Condoleezza Rice on Civil Rights
Secretary of State
Latin American leaders were comfortable talking to me about their struggles with racial equality and efforts at affirmative action, perhaps because I was honest with them about America's own struggles. In fact, as I often said, the US State Department was no model of racial diversity. "I can go all day and not see another person who looked like me." I appointed the department's first chief diversity officer, and championed programs to interest minorities in Foreign Service careers.
“This is an issue that can be debated and can be discussed in our country with respect for every human being,” Rice told the News & Record of Greensboro, N.C. “When we get into difficult debates about social policy, we get into difficult debates that touch people’s lives. The only thing that I ask is that Americans do it with a kind of sensitivity that real individuals and real human beings are involved here.“
In a major defeat for President Bush and other Republicans who hope the issue will rally GOP voters for the November elections, the Senate rejected by a wide margin last week a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Asked for her opinion on the amendment, Rice told the paper, ”This is not my area of expertise or, frankly, my area of concentration at this point.“
The stain that began to spread through our land when the first slaves landed at Jamestown, VA, would be erased. Condi’s election would be the last battle of the Civil War, the last civil rights demonstration, the end of a saga that has haunted us since our nation was born. In a land where the signs once read “No Irish need apply,” wasn’t the election of John F. Kennedy the death knell of anti-Catholic bigotry?
If the civil rights movement of the 1960s was animated by the haunting lyrics and melody of the song “We Shall Overcome,” electing Rice to the White House would send a very different message: “We have overcome.” And that, apart from Condi’s obvious merits as a possible president, might just be worth voting for.
Yet, as much as she backed affirmative action in hiring faculty, she strongly opposed it in granting tenure. She consistently refused to give into demands that she favor minority and women professors in granting tenure.
Rice has broken with President Bush to endorse race-based preferences in college admissions. Rice said, “ I believe that while race-neutral means are preferable, it is appropriate to use race as one factor among others in achieving a diverse student body.”
I agree with the President’s position, which emphasizes the need for diversity and recognizes the continued legacy of racial prejudice, and the need to fight it. The President challenged universities to develop ways to diversify their populations fully.
I believe that while race neutral means are preferable, it is appropriate to use race as one factor among others in achieving a diverse student body.
It is important to take race into consideration if you must, if race-neutral means do not work.
|Other candidates on Civil Rights:||Condoleezza Rice on other issues:|
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)