Pages

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

America’s Enemies Try To Use George Floyd’s Death For Propaganda. Condoleezza Rice Smokes Them.

Former Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice ripped Russia, Iran, and China during a CBS News interview on Sunday for trying to use the death of George Floyd to create propaganda.
During the interview with host Margaret Brennan, Rice also noted that there was “no excuse for the criminality and for the looting” that have hit America’s inner cities during the violent riots over the last couple of weeks.
“Madam Secretary, you know, some of America’s adversaries, Russia, Iran, China, they are using the images of what happened to Mr. Floyd and what is happening in the streets of American cities right now in their own state propaganda,” Brennan said. “Do you see this racial divide as a national security threat to us?”
“Well, I’ve always thought that America’s greatest strength is that we are a country where you can come from humble circumstances and do great things, and where, despite our painful history, we’ve worked harder and harder every day, brick by brick, to build a more perfect union for all of us,” Rice responded. “And I would say to those, particularly in places like China and Russia and Iran, who may want to use this for propaganda, let’s not be absurd.”
“This is not Tiananmen Square where you’ve mowed down people who disagreed with the government,” Rice continued. “This is not the invasion of Crimea where you took land from your neighbor. This is not the Green Revolution in Iran where you killed people wantonly because they wouldn’t agree with the theocratic government.”
“And I would even say to our friends abroad, in places like Europe, where I’m seeing demonstrations in support of what is happening here, thank you for your support, but please look in the mirror,” Rice continued. “Please ask yourself, in countries in Europe and countries all across the world, what are you doing about racial and ethnic inequality in your own circumstances? America has gotten better because we have been willing to confront our problems. And we’re going to confront our problems again. We’re confronting them now.”
“But I really don’t need to be lectured by Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping about peaceful protest when they have themselves used their own force just because people wanted to criticize the government,” Rice concluded. “That is not what is happening here.”
WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:
MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She joins us from Stanford, California. Great to have you back with us.
FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE: It’s a pleasure to be with you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You’ve written that there- there seems to be something different about this moment. What do you think is different?
RICE: Well, I think what’s different is that this, as I said recently, people are a little bit sick and tired of being sick and tired, to quote the great civil rights leader, Fannie Lou Hamer. And I think that is leading people of various backgrounds, different colors, different experiences to say how can we really make the outcome different this time? And it’s leading people to look at questions about our criminal justice system, about the justice of our institutions. But more importantly, it’s looking- having us look in the mirror at questions about race. It’s a very, very deep and abiding wound in an America that was born with a birth defect of slavery. And I’m really hoping that this time, we’ll have really honest conversations, conversations that are not judgmental. Conversations that are deep but honest conversations about what we’ve been through and who we want to be.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You wrote in an opinion piece recently that, “protests will take our country only so far and if we are to make progress, let us vow to check the language of recrimination at the door.” What do you mean by that?
RICE: We have a very painful history. Europeans and Africans came to this country together. Africans came in chains. My- you- my DNA is 40 percent European. My great-great-grandfather was my great-grandmother’s slave owner. That’s a very hard truth. But it is the truth of the past. We now have to talk about how to move forward. And when I talk to people of different colors, particularly my white friends, my white colleagues, I don’t want it to be in the language of recrimination. I want to be in the language of how do we move forward. I think we each have an individual responsibility. It’s a collective responsibility, yes, but it’s an individual responsibility to ask what am I going to do specifically? What am I going to do to help heal these wounds and to move our country forward? Because race is still very much a factor in everyday life in America.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You said for you personally answering the question of “what do I do,” you focused on education.
RICE: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Is- is- why? Why do you think that is so key?
RICE: Well, partly it’s my background, I come from a family of educators. I come from a family where my grandfather managed as- as a sharecropper’s son to get educated in Alabama in the 1920s. Education was always for us a way to break through the barriers of prejudice, to make sure that my parents used to say, make sure that you have all of the armor you need to move forward. And I know that an education is not a- a shield against prejudice, but it gives people a fighting chance. And when I look at what has happened, particularly the poor kids and minority kids in our country, they really don’t have that shot at a high-quality education. I can honestly now look at your zip code and tell whether you’re gonna get a good education. And so I think if we can focus on specific things that we can do to make sure that those kids have a chance, that their parents have choices.
MARGARET, if- if anything, if you look at this COVID-19 crisis, it has exposed even deeper inequalities in our society. Just imagine being a child who’s trying to learn- to learn at home and the parents don’t speak English, the parents don’t have an educational background of their own. And contrast that with the kid whose parents are well-educated and who can read to them. We’ve got a lot of work to do around inequality. And I’ve just always believed that education is our most important intervention against the scourge of inequality, and particularly, when we look at race and poverty, which is a particularly tough witch’s brew.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And to your point about the pandemic, I mean, it seems to be widening the existing divide. Just looking at the data, the jobless rate in this country for the black community ticked up in May to 17 percent and black women in particular are bearing the brunt of that. Where do you see the policy solutions coming from right now? Is anyone offering anything of meaning?
RICE: Well, one of the things that’s happened is that this crisis has exacerbated problems that were there already, and we now have to ask ourselves, are we just going to say, well, my goodness, look at what we’ve seen, are we really going to act? And I think there are a couple of specific things. We know that in this crisis, if you can work from home, if you are capable of being on the Internet, then you can continue to work. You’re not unemployed. Knowledge workers are doing better. So let’s talk about higher skills levels for everybody. But I also think there’s something very specific we could do. Let’s say every American is going to have broadband. Every American is going to have access to a reliable Internet. And that means people in rural areas. That means people in- in schools that are not well-endowed. I’d love to see us have a national project about access to the Internet, access to the broad- to the broadband in the way that we’ve had access, for instance, to the highway at another time in our history.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that’s quite a to do list for Congress if they were to agree to take it up. If you were advising this particular president, what would you be telling him to do at this moment?
RICE: I would ask the president to first and foremost speak in the language of unity, the language of empathy. Not everyone is going to agree with any president, with this president, but you have to speak to every American, not just to those who might agree with you. And you have to speak about the deep wounds that we have and that we’re going to overcome them. I’ve heard the president talk about the resilience of Americans. I’d love to hear more of that. And I’m not advising the president. But, you know, unfortunately, Twitter and tweeting are- are not great ways for complex thoughts, for complex messages. When the president speaks, it needs to be from a place of- of thoughtfulness, from a place of having really honed the message so that it reaches all Americans. And by the way, not just the president. I would love to hear this from our leaders in Congress on both sides of the aisle. I would love to hear from mayors and from governors and from others. Leaders at this particular point need to do everything that they can to overcome, not intensify our divisions.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You are speaking like the diplomat that you have been, Secretary Rice, because I know when we spoke last year, you said that this president doesn’t recognize how raw race is as a factor in America. And just in the past few weeks, he has mourned George Floyd’s death but he’s used language like “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” He said his supporters love “the black people.” When you hear phrases like that, how does that land with you? Do you just dismiss it because it’s President Trump?
RICE: Well, no. The president, obviously, the shooting and looting, he said that he didn’t know that historical context. And so I would say think about the historical context before you say something, because it is a deep wound. And the presidency is special in that regard. People look to the Oval Office as we’ve looked to the Oval Office throughout our history for- for messages, for signals. And as I said, the president has used some language that I’m really very, very much admire, like the resilience of the American people. Just be careful about those messages. I’m not advising the president, but if I were, I would say let’s put tweeting aside for a little bit and- and talk to us, have a conversation with us. And I think we need that. And I think he can do it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Retired General Jim Mattis said that it wasn’t in his interpretation unintentional. In fact, he said, “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people. He does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.” Do you believe that it’s intentional? Do you agree with Mattis?
RICE: Well, look, I have enormous respect for Jim Mattis. And he’s a man of great integrity. He’s a patriot. He’s my friend. And he spoke to something that he needed to speak to. What I want to speak to is the future and what we do here over the next several months. We are having protests that need to be peaceful, but we’ve always moved ahead in part by protest. There’s no ex- excuse for the criminality and for the looting and for those outside influences that Governor Cuomo referred to- to- to come in from across state lines. That’s not what- who we are and what we are. But I will tell you, as somebody who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, Jim Crow Alabama, when if a black man was shot by a policeman, it wouldn’t have even been a footnote in the newspaper, I’m really grateful to people who are going out now and saying, no, that is not acceptable. I’m grateful to those people who are thinking about how to support good police, who are thinking about how to support all of those people who put their lives on the line every day to protect us, but also to say to those who do not have our best interests at heart, who don’t undertake that obligation to protect and defend without regard to color, enough. We won’t put up with that either. And so this is a time for every American to speak to our unity, but to also be very cognizant of how we describe our differences, how we address our differences, and especially how we address one another with empathy.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You said you were grateful to those who are expressing their opposition. Is there any circumstance in which you think it would be acceptable in these days to use what the president said to governors he would use, which was the Insurrection Act, to send active duty military into American cities?
RICE: Well, I would absolutely advise against it, particularly at this time. Look, the founding fathers were very smart about this. Thomas Jefferson talked about the citizen soldier, and the embodiment of the citizen soldier these days is the National Guard and Reserve. They come from these communities. They are of these communities. They are trained in everything from dealing with natural disasters to dealing with issues like crowd control. And when the local police can’t handle it, the National Guard’s the right- the right answer. Our military isn’t trained to do this. Our military is trained for the battlefield. And this isn’t a battlefield in that sense. Now, I- I understand that- and my, personally, the violence and the ugliness and the livelihoods of business people who have now watched literally their life’s work go up in smoke, that has to be dealt with. But I fundamentally believe that the National Guard, when it’s needed, local law enforcement to the degree that it can, is the way to do this. And I would really advise against the Insurrection Act. I- I understand that President George H.W. Bush did so in the Rodney King affair back in Los Angeles. But that was at the request–
MARGARET BRENNAN: At the request of California–
RICE: –of- of California. So I would- let’s- let’s use the instruments that by our tradition, by the wisdom of our founding fathers, were given to us, citizen soldiers who can police their own.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Madam Secretary, you know, some of America’s adversaries, Russia, Iran, China, they are using the images of what happened to Mr. Floyd and what is happening in the streets of American cities right now in their own state propaganda. Do you see this racial divide as a national security threat to us?
RICE: Well, I’ve always thought that America’s greatest strength is that we are a country where you can come from humble circumstances and do great things, and where, despite our painful history, we’ve worked harder and harder every day, brick by brick, to build a more perfect union for all of us. And I would say to those, particularly in places like China and Russia and Iran, who may want to use this for propaganda, let’s not be absurd. This is not Tiananmen Square where you’ve mowed down people who disagreed with the government. This is not the invasion of Crimea where you took land from your neighbor. This is not the Green Revolution in Iran where you killed people wantonly because they wouldn’t agree with the theocratic government. And I would even say to our friends abroad, in places like Europe, where I’m seeing demonstrations in support of what is happening here, thank you for your support, but please look in the mirror. Please ask yourself, in countries in Europe and countries all across the world, what are you doing about racial and ethnic inequality in your own circumstances?America has gotten better because we have been willing to confront our problems. And we’re going to confront our problems again. We’re confronting them now. And I think we will move forward this time. But I- I really don’t need to be lectured by Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping about peaceful protest when they have themselves used their own force just because people wanted to criticize the government. That is not is what- that is not what is happening here.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Noted. Madam Secretary, you did not support President Trump in 2016. Seeing what you’ve seen, will you support him in 2020?
RICE: As I’ve often said, when I’m ready to speak about American politics, I’ll come back to you. And I’ll- you’ll be the first to know when I want to speak about American politics. Right now, what I want to speak to is my fellow Americans and to understand the deep divisions that we have, to understand what it is to be black. I know what it’s like to be met with a look of dismissiveness or the like. So I- I want to focus on that right now. And I want to say one other thing. You asked about the military earlier. Let’s remember, too, that our people in uniform also come from different backgrounds. They come from different races. They’re united in a common cause. But this is hard for them, too. And I know that their commanders are aware of the painful conversations that need to be- need to take place even within our military. But one great thing is when we unite for a common cause, as they often do, it helps us to overcome those differences.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Madam Secretary, thank you for your reflections and your time today. We’ll be–
RICE: It’s a pleasure being with you. God bless.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, so stay with us.

No comments:

Post a comment