Then I found out about the fact that he espoused segregationist views, courted segregationist groups, and avoided courting the black vote to appeal to the racist vote.
I tend not to care as much as most if a person is a racist. I view it as a stupidity very similar to being a Democrat or Socialist. None of those views are very smart, they all can hurt people, and any critical analysis of the belief systems in question results in a complete refutation of any possible (hypothetical) value they may have. What this means is that I may know people that hold these beliefs, and as long as they keep these beliefs to themselves (or be ready for a protracted argument where I will mercilessly pick apart their arguments every time they're mentioned), I can talk to them (partly in the hope that I can change their minds). In Jimmy Carter's case, I could not be his friend, because his support of racism was done for opportunistic reasons and not out of genuine belief. He was willing to dance with the devil to further his political ends. So he wasn't being stupid - he was lying his butt off (regardless of his 'pride' that he never lied to the American people).
Jimmy Carter courted segregationist groups when running as a candidate for governor of Georgia in 1966:
"He attributed this loss to a lack of support from segregationist whites, who had turned out in large numbers to vote for his opponent, a nationally known segregationist named Lester Maddox. In a bid to win their vote in the 1970 governor’s race, Carter minimized appearances before African American groups, and even sought the endorsements of avowed segregationists..."
"He wanted to appeal to the large middle class, blue collar type, predominantly white, and most of these people are going to be segregationists," says historian E. Stanly Godbold. "Carter himself was not a segregationist in 1970. But he did say things that the segregationists wanted to hear."
After winning the election, he declared the era of segregation over. So what? Sorry Charlie, but that's wrong no matter what you wish to accomplish.
Sheesh! ...and the Democrats call Republicans racist. Try again. They're willing to say, do, or hurt anything to win the fight. They care about power, not what's right.