Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the country is not “race-blind” and “we shouldn’t deceive ourselves that we’re race-blind,” but said the election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president was a key moment in history.
“I think all Americans were quite taken with the fact that we were able, after the long history we’ve been through, that initial birth defect of slavery, that we’ve elected an African-American,” Rice said in an interview taped recently on CBS “Sunday Morning.” And that’s enormously heartening for people in the country, but also people worldwide who still have trouble with differences.”
By Jesse Holland
Rice, who left segregated Alabama to eventually become the first African-American female to be secretary of state, warned that the United States still has problems with race.
“But I do think we’ve gotten to the place that we don’t see a person and say, ‘That’s a black person, therefore they must be …’ And that’s an enormous step forward.”
Rice, who was Bush’s national security adviser when the U.S. invaded Iraq and then became secretary of state in Bush’s second term, said the opportunities that are available in the United States still draw people from around the world to this country.
“People, even in difficult economic times, still admire, maybe even envy a little bit, the entrepreneurship of this country and its capacity to be productive,” Rice said. “But what really draws people to this country is that anybody can come here and go from modest circumstances to extraordinary achievement.”
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