‘Sanitizing History’: Condoleezza Rice Slams Attempts to Remove Slave Owners’ Monuments


On Monday’s Fox and Friends, Condoleezza Rice criticized efforts to tear down statues and monuments to U.S. historical figures who owned slaves.

“When you start wiping out your history — sanitizing your history — to make you feel better, it’s a bad thing,” Rice said.

Host Brian Kilmeade noted that Rice started out her new book, “Democracy,” by writing about the U.S. Constitution. He wondered, “As an African-American woman, do you see yourself in this constitution? Do you think that, when we look at nine of our first twelve presidents as slave owners, should we start taking their statues down and say, we’re embarrassed by you?”

Rice replied, “I’m a firm believer in keep your history before you. And so, I don’t actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners.”

The former secretary of state continued, “I want us to have to look at the names and recognize what they did; and be able to tell our kids what they did and for them to have a sense of their own history.”

The guest acknowledged that the Constitution “originally counted my ancestors as three-fifths of a man.” But she quickly pointed out that “the story of America….ultimately has been Americans claiming those institutions for themselves and expanding the definition of ‘we the people’.”

Kilmeade followed up by asking, “Should we think less of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson because they were slave owners?”

Rice underlined that “they were people of their times,” and that she wished “they had been like John Adams” and Alexander Hamilton. But she added that “what we should celebrate is that from the Jeffersons and the Washingtons as slave owners, look at where we are now.”

[image via screengrab]

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