The nation’s first black female Secretary of State is pushing back against liberal activists that are trying to remove historic monuments across the country.
During a Monday appearance on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends,” Condoleezza Rice, a Birmingham native, was asked if she felt embarrassed over statues that honored slave owners. She responded by saying that, rather than try to shield future generations from the flaws of our nation’s founders and former leaders, that such monuments should serve as a reminder of progress that has been made.
“I am a firm believer in ‘Keep your history before you,’” Rice responded. “I don’t actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners. I want us to have to look at those names and recognize what they did, and be able to tell our kids what they did and for them to be able to have a sense of their own history.”
“When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better, it’s a bad thing,” she added.
Rice often speaks frankly about the ways her family has witnessed the shaping of the country through the Civil Rights Movement, and later as she rose to become one of the nation’s most powerful political figures.
“The Constitution originally counted my ancestors as three-fifths of a man. In 1952 my father had trouble registering to vote in Birmingham, Alabama. And then, in 2005, I stood in the Ben Franklin room and took that same oath of office, and it was administered by a Jewish woman Supreme Court justice,” Rice said. “That’s the story of America.”
Last month, the City of New Orleans, Louisiana removed several confederate memorials from public grounds, leading to many protests and counter-protests at the sites. According to the mayor of New Orleans, the monuments were removed because they “failed to appropriately reflect the values of diversity and inclusion that make New Orleans strong today.”
In response, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it significantly harder to remove a designated monument from government property.
Dozens of cities across the state of Alabama contain their own Confederate monuments that were constructed post-reconstruction. Montgomery, for instance, has the Monument to Confederate Soldiers and Sailors on the grounds of the State Capitol. Partially funded with state grants, the monument has stood since 1886, and the person who laid the cornerstone was none other than CSA President Jefferson Davis.