Condoleezza Rice’s life has changed quite a bit since her days in the White House, but one thing that hasn’t changed is her blunt approach to speaking her mind.
America’s first black secretary of state rose through the ranks of Washington with her smart analysis of complex problems, and willingness to tell decision makers what she truly thought without sugar-coating it.
That’s exactly what she brought to a recent interview.
While her interviewer tried to push a narrative of disintegrating race relations in the Trump era, Rice pushed back and made it clear that she wasn’t going to play along with preaching doom and gloom.
In a “Today” show interview, NBC News’ Sheinelle Jones predictably tried to steer the conversation toward bashing President Trump. She implied that race issues were worse under the 45th president, but the former secretary of state didn’t take the bait.
“[T]here are people who will say it feels worse now when we’re talking about race,” Jones said. Rice disagreed.
“It sure doesn’t feel worse than when I grew up in Jim Crow Alabama. So let’s drop this notion that we’re worse race relations today than we were in the past,” Rice replied.
She certainly should know what she’s talking about.
The woman who would go on to be one of the most powerful women in American politics grew up under segregation in Alabama, and personally witnessed the aftermath of bombings and lynchings which tore the south apart during that era.
But Rice, encouraged by her pastor father, chose a path of study and achievement instead of bitterness and resignation.
“It’s top down, it starts with the president,” Jones said during the interview, again trying to kick-start condemnation of Trump.
But while Rice acknowledged that choosing words carefully is wise, she pushed back against the idea that America hadn’t come a long way on race.
“Oh, come on, alright. I would be the first to say we need to watch our language about race,” Rice said. “We need to watch that we don’t use dog whistles to people … but when we start saying, ‘Oh, you know, it’s worse today,’ no, they’re not.”
“That means we’ve made no progress? Really?” Rice asked skeptically. “I think the hyperbole about how much worse it is isn’t doing us any good.”
That’s particularly interesting coming from a conservative icon who was no fan of Trump when he ran for president.
After the candidate’s “Entertainment Tonight” hot mic scandal, Rice used social media to speak out against the man who would go on to win in 2016.
It definitely seems like she has softened her view of Trump since that time. At the very least, Rice has apparently realized what so many other Americans have seen: Despite the “everything is terrible” tone pushed by the left, the country is actually doing pretty well during this presidency.
Instead of it being a dire time for minorities, there are a lot of signs that things are looking up.
Condoleezza Rice will probably never be an open supporter of Trump, but it’s good to see that she hasn’t let her past opinions tarnish her view of reality.
The sky isn’t falling, and America is making progress on important issues. Now, if only we could get NBC and the rest of the left to finally realize it.
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