Condi Rice: U.S. will never be ‘race blind’
November 27, 2011 10:58 AM
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said America has come a long way in confronting racial inequality - but that America will never be “race blind,” and that race and poverty in America is “still a terrible witch’s brew.”
Rice, appearing in Sunday’s special Thanksgiving edition of “Face the Nation,” reflected on how growing up in Birmingham, Ala., during segregation “shaped me fundamentally.”
“My family had to persevere under those circumstances to educate all of us, and to insist that we might not be able to control our circumstances but we could control our response,” Rice told CBS’ Bob Schieffer.
Since those days, Rice argued, a lot of things have changed.
“We have a black president. We’ve had two black secretaries of state. We have black CEOs. Obviously African Americans are pushing way into territories that, probably, my grandparents would never have thought possible,” she said.
Still, she argued that even though America has “gotten to a place [where] race is not the limiting factor that it once was,” she said that “we’re never going to erase race as a factor in American life.”
“It is a birth defect with which this country was born out of slavery; we’re never really going to be race blind,” she said.
She pointed to the confluence of race and poverty as a particularly troubling constraint for overcoming inequality, and wondered if that problem isn’t becoming even more exacerbated in recent years.