Condoleezza Rice to NBC: ‘Drop’ Claim Race Relations ‘Worse’ Under Trump

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice answers questions from reporters about the issues she discussed with business students during a private presentation to them at Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Rice is the keynote speaker at the school's spring scholarship banquet. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared on NBC’s 3rd Hour Today show on Thursday, shutting down the notion that race relations are “worse” under President Donald Trump.

A partial transcript is as follows: 

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: I can’t tell how many times my parents must have faced insults and knew how to deal with them. We’d actually moved to Denver when I was 12. And the first thing I noticed about Denver was there weren’t that many black people, right? And so, I go to this school, and I leave what had been a completely segregated school to St. Mary’s Academy, a wonderful academic institution, but there were three black women in my class. And I came back one day, and somebody had not wanted to sit next to me because I was black, and my father said, “You know what? It’s just fine if they don’t want to sit next to you because you’re black, as long as they move.”

SHEINELLE JONES: There are people who will say it feels worse now when we’re talking about race, or it just feels like a divisive environment.

RICE: Look, it sure doesn’t feel worse than when I grew up in Jim Crow Alabama, okay? So let’s drop this notion that we’re worse race relations today than we were in the past. Really? That means we’ve made no progress. Really? And so, I think the hyperbole about how much worse it is isn’t doing us any good. We still – this country’s never going to be color blind. We had the initial original sin of slavery. It’s still with us.

JONES: So for people who say, “You know what? It’s top down. It starts with the president. It starts with the words that he speaks.”

RICE: Oh, come on, all right? I would be the first to say we need to watch our language about race. We need to watch that we don’t use dog whistles to people who – but when we start saying, “Oh, you know, it’s worse today,” no, they’re not.

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