1976 April 6

“Ethnic Purity”: Candidate Jimmy Carter Puts Foot in Mouth on Housing Discrimination


Jimmy Carter, candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, created a national controversy with a remark about white neighborhoods in northern cities preserving their “ethnic purity.” He made the remark in a talk in which he stated his opposition to the federal government using its power to force racial integration of neighborhoods. African-Americans and other civil rights activists were already suspicious of Carter since he was the most conservative among all the Democratic Party aspirants for the nomination.

Congress passed the federal Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968. The Supreme Court affirmed and strengthened the 1968 Fair Housing Act in a crucial decision on June 25, 2015.

Read about Carter’s campaign for the presidency: James T. Wooten, Dasher: The Roots and the Rising of Jimmy Carter (1978)

Learn more about President Carter’s civil liberties record: Samuel Walker, Presidents and Civil Liberties From Wilson to Obama (2012)

Watch Jimmy Carter debate President Ford in 1976: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuaPct7gH1w

Learn about housing discrimination at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights:

Learn more about Carter’s post-presidential work  at the Carter Center: http://www.cartercenter.org/index.html

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