? Micheal Steal is an embarrasment. The only reason he is in the position that he is in is because they need another black man to go against the black man.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  54. Frank

    Jack I can answer this with one word: YES! If former Pres Bush was ever treated like Pres Obama, there would have been a lot people at Guatanamo as thyey would have been considered terrorists. I mean, can you imagine going to a Bush event with a gun?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  55. CDoolittle

    President Obama is biracial...his mother was white, his father was black....just because his skin is dark does that automatically make him black? Can one just simply not agree with his policies, his values, & his radical background? Those that oppose Obama simply don't agree with him. Why must it always be a 'racial' issue?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  56. ace

    Of course it does!!! The secret service needs to investigate joe wilson as well as the angry mob to get clarity. Maybe we will expose those that continue to perpetuate this awful disease called racism. Michael Steel is being used by the Republican party as a smoke screen.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  57. Elinor Yeo

    I am afraid that race does play a role. And think it is because Obama is smart, well educated and articulate. Some folks just don't want to believe that that is possible! And perhaps a bit jealous?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  58. Saint John

    Of course it does. We must remember that black people are only a 150+ years out of the slave master rule. There are prominent white people that do not want our President to succeed simply because he's black. They would rather hurt the US as a whole than back ANYTHING that the President is for.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  59. Christopher

    NO!! People just disagree with the President. The media and politicians are the ones making it out to be racism. You are the ones that keep racism alive in this country.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  60. Hypatia Rizing

    Visit Sarah Palin's Facebook or any other place the right speaks freely, and you will not have to take the word of a former president's word for it.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  61. R. Smith

    Duh! Of course it does; it's just a question of how much.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  62. Tiffiney, Chicago,IL

    YES! Ask yourself Jack, if Hillary Clinton was President instead of Obama, knowing how she feels about health care and knowing her past history with health care, do you honestly think we would see the same anger and hate that we do now?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  63. Greg

    Yes, I am a black man and I have seen this before in the 60's. We all see it too. From the Town Hall to the Tea Partys. If we are not careful we very well could be in a Civil War!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  64. Charlotte

    No, racism has nothing to do with opposition, it has everything to do with it. Jimmy Carter is the only one who has had the guts to say it.

    I supported Obama, voted for him, and STILL support him.

    In case you are interested I am an elderly southern white lady.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  65. Ellie Lutzke

    Let's not fool ourselves, there is still a lot of racism in this country.
    Labeling every sound and action of opposition as such, however, is a huge mistake that attempts to stifle opposition and will have the effect of any white person to be afraid to say anything publicly.
    Getting beyond racism cuts both ways: If we are to be ONE America we not only have to get past seeing color but must also learn to take criticism as colorless.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  66. Pansy

    Yesterday I got behind a car with two blatant pro-gun and three or four hateful anti-Obama bumper stickers plastered all over the rear. The driver was a black woman. Is she racist? Or is it possible that people just don't like President Obama, nevermind his color?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  67. roland

    Sure race is a factor, it may not be the overiding factor but it is there. How many other presidents have had armed people in the crowd of their speeches? How many presidents have had people protest them speaking to their kids about staying in school? How many presidents have had a congressman call him a liar in a joint session of cogress? Coincidence, maybe but maybe not.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  68. Mike Page in South San Francisco, CA

    Of course it does. I'm 76 years old, grew up in the segregated South, and have some understanding of the problem. Times have changed, but not as much as some think. When push comes to shove, many on the right will be referring to Obama using the "N" word. I think it;s already started.
    BTW, I voted for and support Obama.


    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  69. Bre Mahaney

    I'm sick of being accused of being a racist because I don't agree with liberal policy. I didn't agree with some of the things Bush did, either. What does race have to do with it? I thought we had moved on from there!?!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  70. brien

    If the USA had elected John McCain, would he be "The WHITE President" or simply "Mr. President"? Canadians are taught that we may not like or share the values nof our leaders, BUT WE WILL RESPECT THEIR OFFICES! Americans have lost their "respect" factor. Perhaps, again, Americans can learn from other countries- like Canada!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  71. Marianne

    No, no and no. Racism is of course a sad reality of our society, but it does not play a role in everything!! Good people come in all colors – and so do bad people. I personally look at a person's behavior, not their color. But some people use racism as a scapegoat for everything! Can you imagine if a white doctor had been responsible for Michael Jackson's death? I am too scared to contemplate that!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  72. CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd

    Jack, I was brought up in a military family where there were no "colors" of people...just "green people" - military servicemen and women. But when I moved to the "deep south," I was deeply troubled by the culture shock I encountered here. While at least half the people in South Carolina are very open minded, there are still many here who would like to see the "south rise again." Do I think racism had something to do with the outburst on capital hill? Given the congressman's history, I'd say so. Don't forget that he became extremely offended when Strom Thurmond's daughter came to light. I think the record stands for itself when it comes to "You Lie" Joe.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  73. Charles

    When I called Bush an idiot, I was called Unamerican. When I criticize Obama for his policies, I'm a racist. Carter is senile.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  74. Antonia

    Well, yes, racism is a factor for some. However, I think it is more of an underlying factor. The bigger problem is the fear that many members of the neo-conservative right rally against our President. Racism is a type of fear, so of course it is used by some. Though I think most of the fear is used in policy. Some people are afraid of innovation, trying something different, and would rather stick with the same thing we've been doing for over a decade that lead at least to our financial demise and brought us into two costly wars.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  75. Stella from Chicago

    Absolutely, racism is all about – the opposition to Obama is all generated by racism, Republicans right extremists like Wilson, Carter is right in all he said.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  76. C L Rake Lundborg

    Absolutely! Most persons suppress the feeling but hate oozes out in obscure ways. Feelings are hard to discern and difficult to touch. A lot of people are not even aware of the nuances.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  77. david murphy

    jack -

    of course racism has something to do with the opposition to obama. the worst part is it seems to be enouraged by the GOP as a tactic to blunt any advances that might be made. sadly, such encouragement is like pouring gas on a fire - the lingering sparks of prejudice continue to turn into flames of hate and ignorance with terms like "nazi" and "muslim", we are lessened as a country by such small thinking.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  78. Joe

    Of course, racism plays a big part in the opposition to Pres. Obama. Just look at the images on display at the Tea Party gatherings.

    Had Rep. Barney Frank yelled "you lie" during Pres. Bush's address to congress which laid out the "case" for war in Iraq, he likely would have found himself in Gitmo under some Patriot Act provision.

    Copake, New York

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  79. Steve Mosher

    NO racism does not have anything to do with the opposition to President Obama. The opposition is with the Presidents policies, who happens to be a African American. HO and while were on the subject of racism, EX- President Carter does not know what is in the hearts of every American. Let it be enough said that he may be speaking about whats in his own heart.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  80. Righteous

    Jack, really. Pay attention, these people keep saying "they want 'their' country back".... Do you really believe all the country's debt was run up in the past 8 months? Government took people's freedom and privacy under Bush, but b/c he was white,or like 'them', these same people shouting at the top of their lungs only bleated like sheep to support his actions.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  81. alan

    Denying his citizenship, calling him an "indonesian muslim", a "welfare thug" and 'racist in chief" on CNN-proves that Mark Williams of the TeaParty movement is pandering to racist sentiments. Ditto Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  82. doubtingjane

    Of course racism was behind Congressman Wilson's outburst during the President's speech the other night. However, it wasn't just black/white driven. Congressman Wilson is apparently still biased toward Hispanics....and probably anybody else who doesn't look or speak like he does.

    I wonder if we'll ever get passed it.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  83. Robert - Tampa, FL

    so bc i have a different view/opinion than Pres. Obama im racist????

    i think its funny how people relate Racism to everything that is said to or about Pres. Obama........have these same people forgotten that when former Pres. Bush was in office they compared him to "Curious George"..........what would they say if we compared Pres. Obama to "Curious George"??? GET OVER IT!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  84. Lu

    I think race is a large force in the disrespect and despicable manner in which President Obama has been treated. People who are racist are churning inside with anger because we have an African American President. Remember, ANYONE has the opportunity to become whatever they want to be in our country. Obama is an inspiration to all of us. Some people are just jealous because he has made the most of his opportunity, while others sit on the sidelines and fester.

    Remember...most of the country support President Obama, we voted for him.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  85. Andrea in Twin Lake, Michigan

    It's about the white males who have ruled the roost since the founding fathers landed here. Anything or anyone who threaten their dominence will be villified. Had Mrs. Clinton won, we would be blasted with comments about how she might start WWIII during a particularly bad period of PMS. So its about power and money, not race or gender, and white men are determined to keep all the power and money for themselves.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  86. Roberta McEniry

    Yes, it absolutely is a huge part of the horrid behavior of many of the republican leaders and either racism or sheer stupidity is the motivating force behind the tone of these ridiculous "grass roots" "tea party" protests.

    And btw, i am a white woman from Portland Oregon.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  87. Don

    Jack, of course it does. Think. This country was founded on racism directed toward American Indians, Africans and Chinese, just to name a few races. It's genetically embedded within the fabric of American society and sadly, it seems we can not change that anymore than we can change the color of our skin.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  88. Dot

    240+days VS 2970 days.
    Of course it's about race, this whole blather from blitherer's started the day after he won.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  89. Tina

    Yes. The recent outburst by the GOP are outlandish and just down disrespectful. If you don't respect the president as a person at least respect the office, I think the GOP just added a new word to their vocabulary; BARACISM. That is RACISM against BARAC.
    Springfield, MA

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  90. N. Malone

    Jimmy Carter:

    President Carter comments are on point. America, it hurts when one of your own tells the truth about white america. Racism is alive and out of control.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  91. btforsythe

    It's at the core of all of it. I'm surprised this is even news. Hasn't it been painfully obvious all along? Would a white president have his effigy hung from a tree? Kudos to Former President Carter for saying it out loud.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  92. Mary Fennell

    Yes just like when he was going to talk to children about such horrible things such as do well in school. When the President came to the town I lived in as a kid he just did a drive by and we line the street with our teachers. Only difference this President is black. I wish we would start looking a little smarter what must other countries think?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  93. Linda

    Absolutely. Underground white racists have tried to discredit Obama under every guise imaginable, now they are using fear tactics aimed at white middle class seniors. It doesn't take much to decipher "take America back" to mean from a black President.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  94. Moises Cid

    You darn skippy it is about racism, I am a white hispanic guy and I can tell people reations just by the way the express themselves, people like rush, hannity and mark L, they all have a plot to discredit Obama and hope for him to fail so bad, that no one would vote for an african american ever again. It is a shame because I believe that obama is a great president, one of the smartest one that we have ever had.

    Moises...St Louis, MO

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  95. George Durham

    Wow! I became a racist by simply having different political views from the president? Carter is just pathetic.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  96. Dave

    Jimmy Carter is right on target! Racism is very much a part of the opposition to Obama. But they can't admit it. They want it to fester just under the surface so they can benefit without getting dirty hands. And of course Steele is saying what they want him to say. That's the only reason they picked a black chairman. Believe me, racism is alive and well and the republicans aren't above using it. They've exploited every other fear in the past. Oh, I'm not a black person with a persecution complex as they'd like to claim. I'm a 60 year old white dude.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  97. kitle jones

    aint got nuthin to do with racism. i am haf deep south american negro and haf native american cherokee and i dont like obamas policies. barack aint a good man. barack is a evil man. i am a haf breed so who represents me now ? i guess the white man does because the white man aint evil like obama. oh did i mention my skin is white like edgar and johnny winter, they are rock musicians if you dont know there father was black and there mother was white and from the deep south

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  98. Walt Hubert

    The most feared words in the Democrat Party: " Hi, I'm Jimmy Carter and I'm here to help." Thanks, Jimmy, the Republicans welcome your usual inane input.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  99. Sherrill Moss

    Oh course. This country was founded on racism–we have a long and deep history of putting others down so the mighty white man can feel superior. Until the Board of Directors of every Fortune 1000 company is comprised of the same gender and race mix as our citizens, we do not have equality or fairness.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  100. Tony in Maine

    Is the Pope a Catholic?

    Dissent, disagreement, discussion are one thing, but the rage, the fear, the hatred we see in the daily shrieks from the right can only latent racism boiling to the surface – the result of a black family living in the White House.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  101. D Schoch

    Of course it does.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  102. shirley white

    yes!!!!! i live in the deep south of ala. i am white, and i know for a fact that lots of racism still exsist in our state. i have heard our president referred to as that n____ word more than a few times.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  103. Billie Sutton

    Yes, I think racism is alive and growing since Jan. It is evident in the number of people that want so badly for Mr. Obama to fail. This isn't a simple Democrat vs Republican thing.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  104. don W. robinson

    Absolutely! look closely at the crowds, how many conservative honest black republicans do you see? look carefully at the placards. Attend a town meeting and listen and look. have you seen the poster of the president characterized as a "pickininy-of the old South stereotype?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  105. Diane

    I totally agree with President Carter. In fact, about a week ago I wrote to a newspaper voicing the same opinion but the letter was not published.

    There are two persons in the media who take pleasure in fanning hatred and discontent – rather than exercising voices of reason and calmness. One is on radio and the other on an all news TV station.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  106. Chris

    Well Jack, let's see. The right says there is no racism involved? Look at the facts though. I've seen many many clips of this so called " non-racist" Tea Party March and for the life of me I still can't find anybody who isn't WHITE. It's like trying to find Waldo!I want to know why nobody un the media seems to be pointing this fact out?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  107. flexx

    oh yes! those southern right wing nuts hate blacks PERIOD!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  108. Daniel from Philadelphia

    How can one ask if racism is a part of this opposition, people are taking to the streets with racist signs & chanting trash and hate. Those people are there, they are very angry about the darkening of the skin color of the country. From a black leader to immigration. It's racism.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  109. Courtney

    COME ON!!!! Just because I don't agree with the direction our President is trying to take our country does not make me racist! It means that I have an educated opinion that is different from his educated opinion. CNN, please stop playing into this for rating points and get down to what our country needs to be focusing on – OPTIONS for health care reform and getting our economy back on track. That's why I watch you. I can check the National Enquirer for all the other crap.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  110. Angela

    Racism has EVERYTHING to do with the protests. Racism informs much of the political debate, especially since the election of President Obama. It's very clear that the tea party activists and the town hall screamers are not really unhappy about government spending or government intervention into our lives. If those were the real issues, then they would have protested the Iraq war as well as the numerous intrusions of the Patriot Act. One need only take note of the level of vitriol, disrespect and downright hatred of the president to know what is at the core of it.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  111. tom from missouri

    Any state that flies the Stars and Bars flag over its state capitol like South Carolina is a racist state. It is so ingrained that they do not realize they are racists. Stars and Bars represents the good ole days when blacks were imprisoned by the supporters of this flag. Carter is right. First Strom thurmond, them Mark Sanford, and now Joe Wilson-a long line of Republican idiots in that state.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  112. ernest parker

    Of course race is the main issue! If Bush was in office do you think the opposition would've dared doing what that bum (won't dare give him the respect to even say his name) did on the HOR floor during PRESIDENT Obama. Sometimes i just say to myself, do these people even know who they're disrespecting? The President of The United States of America. Unbelievable!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  113. Dave Z.

    While I'm sure racism is a factor in SOME of the criticsim of Pres. Obama (those cases are pretty obvious), I think most of it is politically motivated (although some of the people yelling the loudest are simply misinformed or underinformed about the facts and reality in general). I've heard quite a few racist remarks against the president at my job, and it really makes me sick to know some people still think that way. It's about time wes stepped out of the 1950's, and moved in to this century with our thoughts toward others.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  114. Wade

    Hell yes, Jack. Talk to younger people...they'll tell you what their parents say.

    Fulton, MS

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  115. Gayle Davis

    President Carter is absolutely correct. Of course many white people will never admit it. Where are the policy disagreements outside of the beltway? The tea party marches have people complaining about "too high taxes." Excuse me but there have been NO tax increases. People complaining about "I want my country back." Anybody can read between the lines. They really mean "I want my country to be as it was–ruled by WHITE men!" Need I say more?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  116. Alton Smith

    I do not think Jimmy Carter is in touch with the American people. Race is an issue as long as you make race an issue. Racism is not the issue in this case however, it is a matter of policy. Obama has allowed us to get deeper in debt, allowed the continued borrowing from other Countries, has diverted us from the real issues by only stating the same tired rhetoric. Its the facts that matter not his race. Its his policy that is causing the outrage of the American people.

    Atlanta, GA

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  117. Paul

    Yes Jack, and Steele is a strategically deployed black man by a predominantly racist an overwhelmingly white party in order to camoufalge this fact. How many black people can you name in the Reupublican party? Remember that Seinfeld episode when Jerry's friend became a Jew just to tell Jewish jokes? Same thing here. Put a black man up front and you can do and say whatever you want without fear of a racist label. Steele is a pawn in a very dangerous chess game being played by the Republican party. The anger, hatred and violence is being witnessed in growing fervor. Cudos to Carter for having the guts to call it like it is.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  118. Wendee Garton-Molano

    Thank you, former President Carter for stepping up and saying what too many other Democrats have been afraid to say! It is painfully obvious that the vehement opposition to President Obama is the result of racism. The use of fear tactics to sway people's opinion against our President's health care reform (as one example) is clearly reminiscent of the same fear tactics used by racists who were afraid of people unlike themselves.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  119. Al

    Of course racism is involved.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  120. Julio Guzman

    The White Elephant (Racism) in the Room was let out by a White President (Carter). Of course racism is involved with the opposition to Obama. Many who deny this are looking at the walls in the room. They need to turn around and see the elephant!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  121. Jane

    I believe that racism IS behide all the opposition to Obama ,,The thing is no one will admit to it. Most of the white population hates to see a man of color running the country and will do anything to get Obama out of office. So I don't understand all the uproar with the republican party about what carter said. Racism will never end!!!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  122. lawrence ford jr

    yes I think it does. it's not the "good ol boy club" anymore. And the boys don't like a man of color running the show.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  123. Stefan- Oakland, CA


    Racism absolutely has to with much of the opposition to President Obama. It is alright to disagree with the president's policies but when people continue to question the legitimacy of his presidency and refer to the president as something other than American, that is clear racism. And no other president has ever been disrespected by a representative during his address to Congress. Rep. Wilson disregarded the respect he should show the President of the United States because he represents people (not just from South Carolina) who dread the fact that a black man is the leader of our country. Again, disagreement is fine but disrespect is not. I'm glad President Carter took a stand against this.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  124. D. Wise

    Yes, racism plays a major role in the opposition to President Obama. I live in South Carolina and I hear a lot of stuff about how the country isn't ready for a black leader. Joe Wilson, who represents a district in this state, needs to be ashamed, because he knows why he did what he did, he just won't admit to it. Take a look at his record. The man made disgusting comments about the illegitimate daughter of Strom Thurmond. He called it a "smear" on Thurmond's position. We all know what Strom Thurmond represented, segregation forever!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  125. Cedric in Dallas

    Racism is alive and well in America; and is at the root of many events involving President Obama. Because modern racism is not hooded militias, black men hanging from trees, and "whites only" lunch counters, it will always be subject to interpretation. But President Obama and his family have been subject to unprecedented attacks at the fabric of their personhood. From individuals calling them trash, to the media questioning their religious faith, even after they've stated their faith unequivocally. Given our country's history of racism, founding documents which still include racist ideologies (e.g, the 3/5 Compromise), and the current events we read about everyday which are marred by prejudice and bigotry, it would be fanciful to argue that President Obama's treatment has nothing to do with race.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  126. Chuck in Oregon

    Race is definitely an issue. I hear it all the time. Notice that most of the health care protester crazies are white? ...and the GOP...they still think the South won the Civil War.
    I'm white but I see racism all the time by whites and non-whites. The behavior of the GOP and any who deny this are just trying to cover it up with politics.
    Racism by anyone of any ethnicity is just sad and shameful in this day and age. Ignorance and lack of trust from all races is what is keeping us from moving past this issue.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  127. Nikki/san diego

    You bet Race is playing a huge role in some of this protest and by 2012 it's going to be an embarassment to the United States of America.
    President Carter thinks he's "pained now", just hang in there Mr. President, you ain't seen nothing yet!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  128. Jane in Georgia

    Jack, I lived in the same area of Georgia as Jimmy Carter all my life. Down here we have a saying about opinions. Jimmy needs to speak for himself. Jane in Georgia

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  129. Louie Blaze

    In a small percentage I am sure it does just as rascism on the part of many african americans is the reason they will not support GOP intiatives. The majority of opposition to any admistration, however, is philosophical and concentrating on the fringe elements is damaging to race relations and the political discourse.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  130. Kenna

    By all means, race certainly has to do with the opposition to Pres. Obama. This is a slippery slope that must be halted immediately. If McCain or Palin were standing where President Obama stood the other night and Senator Obama yelled, "You Lie" to either of them he would be worse than censured.

    Kudos to you JIMMY CARTER for calling it like it is.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  131. Antonia

    Well, yes, racism is a factor for some. However, I think it is more of an underlying factor. The bigger problem is the fear that many members of the neo-conservative right rally against our President. Racism is a type of fear, so of course it is used by some. Though I think most of the fear is used in policy. Some people are afraid of innovation, trying something different, and would rather stick with the same thing we’ve been doing for over a decade that lead at least to our financial demise and brought us into two costly wars.

    Antonia, Mississippi

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  132. Gerard Williams

    Race is playing a role in the opposition to President Obama...It's ok to disagree with the presidents policy, however the name calling aimed at the president and first lady has nothing to do with policy, it's blatant racism...

    The GOP wants to divide the country through racism and re-capture the white vote that helped put President Obama in the White House...

    It's all carefully planned by the Republicans!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  133. Tiye

    I believe that racism is apart of this reform. Listen to talk radio is saying. The posters the remarks. It's a america and its racism that america was built on. Racism is apart of the american dream. Its america and thats how it is.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  134. John

    I've been watching this story on CNN closely and in my opinion
    race doesn't really have anything to do with it. Jimmy Carter should
    follow George W Bush philosophy of keeping his mouth shut. He
    could save it all for his next book.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  135. Taye

    Of course it does Jack. Everyone knows this. When people at the town hall meetings say they want their country back, they're referring to the fact they want a white President in power. No one has taken their country away from them. President Obama has not even taken away their freedoms like Bush tried to do with the wire tap bill. Where were these same people at then? They had no issues because it was a white president involved. These people will rather see our country a third world country than follow a black man. Sad, but true statement.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  136. Sara Andrews

    Unfortunately, racism has everything to do with the opposition to President Obama!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  137. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Jimmy Carter is wrong people are afraid of decisions made from a new president theres fear of race change from 200 + years of presidents I was more afraid of Jimmy Carter and needs not to cause racial hatred.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  138. C. Davis

    The short answer is yes. There will always be people in all walks of life that are motivated by racism. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that race plays a role on all judgments, though. I support Obama and I'm white. Medical insurance is something all American citizen should get. Our government is supposed to protect us. Without insurance, a lot of people die from easy-to-cure problems.

    C.Davis, Mobile, AL.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  139. Marvin E Marshall

    50% Racism – 25% bigotry – 25% Christianity gone wild

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  140. James Richmond, VA

    Unfortunately, race does matter to some people, Jack. CNN demonstrated this during the campaign last year when a white man sitting in a stadium in Tennessee was asked by one of your reporters what he thought about Obama. The man’s response was: “I’ve never seen a black man without his hand out.” I don’t know the extent of this bias, but it is prevalent in the South just as Mr. Carters believes.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  141. Tommy Etheridge

    The Acorn mess is living up 100 % to the percieved racist sterotype of blacks. The Presidental aderess comment by Wilson is only a slip of this mentality by this percieved whether true or not, mentality

    Southern Democrat

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  142. John D Masuo

    Fortunately President Obama is a Kanaka, Local Boy From Hawaii, so He's able to rise a skosh above it...John.... the paperboy from Pearl City, Hawaii

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  143. Travis

    Unfortunately, racism does still exist and only a fool would say it has NOTHING to do with some of the comments about Obama. However, for the most part, the opposition he faces has absolutely nothing to do with racism. Accusations that it is based on racism only takes away from the legitimate struggles and fights so many have faced to bring equality to blacks and other minorities over the years. Every time someone falsely cries racism it only takes away from the true civil rights movement. The liberals like to cry racism in an attempt to scare the opposition and silence them. Fear of being labeled racist they hope will silence us, taking away our right to free speach. Sounds like a socialist movement to me.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  144. Joan

    Hi Jack – I am a Canadian, lived in the US for many years and
    was called "pro yankee" – Not any more. I agree entirely with
    President Carter. The American people are disgraceful in
    their protests, comments and placards regarding their
    President. The older white ignorant people have taken
    over the air waves, noticeably there were no black faces
    at the so called tea party and other disgusting rallies.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  145. Ken Collins

    Anyone who feels that racism is not a factor in this issue is going through life with blinders on. Racism occurs everywhere on every level every day in this great country. President Carter gets kudos for shining a spotlight on it. The only way to reduce racisms effects is to drag it out kicking and screaming into broad daylight and let everyone see it for what it is.

    Ken from Andover, NJ

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  146. Tim in Texas

    Some (probably most) of the opposition is based in political ideology or specific objections to policy - legitimate opposition. A fairly small (probably) percentage stems from true racism – the belief that a race is inherently inferior. Another percentage may fall into a group that while not racist per se, views the US as being fundamentally a white Christian nation. These people may have an undefined fear that 'their' country is being taken over by 'the other' - non-whites, non Christians. It's a basic fear that the 'other' has essentially different values and cultural norms and that as we become more diverse and whites are no longer the majority their values and their culture will slip away. The real danger is that those who are truly racist are allowed and at times invited (in veiled ways) to be a part of the larger opposition and this tends to legitimatize their views - they are just part of the crowd.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  147. Sam

    For those that think that racism has no effect on today's politics better wake up from their dream world. Racism is here to stay in this country, at least for another 2 or 3 generations. As long as there are parents teaching their children to hate, nothing good will happen and that is a shame!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  148. jim seymore maryland

    it is a crystal clear truth that race is the factor.people are just afraid of saying it.thank god a responsible white man can boldly say it.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  149. Al Briones

    Without question racism is a part and sadly will always be..!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  150. Mike Pope

    I believe race does play some part, but not necessarily as it has in the past. We are living in a time of challenge, turmoil, and, at least the appearance or perception, or real change. The fact that we have a Black Pres. merely adds to this feeling of upheaval. I think there is a growing feeling of fear and alienation, and I think to date, Obama has not really done a good enough job tackling that. He might have to show more sensitivity and wisdom to allay those fears, and lead us through this time of revolution.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  151. Chris

    I agree 100%, The racism that may have begun to dissapate has resurged with the election of President Obama. The anti health care reform fanitics think that the presidents policy is geared twords covering blacks who dont work, and that infuriates them. By the way i'm a white male from the south. And there are lots of "whites" who dont work too!!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  152. John from Newark, Ohio

    Jack, some opponents of President Obama are talking about seceding from the union and nuffifying federal laws. This is the kind of nonsense that was heard in the land from folks who were tring to preserve slavery. Jimmy Carter lived in the deep South when it was still the Old South. He knows what he's talking about. Most racists nowadays know better than to use the N word in public. That doesn't mean racism has ended.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  153. Bryan from Connellsville, PA

    Yes, of course it does. And people like Rush Limbaugh who fan the flames of hate should be ashamed of themselves. You can't change that some people are just ignorant, but it is shameful that some people make a career out of instigating and propagating hatred.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  154. Dale

    Joe Wilson: Member, Sons of Confederacy a white supremeacy organization; he was also among 7 SC senate members who voted to fly Confederate flag over capitol.

    Answer: Yes racism is in large part a motivation of opposition against Obama's health care plan.

    Joe Wilson: 2003 vote for Republican bill that gave federal funds to hospitals in reimbursement for medications given to illegal immigrants

    Answer: Hypocrisy is evident in Joe Wilson's actions as well.

    Dale in Jonesboro, AR

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  155. Edward from Texas

    I didn't want to believe that racism would play in part of Obama's presidency but after the tea party, I strongly believe that race is a factor. These people were protesting taxes and civil liberties. There were no rallies against Bush when he passed tax cuts for the wealthy and then passing the patriot act. When you have my Governor, Rick Perry, calling for seceding from the union within two months after Obama taking office, that is line of racism to me. What would have happened to a democratic governor is they would have said that during the Bush presidency.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |

    Yes, Unfortunately, I think much of the opposition to initiatives that Obama tries to accomplish since his election, have definite racial undercurrents. Most of those yelling, carrying vitriolic signs and showing up at the "tea parties" and town halls would never admit that they can not tolerate the fact that a 'black" man has risen to the level of President in our country today. Reading the forums and blogs on line, these folks are viscious, mean and very angry.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  157. Jr of Ca

    YES! When school districts and school educators allowed themselves to be influenced by right wing fanatics over the President speaking to students about staying in school, that is when I really started noticing the racism. I am still outraged about this. They are funded by the federal gov't and my taxes. Its a shame there is racism at my kids school.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  158. Osasu

    A lot of the president's opposition demonstrates such animosity that I think goes beyond mere partisanship. Race is a better explanation.


    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  159. Terry

    Yes, I'm glad that Pres. Carter had the nerve to say it. It seems that every major news network won't report whats obvious.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  160. Virginia/St. Louis

    Of course, it is race related. I was appalled as I watched, couldn't believe what I was hearing. I'm white and I recognize racism when I see it/hear it. I used to vacation in South Carolina, but that's one state I will cross off my list. Another case of a politician actly badly. Hats off to Nancy Pelosi, V.P. Baden, and President Obama they kept their cool.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  161. M Zavaglia

    Of course its racism with a capital R! Look at the gang leaders behind all these objection – they seem like a bunch of Klu-Klux clansmen to me. It's frightening that in the 21st Century and all the persecution that certain groups, including aboriginals, Africans, Jews, Irish, Chinese, Muslims and Christians have been put through – that we have not learned anything – SAD, VERY SAD

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  162. Dean

    Jack I'm black and I oppose the bailout practices of the Obama administration. Is that considered racism? But let's be fair; of course there is a small number of people who hate Obama simply because he is black, and boy are they speaking LOUD.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  163. Sandy T , Gloucester, VA

    Yes, I believe it does! I have never seem this type of behavior amongst adult over a president. Not only the behavior by the Senator, but the name calling and total disrespect by some people. I think Former President Carter call a spade a spade! If something is not done to start controlling some of these outrage outburst, I am afraid that we may seem some nasty 1960 stuff.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  164. Hasan

    Are you kidding. Of course it does. Americans aren't stupid and know whats the hidden meaning behind "I want my country back." I am a liberal and fully endorse dissent because without it we are not a democracy and instead a dictatorship. But what I see now is flat out racism. Can we please call it was it is and either address it or move on. There are plenty of conservatives with legitimate concerns about Obama lets focus on that and stop perpetuating racism. I didn't see Minister Louis Farrakan on CNN during the Bush Administration. I guess most news organizations thought he was too extreme. Why are extremist now embraced and even paraded on news channels as opposition. Come on "I want my real news back."

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  165. Evelyn Peck

    Jack, why do the networks' news departments continue to report on what Rush Limbaugh says? The man just calls any Democrat a ridicuous and mostly nasty name and has NOTHING constructive to say - just criticism that has no real basis and may not even be accurate. Maybe if he was ignored, he would fade away. I know he has his listening audience. Let them listen to him. They have every right. But why do the rest of us have to be exposed to his nasty nonsense?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  166. Will James

    Of course.
    Racism started during the election campaigns but white America should be aware that China, India and African and Arab countries are watching the US as are the Indonesians. Most white folks don't care but the world is smaller and incidents of racism are reported and filed for future reference, especially against Obama who really wants to do well.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  167. Kev

    Race plays a part in every corner of America. To deny that there are those who disagree with the president based soley on race is to deny that racism ever existed in our great country. False News Channel is a disgrace and its anchors and guest are un-American and irresponsible to its viewers.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  168. Judy Gyarnathy/ Carson City, NV

    I don't think Racism is the cause. I think alot of people have penned up feelings and resentment from the past Admin, when noone stated how they felt. Bush got his way completely, when he shouldn't have. I think Obama is catching alot of the released resentment now. Also, the hate from the radio commentators, the Internet, and the people who are against our country having any change are brainwashing people against our new President. He has more intelligence in his little finger than Bush did, so why worry about his skin color?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  169. MARK from Kalamazoo

    Yes racism has alot to do with opposition to Obama. Im a 50yr old, white independant. I'm disgusted but not surprised to see the real America rearing its ugly head. Intolerance, Apathy and Ignorance are still a big part of our culture.How sad.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  170. Larry Smith

    Totally: Show me a black person in that crowd of 70,000 in Washington DC. last week end. LS Mo.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  171. Marty W.

    I've been observing the same element of racism in America that Jimmy Carter spoke of. It's real, alright. Rep. Wilson's outburst can be specifically labeled as a lack of respect for the President, which is solely due to Wilson's racism. The caricatures of Obama used by the right reek of racist overtones. Racism is how less intelligent people deal with their differences. Hate is its manifestation.

    Marty W.
    Springfield, IL

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  172. Mary

    It's about time someone calls it what it is! I am appalled by the republican party. Senator McCain sitting smugly on the side doesn't help either, I thought he was of Presidential quality, guess I was wrong. This is racism at it's very worse!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  173. Patricia Hyde

    Jack, I am a Canadian and while I do watch USA politics my reason for agreeing with Mr. Carter comes from my own family. One calls Pres. Obama the anti-christ, she is from Texas and she has denied being a racist while at the same time saying it is scientific fact that the IQ of blacks is lower than whites. Another relative in California makes no bones about being anti Obama because he is black and everybody knows they only look after their own. Me, I think Canada should be so lucky as to have a leader as astute and intelligent and Barack Obama.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  174. TR Holt

    God I hope not! If it does play into the opposition of Obama, then I am ashamed of my race. I wish these behind the times, good old boys would sit down, shut up and let our rock star president do his job!

    Shorewood, Minnesota

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  175. Fred Morgan

    Racism does and has played a part in Obama opposition. Some of white America will never accept the fact that African Americans are very bright and very capable managers and administrator.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  176. Christopher L.

    Jack, you're one of the few that still tell it how it is. I applaud you. Absolutely race has been a factor. The republicans can't handle the fact that a black man had to come in and fix the disaster their last candidate created. Michael Steele however, is nothing more than their token black man. Had Obama not won, he would have never been made the RNC chair. Racism is rampant in the republican party, and they're finally starting to be called out on it. By the way, I'm white.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  177. Pam Grant

    The level of hatred observed at some of the town hall meetings would seem to lead the most reasonable person to ask "What is really going on here?". Racism is not involved in every person's conduct, but indeed it appears to be in many a person's heart. Sadly, but true. You'd think we have grown up.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  178. Jean OK

    ABSOLUTELY!!! There are the select few who just cannot accept that the'rey guy lost – especially to someone who is not white. I'm well over retirement age and I've seen racism at a young age when traveling in the south – it is still out there – not like back then but, just as disgusting mentality.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  179. George from Frederericksburg, VA

    Jack, Absolutely, racism exaccerbates policy questions involving the President. If the President were white, many would give him the benefit of the doubt on tough issues, like health insurance/care reform. But no, not if the President has a black skin. Being bi-racial may even make the situation worse for our President. I attended two health care reform town halls on Sep. 1 and 3. These events were just excuses for people who hate having a black President to throw out all sorts of lies and misunderstandings. Michael Steele was appointed RNC Chair only because he is black to counter a black President. Racism has always been lying either on the surface or just below the surface in this country. Right now, it is coming to the surface, and it is obvious.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  180. Donald

    There is definately a racism issue in this country towards the president. Just look at all the protest, there are very few minorities. The only black minority I really seen protesting was the idiot with a AK 47 that followed an idiot minister. All you have to do is look at the protest and it does not look like the same crowd that gathered when President Obama was sworn in. Can the tea partiers explain that, and not only explain it can I get video proof that there are several minorities at these bunk tea parties and other hate filled protest.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  181. Braxton Hall

    Racism? In America? Duh. Of course racism plays a role in the oftentimes illogical opposition to President Obama. President Carter is correct, but not totally. Racism is A cause of the opposition, but it is not THE ONLY cause, which is how the media is misinterpreting Carter's very cogent comments. This is NOT math, and there are more than one answer to the question.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  182. Lindsey

    I regret to say that it does – very much so. Just look at some of the signs that were carried by the 9/12 marchers in Washington. By saying otherwise, people are only trying to fool themselves and others. What's it going to take for people to see the problem for what it is? Cross-burnings at the White House?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  183. Brent

    NO! Racism has NOTHING to do with any opposition to Obama's political policies, agenda and philosophy of trying to tranform our capitalistic system over to Socialism.

    I don't care if the President is green, blue or purple. I am opposed to his hidden agenda of ruining this country and our constitution.


    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  184. k henderson

    I am an african american woman. and I am puzzled as to why anyone would question the motives behind Wilson's comment. My question is if Wilson is a member of the sons of confederate, has made comments regarding Strom Thurmonds bi-racial daugher and voted against removing the confederate flag. Why am I not supposed to think race was behind his outburst. If anyone other than him would have shouted out then maybe I wouldn't think race was an issue but his history is telling me something else and him saying "you will not muzzle me." is exactly what he was telling Strom's daughter to do.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  185. Carrie , Bham , AL

    Jack , absolutely!
    Come down to Alabama and you will see it 1st hand. I know many people who are against anything doing with Obama , just because of his color. They hide behind policies they do not understand or necessary agree with , just to legitimize their bias.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  186. Marilyn

    Of course race has something to do with opposition to Pres. Obama. It isn't what he says or does; it's who he is that is sending some in the opposition to such depths of antipathy. It only took 8 months for such deep hatred to become so intense? What I see being expressed is more like the hatred against minorities that we Americans have had centuries to cultivate into such a frenzy.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  187. press Grooms

    Yes! President Carter is accurate in his statement. If the President was we would not be discussing this. Remeber President Carter has live and seen this all of his life. He has crediblity!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  188. Donna

    First of all President Obama is just as white as he is black. Check out his lineage..... Second Jimmy Carter was one of our nations weaker presidents so why are we listening to him in the first place? Our President is currently dealing with is the same thing all Presidents have dealt with since the beginning of the office. His honeymoon phase is over and the public is critcally scrutinizing his every move.
    It comes with the office. People are screaming racism because it provides an excuse as well as a deflection from the real problems of our government. Stay focused people!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  189. Kyle, Oklahoma City

    Absolutely. You take equal parts racism and ignorance, add the hateful and dishonest remarks of people like Rush and Glen Beck, liberally sprinkle with the republican's disdain for their diminished relevance and you get thousands of idiots marching on our nation's capital calling themselves a "Tea Party." Now that's a bitter dish.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  190. Pat

    I think racism is somewhere at the bottom of the opposition to Obama. But the racism is always "subliminal" in tone. They don't call him by the "N" word. They call him a socialist, a communist, a Nazi, an illegal alien, a Muslim, an arab, or, what I heard a couple of dags ago, a "welfare thug." I think it's a perception of Obama - a well-educated Aftican-American - that also gets on their nerves. "Conservatism" is sometimes a cover for racism. Never have I heard and seen such hatred of a sitting American president. Never. And it's scary.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  191. GJ

    Of course racism is the reason why President Obama is being treated this way. Nobody claimed that "they want their country back" when Bush was in office. They are being disrespectful and frankly, I'm afraid of what's going to happen next. I mean, people are attending protests and the president's appearances with guns. Thats not normal.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  192. Gabriel

    Dear Jack,

    Of course it has something to do with President Obama. There are many people who oppose Obama that aren't racist, but merely oppose his views. However, it is undeniable that some out there oppose Obama just because of the color of his skin. People at rallies holding up signs of Obama as a Witch Doctor or the mere fact that white supremacy groups have shown a huge rise in activity is proof enough that racism is a factor.

    This country has, sadly, had a deeply rooted history in Racism. Just because Obama was elected does not mean that it has disappeared. I applaud Jimmy Carter for coming out and stating the FACT that racism is playing a role in some of the animosity against the President.

    Even sadder, is the fact that it will probably continue to play a role in everything the President will try to accomplish throughout his time in office.

    – Gabriel, from Miami, FL

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  193. Bill, California

    Jimmy Carter has always misread the American people. That is why he was so thoroughly trounced for re-election. He is irrelevant now, but the media will always report a cry of racism. I would have been happy to vote for Colin Powell if he would have run.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  194. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Good question and my answer is yes. The debates and protest over healthcare reform is being used as a proxy for racism. If this were not so, we'd see more than two groups of organized protesters.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  195. Rita Smith

    President Carter's statement was very true. Anyone who thinks he is wrong is living in a dream world.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  196. Crystal78

    I agree with with Former President Carters' remarks. America has a problem with race. I feel that If the president was white he would have never been called a liar on live television. It seems that everything Obama does they criticize him for. Its really sad but it's the truth if he were white we wouldn't be having some of the discussions we have.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  197. R Andersen

    Keeping it sweet and simple, Yes.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  198. Carlos Morales

    When I see the way some folks are acting it makes me sad. President Obama could promise " A chicken in every pot" and they would still oppose him. It's unfortunate but some people can't see beyond color.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  199. Nataline

    Yes, racism has a lot to do with things in America. I live in Cleveland, OH and I have experienced racism all of my life. I am an African American and have Native American roots as well.

    Today my daughter noticed that although we were in a public place majority filled with whites only the blacks acknowledged and spoke to us. I don't like it, but where I live that's how it is. I wish it were not a racist America, but it is. I used to get angry because whites hate me, but it only makes me have an angry reaction. I won't be angry because of racism. I'll do my best to love all of us here on earth and maybe it will make a difference?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  200. Alan-Texas

    Of course, racism has something to do with opposition to Obama. I don't understand how anyone can deny the obvious racism directed against Obama, and I don't understand how the media is just reporting it now as a possibility. That's a no-brainer, but there are other reasons some of the people are opposed to him. Some have a hard time with a black man being President-period. Others "want their country back" and have a hard time dealing with the fact that demographics are changing and we are soon not to be a white majority country. Others just oppose his policies, and others are just stupid sheep who can't think for themselves. I would estimate that 30% of the country is racist.

    I am white and voted for Obama because I liked his stand on most issues, but not all. I disagree with his stands to date on amnesty for illegal aliens and continuing the war in Afghanistan..

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  201. Mary from Kentucky

    Yes,yes,yes,yes,yes What more can I say.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  202. Joe in Stockton, CA

    Jimmy Carter is irrelevant. When a person's argument ON EITHER SIDE devolves into name calling, it indicates that the name-caller really doesn't deserve our attention.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  203. Bob in Dallas


    I can only comment on what I have heard.

    Hear in the heart of Bush's America, (Dallas) the most rasist comments came right after the election.

    I can't tell you how many times I heard "proud conservatives / republicans" saying to each other; "He won't make it a year, someone will shoot him".

    The comment was said as if with wishful thinking.

    This is a sad commentary on our nation.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  204. ray

    Jack......You are kidding, right! Look at the history of the United States, You CAN'T make this stuff up, Just ask Strom Thurman, Lester Maddox, George Wallace !

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  205. Terry, Ft. Bragg

    Ask Bill Schneider. I think he can offer some scientific polling that shows somewhere between 6 and 12 percent of Obama's opposition is motivated by skin colour. But then Obama is taller than the average politician and that is probably worth 20 points in the other direction.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  206. Laurell Wood

    Absolutely. Jimmy Carter is correct. Like many African Americans who were born during the Jim Crow days, we like Jimmy Carter who lived through and experienced this dark period in our history, can immediately recognize racism in all of its ugly forms. Michael Steele and others who are trying to downplay this reality are hiding their heads in the sand to remain in favorable light with their counterparts. Tell them to remove the blinders and get real. Racism is alive and well in this country.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  207. Bill Geibe

    Absolutely. I'm a middle-aged white guy and all I have to do is look at my email inbox for the evidence. I've had countless tasteless, racist, Obama 'jokes', fabricated facts and rants sent to me since he was a candidate.

    Sometimes I respond by telling the senders that I'm passing their email on to Rahm Emanuel and that the FEMA bus will be stopping by to take them to the re-education camp.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  208. Lisa

    I am a black 41 year old single mom. I am also a registered democrat and I am highly insulted that somehow disagreeing with the President on the health care bill or any particular issue somehow equals racism. I am against a government run health care system a swell as all these czars, so what does that make me????

    Hollywood, Florida

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  209. vijay

    It is very true. It written all over. Do you know why Michael Steel became the chairman of GOP? It is their tactics Jack. Don't believe what they say for God sake.
    Hayward, Calif.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  210. Beverly Christensen

    I believe President Carter said race played a "significant role." Most people would never admit they are racist, even to themselves, but I believe Carter is right. Most protest signs attack President Obama personally, not the parts of the health care proposals.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  211. Reed McGowan

    I am a southern raised boy, and know that most of these people are lying....from first-hand experience I know what they say behind closed doors. I am saddened that people are fooled by such covert tactics, disguised in a political shroud of distraction.... time could very well prove Obama wrong, but for now, he has been left with an unsolvable problem... and so they will crucify him for not being able to clean up the white man's mess, making him the scapegoat.... It's a 21st century lynch mob using politics and rhetoric as a noose.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  212. Valerie

    I don't care if he/she is black, white, purple or green. Any President that spends trillions of dollars we don't have and uses ;greater government involvement/control' as the answer to every problem this country has deserves the concern, at best, and the outrage, at worst of every American.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  213. Felicia (Georgia)

    Yes, it is about race. I, too, am a product of the South. It is so plain that there are those in our society who still feel that only the white race (sons and daughters of Japheth) have anything to offer this country or the world. I guess they aren't aware that we all cousins since we are the grandchildren of Noah. You know after the flood. These people have a problem with God not the other races. Tell him what you don't like about his creation. Make sure that you are not standing near me when this discussion takes place. Lightning has a far striking range!!!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  214. peter - atlanta

    I'm curious why my comments always "await moderation" and never, ever appear

    Jack, what’s not to understand. If it speaks like a racist, carries a sign like a racist, incites mob violence like a racist, etcetera, etcetera, well…there’s your answer.

    Peter, Atlanta

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  215. Jason


    Anyone that suggests racism isn't a factor in SOME of President Obama's opposition is either not paying attention or trying to hide their own feelings. Certainly, not everyone that opposes his ideas is racist, but two things have made this factor very clear:

    1. The outrageous opposition to playing the President's speech in some schools (even after the scrip was provided).

    2. The widespread charges and personal attacks on the President that are not founded and have nothing to do with any of the current issues. It is clear that many oppose him for who he is and not what he has done.

    To date, I have yet to hear anyone on the right even acknowledge that racism still exists and might be a factor with some. That sort of blanket denial seems to be an attempt to disguise their own motivation.

    For the "land of the free" in 2009, this is an absolute shame!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  216. Janet

    Rather than bringing up race, why don't they use the term ignorance? This would cover any and all nationalities. Obama said he was for "Change". It appears that we have a working President rather than a "hood ornament".

    September 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  217. Lucinda

    Sure there is racism involved, but on both sides of the fence. There are just as many of those that will support the President for no other reason than his race as there are that oppose. It is both insulting and derogatory to call everyone who objects to this admin policies as bunch of racists and it would be a huge mistake for this administration to dismiss them all as such. Should we expect the race card to be pulled out everytime the American public voices an objection to Pres Obama?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  218. greg edwards peeples valley arizona

    Jack; of couse it does, it's also responsible for... oh i don.t know, shall we start with global warming, then maybe the expansion of the solar system.
    Love Carter, but he's wrong on this one, and the simple proof is:

    If racism was a factor, Obama would not have been elected.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  219. Gary

    Anyone who does not think that rasim is playing a part in the opposition to President Obama has their head buried in the sand, deep.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  220. Leann Alexander

    Race is NOT the reason for any opposition! The color of someone's skin or even their religious beliefs do not have anything to do with the facts that our government is spening FAR to much money and WAY to fast! If I managed my personal finances the way they manage our federal budget, my family and I would be living in cardboard boxes!

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  221. Waban Carter

    Signs with Obama as an African chief? Signs telling him to go home? What do you think? Of course there is racism against him. Although subtle, any Southerner can feel it and Jimmy Carter is correct.
    What scares and disturbs me is that these people don't hide racism. they are proud of it....Joe Wilson said what he did to a black man, because he knows he has support from a lot of people...
    Where were their protests when Bush was spending so much money?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  222. Ian

    I feel that a small amount of racism is present in this, however I disagree with President Carter's assertion that it is a major player. I think the current opposition is more from a feeling of desperation, the last administration failed so miserably in every area that it stood as a sound rebuttal to the claims that many on the far right had been making. Now that their political views have been proven wrong and their leadership shown to be inept they lash out with personal attacks and childish behavior in an attempt to prove everyone else just as unqualified.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  223. Marna

    Racism is absolutely part of the opposition to Obama. It is a shame that our country has not grown out of this phase. There is no place in politics for this yet it continues to remain 220 years later.

    As a current adult college student taking a political science course – I would like to remind others to revisit or visit for the first time our Constitution.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  224. carol -auburn, indiana

    Yes I do think racism is motivating some of these demonstrators. I did not think so until I saw a picture of an African witch doctor made to look like President Obama. I found this very offensive. I also find the Hitler look inappropriate. Most of these radicals weren't even born when Hitler reigned with terror so what do they know. One can protest President Obama's policies without this viciousness. It's racist.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  225. Tippy

    Pres Carter is absolutely right. "you lie" where were the Republicans when their spin doctor Bush took us into the most appalling war. Tongue tied I guess. As for Michael Steele... his time is as limited...There is no room for color in the Republican party. It is not the party of America.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  226. Spencer

    People are status minded to a point where they will commit atrocities for their sense of being ahead or winning. Racism is classism or class jealousy with appearances. The Prez is one of the smartest and well deported individuals that i have ever even seen. Maybe i would say that our prez is the most charming man i have ever seen. As a matter of fact i might have non gay man respect for him. lol. i hope he does well in his job and his life. He is giving us all of himself. i know republicans hate that.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  227. Luis (PR)

    The joker, the witch doctor, Hitler, the hundreds of e mail circulating the internet potraying him as a monkey, Jack if you wish to see them I can forward them to you. They all come from "friends" and not one of them happens to be black. I dont think any other President trying to do the right thing for the majority of the public has ever faced this situation. Shameful.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |