"But when the Civil Rights movement came along, Carter said he experienced a gradual awakening, and a realization that Campbell and the other “truth-tellers” of the white South had been right all along. If many whites experienced that era as bewildering and chaotic, Jimmy Carter says he experienced it as a personal and spiritual boon, in which “the burden of white supremacy” was lifted from him.
Let’s think about that, because it’s an extraordinary statement.
Of course I am supposed to pause here and say that the emotional or spiritual lives of white people are not the focal point of history, and that it’s vastly more important that the Civil Rights movement represented an enormous step forward for American society, and an explosion of pride and self-awareness among African-Americans whose ripples were felt around the world. That’s all true.
But the idea Jimmy Carter proposes in that essay, and that Will Campbell lived by, is nonetheless radical or revolutionary. It is that white people do not suffer when white supremacy is ended or ameliorated. In fact, they are made better, happier and more complete people, potential partners in all the dialogue and drama of the human race, instead of poisoned robots in thrall to a transparently false and evil ideology."