New Voices: Former Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice on George Floyd

Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice wrote her thoughts in the Washington Post regarding the George Floyd case, protestors and the riots.  Here are six excerpts:

This time it is different

“In the wake of Floyd’s death, Americans and people around the world are experiencing shock, grief, outrage — a set of emotions that too often are repeated. If the past is a guide, these feelings will fade and we will return to our lives. But something tells me — not this time. Floyd’s horrific death should be enough to finally move us to positive action.”

When protesting goes too far

“Our country has often moved forward and been made better through peaceful protests. But our cities must stop burning. Innocent people, including many minority and immigrant business owners, are watching their livelihoods go up in smoke.”

“Yet protests will take our country only so far. The road to healing must begin with respectful but honest and deep conversations, not judgments, about who we were, who we are and who we want to become,”

To be black…

“To be black is to be forced to overcome implicit and explicit reactions to the color of your skin. It might be dismissiveness or underestimation or presumption of how you think. In some circumstances, it might be fear. We encounter these responses even among decent people who sincerely do not want to react that way”

Acknowledge the past

“Unless and until we are honest that race is still an anchor around our country’s neck, that shadow will never be lifted. Our country has a birth defect: Africans and Europeans came to this country together — but one group was in chains. In time, the very Constitution that counted slaves as three-fifths of a man became a powerful tool in affording the descendants of slaves their basic rights. That work has been long and difficult, but it has made a difference”

What needs to be done:

“I ask my fellow Americans: What will each of you do? My personal passion is educational opportunity, because it is a partial shield against prejudice. It is not a perfect shield, I know, but it gives people a fighting chance. In my conversations, I want to discuss why the learning gap for black kids is so stubborn and what can be done about it.”

— Taxpayer Association post-script: Because the chaos on America’s streets has been historic and because the issue of race is among America’s most complicated and heart-rendering of issues the Taxpayer Association is publishing short update articles that include new constructive voices as part of a “new voices” series.  If you have a suggestion of a “new voice” please email us at [email protected]