I’m getting a lot of e-mail from people today about Jimmy Carter’s appearance with Jim Lehrer. People have gotten exercised about Carter supposedly calling Barack Obama “boy”, which as almost everyone knows, is a racial putdown of the first order when referring to adult black men. However, that’s not what Carter did, and the reason the media hasn’t made a big deal of this is because it isn’t a big deal. Watch the segment and listen to what Carter says and the context in which he says it:
I think it has already sent a wave of approbation and admiration in many countries around the world, just knowing that this black boy, who grew up with just a loving mother and grandparents — and that was about all he had to start with! — has now had a chance to become the Democratic nominee for president.
Jimmy Carter says plenty of stupid things without attempting to take something out of context to prove it. Clearly, he referred to the fact that a child who grew up without a father now has the opportunity to become President, although that’s hardly remarkable, since Bill Clinton did it sixteen years ago. The construction of his sentence may be slightly clumsy, but he obviously isn’t calling the contemporary Barack Obama “boy”.
Let’s focus on the truly foolish policy statements that will come out of this convention. I guarantee you that Democrats will offer plenty of grist for our mills honestly without straining for it as here.
And don’t make me come back there and defend Jimmy Carter again. I will pull this blog over to the road, I swear!