The Civil Rights Summit is now underway at the LBJ Presidential Library. Former President Jimmy Carter helped kick off the celebration marking 50 years of the Civil Rights Act. Before he spoke at the summit, Mr. Carter was talking about his new book.
With a smile, a wave and a few thousand copies of his new book Former President Jimmy Carter returned to Austin Tuesday for the LBJ Civil Rights Summit.
"He meant a lot to me, personally, I never met a Democratic President until after I was President myself, but I knew about him."
Carter as the first featured speaker of the summit Tuesday night will talk about the LBJ legacy.
"And what Lyndon Johnson did not only transformed the nation's life but also my life personally."
Carter's first appearance of the day was at, Book People, a poplar Austin book store. He spent the afternoon signing his latest offering titled "A Call to Action." It's about the oppression and persecution of women.
"It's much more serious even than the racial issue in the United States, because this affects women and girls around the world."
A long line of people slowly moved though the store to get a copy of carter's book with his presidential signature. One was carried out by Katie Adams, a mechanical engineering student, who wasn't even born when Carter won and lost the oval office
"I think it is important that we have more world leaders recognizing the importance of women's rights."
Young women, like Katie, motivated Carter to write his new book. He suggested leveling the gender playing field will be just as difficult as achieving racial equality in the 60's. Carter admitted his administration was probably guilty of not paying women equally. It's a problem the current president also has to address.
"You have to remember, it's been 5 years or so now, since President Obama has been in office, I'm not criticizing him, I'm glad he has done it, but this could have started the first week he was in office."
Despite the awkward political situation Carter hopes the Democratic Party can make women's rights a big campaign issue this fall.
An individual's civil right is why Carter is in Austin right now, but the President said he is also concerned about one country's right to exist.
The crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate. Carter, who was a former naval officer, sounded hawkish when I asked him about the possibility of future Russian expansion by Vladimir Putin.
"I think about 3/4th of the Crimean people wanted to be part of Russia, so I think that was a foregone conclusion, and nothing that Obama and the European Union members, leaders, could have said to change that, but no, we have to stop him now he can't be permitted to take military action in eastern Crimea."
How to do that by force of through diplomacy Carter did not say.