Former US President Jimmy Carter says presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is tapping into the “inherent racism” in American society to promote his election campaign.
“I don’t feel good, except for one thing: I think the country has been reawakened the last two or three years to the fact that we haven’t resolved the race issue adequately,” Carter told The New York Times on Monday.
“[Trump] has tapped a waiting reservoir there of inherent racism,” he said of the New York businessman.
Carter said Trump is just one example of Republican animosity toward America’s first black president, Barack Obama, that exudes a “heavy racial overtone.”
“I think there’s a heavy reaction among some of the racially conscious Republicans against an African-American being president,” he said.
The 91-year-old Nobel peace laureate also said Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States
undermines global human rights.
“When you single out any particular group of people for secondary citizenship status, that’s a violation of basic human rights,” said Carter, a Democrat from Georgia, who was the president of the United States
from 1977 to 1981.
A year after leaving the White House, he founded the Carter Center in Atlanta to promote healthcare, democracy and other issues.
Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2002 for his commitment to finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts and his work for human rights and the promotion of democracy.
Donald Trump, the US Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee (AFP photo)
The former US president is a member of The Elders group of retired prominent world figures “working together for peace and human rights”. He published his latest book last year, titled “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.”
Trump’s campaign has been marked by controversial statements, including with disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants and Muslims.
In December, Trump called for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States after a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which was inspired by the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.
The proposal triggered widespread criticism and condemnation in the US and around the world.