Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pushed back on the claim that racism under President Donald Trump has gotten “worse,” saying that she does not believe it has after growing up in Jim Crow-era Alabama.
During an interview with NBC’s “Today” show, reporter Sheinelle Jones brought up to Rice that “there are people who will say it feels worse now when we’re talking about race.”
Rice — the first female African-American secretary of state who served under former President George W. Bush — put the claim to bed immediately, firing back that it “sure doesn’t feel worse” than the childhood she had growing up in “Jim Crow Alabama” and that the U.S. should “drop this notion” that race relations are worse under Trump.
“It sure doesn’t feel worse than when I grew up in Jim Crow Alabama,” she said. “So let’s drop this notion that we’re worse in race relations today than we were in the past.”
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The former secretary of state continued on to say that she believes the “hyperbole about how much worse” race relations are under the current president “isn’t doing us any good” and that the country will “never” be “colorblind” because the “original sin of slavery” was “still with us.”
Jones asked how Rice would respond to people who say that “it starts with the president” and his rhetoric.
“Oh, come on, all right. I would be the first to say we need to watch our language about race,” the former secretary of state 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.”