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Rice Responds to Obama's Race Speech

By Glenn Kessler
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in an interview with the The Washington Times that was released today, said she watched Sen. Barack Obama give his speech on racism in America last week, adding, "I think it was important that he gave it for a whole host of reasons."

Rice said she didn't want to get into politics, but referencing the upcoming 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., she added an interesting insight into her feelings on race in America.

"There is a paradox for this country and a contradiction of this country and we still haven't resolved it," Rice said. "But what I would like understood as a black American is that black Americans loved and had faith in this country even when this country didn't love and have faith in them, and that's our legacy."

She noted that "Black Americans aren't immigrants. We may call ourselves African Americans, but we're not immigrants." So she said the national conversation on race has to focus on the fact that blacks and whites "founded this country together and I think we've always wanted the same thing."

Rice added: "My grandmother and my great-grandmother, and my father, who endured terrible humiliations growing up -- and my father in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and my mother's family in Birmingham, Alabama-- still loved this country....But if anybody believes that black Americans love this country any less than white Americans do, they ought to go and talk to people who live under very tough circumstances, sometimes doing menial labor and doing tough jobs, and really all they want is the American dream. All they're focused on is is their kid going to be well educated enough to go to college and have a better life than they had."

When it came to raw politics -- whether she was interested in being Sen. John McCain's running mate -- Rice was firm: "Not interested. I've been at this, as you've kindly said, a long time. It's time for new blood."

By Washington Post editors  |  March 28, 2008; 11:07 AM ET
 
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Comments

Posted by: Nicholas pilky | April 21, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

most any politician can make glaringly sensible statements when motivated to. they are careful however not to set the bar very high so that their special interest business-as-usual can continue to take place, and their accompanying double-speak can fade into the background, and we the people dare not expect more from them

i am not one bit impressed that rice has decided to break character and come out with a small dose of the kind of plain truth she should be sharing on a daily basis

rather, i think she wants to stay out of jail and can see that obama may very well be at the helm if and when the reckonings come for the bu$h administration's violations of the constitution and its warcrimes. i cant take her comments, or more accurately her reasons for publicly stating them, at face value. it looks like she simply wants to curry some favor with the future president obama

Posted by: peabody3000 | March 31, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ms. Rice... I'm impressed by her comments on this subject.

But this is the first and only time I've been impressed by her.

She was and remains an important co-conspirator, in collusion with cheney/rumsfeld/bush, in committing what will go down in history as the greatest war crime in the 21st Century...the illegal, unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Posted by: chetdude | March 29, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

A life long democrat, I think Rice is a genuinely good person and I would quickly vote for her as President. She definitely should not be anybody's vice anything.

Posted by: win | March 28, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

A life long democrat, I think Rice is a genuinely good person and I would quickly vote for her as President. She definitely should not be anybody's vice anything.

Posted by: win | March 28, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Strange, Obama said the same thing and didn't get nearly as much praise (though he did get alot!) But she's right on this count- what is the world coming to- black democrats and black republicans in agreement!

Posted by: sidmore-TM | March 28, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Great for America to have a brave and thoughtful person in a high ranking office. I really didn't think she had it in her, but I like a lot of others posting were wrong about her strength of character and her knowledge which was obviously past down by her parents and grandparents.

She understands the struggle of "playing catchup" on an field that is not totally equal today. I personally would love for Affirmative Action to go away when the "playing field" is equal for all, but until ears of understanding are opened on the majority we will continue to have it or something similar.

Hopefully, this will allow more deaf folk to open their ears about race. Notice, I said deaf and not racist, because I do not wish to believe a majority of white folk are racist, but deaf to the race discussion.

If our kids were taught true American History, which includes African American History and true world history in our nations high schools, we would be less deaf about the race talks. Because if we (our kids) grow up learning true history then they can grow past what we are still discussing today.

A lot of folk are calling Blacks less patriotic, because they don't have the true history lesson. If you want the truth, you must get all of the truth to be smart about a topic and not just claim to be smart about the topic. Not all Black folk are educated in true American and World history either i.e. "Ward Connerlly". I know most of you think "Clarence Thomas", but he is more educated than most of the rest of all of us on this true American history.

Obama's speech was great, but MLK said the same thing when he was 26 years old in 1955 in his "New Age" speech. Search it.

Posted by: gary.ward | March 28, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm no great fan of hers (in fact, in general I can't stand her) but this makes me remember that it is possible to find points of agreement with just about anyone. I greatly appreciate that she spoke.

Posted by: Calgal | March 28, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Smart, savvy, strong, and poised. I love to watch her before Congress. I had been harboring a small hope she would run as VP. How disappointing to see she won't. Maybe one day?????

Posted by: quark1 | March 28, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

How refreshing to hear public figures speaking about something without seeming to pay constant attention to the political connotations or ramifications of what they're saying. It's wonderful to see that Obama, Huckabee, and now Rice are leading a constructive -- and intellectually honest -- dialogue about race.

Posted by: davestickler | March 28, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

How does the Republican Secretary of State come out with a much classier response than Senator Hillary Clinton? Must be the content of character (or the lack thereof in the latter case).

Posted by: meldupree | March 28, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Secretary Rice is a classy lady. Hooray for classiness.

Posted by: squintz | March 28, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Dab23...

>> I have to say, that is the
>> first time I have been impressed
>> with her. Good for her.


Agreed!!!

Posted by: jencm | March 28, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

very well said by Ms. Rice... i have long said that she would be a remarkable candidate for Prez or VP.... the Mccain ticket would be greatly strengthened by choosing her as VP.... whether that happens who can say.... but she should keep the door open.... service for the common good has always been her nature....

Posted by: 1988joey | March 28, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

very well said by Ms. Rice... i have long said that she would be a remarkable candidate for Prez or VP.... the Mccain ticket would be greatly strengthened by choosing her as VP.... whether that happens who can say.... but she should keep the door open.... service for the common good has always been her nature....

Posted by: 1988joey | March 28, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I am a strong Democrat, but I have been a fan of Condi from the first time I became aware of her in the political arena.
I hope, after she takes a break from her current assignment, that she becomes more interested in seeking political office. If it on a national basis, I would sure like to support her.

Bud Curtis
Miami, OK

Posted by: bcurtis | March 28, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Thank you ,Condoleeza Rice , for the sincerely honest answer from you.I have always had doubts about some of your answers for the Bush administration,on whether it was apologist for the Bush line and how honest and forthcoming they really were, but I certainly will give anything you say the benefit of the doubt from here on in.

Posted by: majorteddy | March 28, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with virtually everything she's done, and I think she is a stooge for Cheney, but bravo Condi. Thank you from all of us -- mostly dems, of course -- who care about this issue.

Posted by: queenskid | March 28, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I never thought that I would agree with Dr. Rice. However, I must say that I agree with her observations wholeheartedly. To question the patriotism of Black folks in America is to be ignorant of history. To question the patriotism of anyone who dares to look at America with a critical eye is to be ignorant of history... our history as Americans.

Posted by: cooterbooter1970 | March 28, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ouch! Talk about "The pot calling the kettle (your choice)!"

Posted by: filoporquequilo | March 28, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Which one is doing the head burying?...... when it comes to Barak and Clinton? over the past few weeks both have revealed a remarkable insight into their political life.

It is abundantly clear that neither deserve any widespread recongnition.

Posted by: jamesatkinson1 | March 28, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

TMacPen...how did Obama's former pastor preach hate? You starting to sound like those conservative TV and radio show hosts who play snipets of Rev. Wright's sermons instead of the entire sermon. Rev. Wright is a former US Marine. Just because you speak out on what you see as injustices to people of color, you are able anti-American or anti-white. I think what bothers many White Americans (i.e. Americans of European descent) is that Rev. Wright is too pro-black or too pro-African, and that belief somehow translates into being anti-white.

Posted by: ajtiger92 | March 28, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Much applause for Sec. Rice on this one. I think black people on both sides of the aisle should continue to bring up these points. Specifically her point that blacks and whites DID build this country together. Blacks have had less reason to love America than anyone and yet have stayed even after slavery and Jim Crow, fought in wars, run for elected office, started businesses here, and raised generations of families here. Black patriotism should not be questioned so glibly as it has been over the past 2 weeks and I applaud Sec. Rice for making that point.

McCain, think about her... she's sounding a lot better than she used to...

Posted by: weyimi | March 28, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I have a lot of respect for her and the job she has done for the country. It is a shame that she, as well as some other successful other candidates, don't want to run for office. (I don't mention them by race, as they are as much Americans as I am). I don't call myself a Scottish American (though I am proud of my heritage), but with the equality we have in this country, there is no fair reason not to have other races represented by their qualifications and records to hold high office. Barak is an ideal liberal candidate, but I lean toward conservative views so McCain will be my candidate. If he had a minister preaching hate I would have dropped him in a bucket too. Good luck to both of them (Idealism vs. Conservatism, that is what this election should be focusing on; but I am a bit idealistic in our society anyway).

Posted by: TMacPen | March 28, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I have to say, that is the first time I have been impressed with her. Good for her.


Obama/Biden 2008!

Posted by: dab23 | March 28, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Well said by Secretary Rice.

Posted by: davidmwe | March 28, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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