In the year 1954, since the segregationist organizations were splitting up all over the South into Brown and Board of Education, a Baptist minister and a functionary in plains visited a peanut farmer at his warehouse and invited him to join the local White Citizen’s Council. The farmer declined that invitation.
After a few days, the same set of functionaries came and told the farmer he was the only white man in the area who didn’t join the white community. The farmer didn’t change his mind. On the 3rd day, the functionaries came with this farmer’s customers and threatened to ban his business. They also checked whether this farmer can afford the $5 dues, and they even tried to lend $5 dues. Then this farmer responded bravely, “I’ve got $5, And I’d flush it down the toilet before I’d give it to you.”
This farmer was non-other than the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. Carter is largely remembered as a leader who always tried to place the full stop for racial discrimination. As a politician, he took the responsibility to bring equity to his state as well as his country.
In the year 1971, Carter addressed as the Georgia’s governor, “The time for racial discrimination is over”. But in the statement which he released last Wednesday (June 3rd) through the Atlanta based Carter Center, he has repeated the same sentence with great sorrow and disappointment, nearly 5 decades later.
His message comes as the country struggles its long history of racial discrimination after the assassination of George Floyd by a white police officer recently.
In his statement, the former president repeated a powerful theme of the Floyd pretests across the country, white people must accept the responsibility for the country’s racial imbalance and must try to cure the wound. Furthermore, he requested all the responsible people in the country to stand up and fight against the racially discriminatory police and justice system, etc.
He also mentioned ” In this quest, we have seen that silence can be as deadly as violence,” which is the strongest quote in his statement.
The former president, Jimmy Carter didn’t directly mention the current role of President Donald Trump and how he is handling the country at the moment. But he said, “We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”