Today the Washington Times has published an interview with Condi Rice in which she says
By Nicholas Kralev - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that the United States still has trouble dealing with race because of a national "birth defect" that denied black Americans the opportunities given to whites at the country's very founding.Go read the entire interview.
"Black Americans were a founding population," she said. "Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together — Europeans by choice and Africans in chains. That's not a very pretty reality of our founding."
As a result, Miss Rice told editors and reporters at The Washington Times, "descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that."
"That particular birth defect makes it hard for us to confront it, hard for us to talk about it, and hard for us to realize that it has continuing relevance for who we are today," she said.
This is a statement by the highest ranking African American in the conservative Republican administration of George Bush, and has been published in the Washington Times, the Mooney-subsidized ultra-right-wing Washington newspaper. Condi's interview is important, the source is important, and the venue of publication will take it to an audience that represents much of the political opposition to improving race relations in America.
I knew that Obama's race speech was an important milestone in America's history of race relations. What I didn't realize was that it may indicate that America is ready to rationally discuss how racism infects our society. This goes way beyond the successes of the Civil Rights Movement is getting the race-restrictive laws off the American law books. This begins to go to the very attitudes and behavior that still contaminates America as a hangover from the attitudes required to hold a substantial portion of the Southern population in chattel slavery.
America may be ready to take the next step towards the American ideals of Liberty and Equality for all Americans. Condi's interview is very important. To find it published in the Washington Times is, in my opinion, even more important. It says that White Conservatives are ready to open a discussion of the problems of race in America instead of just attacking anyone who dares to bring it up.
This is the America I love. Not perfect, but striving towards perfection. It is great to see it happening in public.
It will be very interesting to see if there are any reported reactions to his interviews, especially from the American Old South states.