Condi Rice gets it right on The View
Maybe it took a woman who grew up in the South to make this point. Former secretary of state Condi Rice was right on target at The View:
Rice brought up her upbringing in segregated Birmingham, Alabama. Still, she did not think the way the issue of race was addressed in schools was helpful to Black or white students. In particular, she believed that white students were being put in a position to feel guilty for the country's racist history.
"The way we're talking about race is that it either seems so big that somehow white people now have to feel guilty for everything that happened in the past," said Rice.
Rice continued that she didn't feel this approach was to the benefit of anyone.
"I don't think that's very productive or Black people feel disempowered by race. I would like Black kids to be completely empowered to know they are beautiful in their Blackness, but in order to do that, I don't have to make white kids feel bad for being white. So, somehow this is a conversation that has gone in the wrong direction," she said.
Rice added that Black children could be taught about their history but it could not be without progress being highlighted or making their white counterparts feel bad.
It's hard to believe we have not heard this before. Maybe we have, but Secretary Rice's comments are a welcome relief.
As Secretary Rice said, blaming people today for the sins of the past is not productive. It does not erase history and may in fact promote more racial division. I've heard several friends say they are afraid to talk about race because it's not worth the potential misunderstanding.
Also, telling young whites they are the problem is a dishonest version of history. As I recall, it was Africans who captured the men who were sold to the Europeans as slaves. Furthermore, it was whites who wrote the documents that outlawed slavery.
How do we move on? We teach history and then tell kids that the opportunities are out there for those who want to work and apply themselves. We don't limit their dreams by turning them into victims or oppressors. And we remind them that character and family are important to growing up successfully — frankly, a lot more important than your skin color.
Thank you, Condi Rice. I hope a lot of people see your comments and learn something from them.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).
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