Condoleezza Rice on Removing Civil War Monuments: 'Sanitizing History to Make You Feel Better Is a Bad Thing'
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stopped by “Fox & Friends” Monday morning to talk about her latest book, “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom.” Part of that road, of course, involved slavery and the Civil War.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade came out of the gate strong:
"I want to talk about where your book starts, and that's our constitution [...] As an African-American woman, do you see yourself in this constitution?
Do you think that, when we look at nine of our first twelve presidents as slave owners, should we start taking their statues down and say, we’re embarrassed by you?”
In a word, “no,” said Rice.
"I am a firm believer in 'keep your history before you.' So I don't actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners. I want us to have to look at those names, and realize what they did, and be able to tell our kids what they did and for them to have a sense of their own history.”
Rice, currently a Senior Fellow at the Stanford School of Business, said, “When you start wiping out your history; sanitizing your history to make you feel better? It's a bad thing.”
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She then took a quick trip through the constitution as it relates to blacks in America.
Noting that her ancestors were originally counted as three-fifths of a man, how her father faced trouble in 1952 trying to register to vote in Birmingham, Alabama, and how, in 2005, she stood in the Ben Franklin Room of the State Department and was administered an oath of office by “a Jewish woman Supreme Court justice, that's the story of America,” she said.
Rice said George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other slave owners were “people of their times.” “What we should celebrate is that from the Jeffersons and the Washingtons as slave owners,” she added, "look at where we are now.”