Given Condoleezza Rice’s middle-class upbringing, black children in the inner cities should probably not look to her for inspiration, argues Fox News Democratic commentator Bob Beckel.
Contrasting Rice’s 2012 Republican National Convention speech with Eric Holder’s commencement speech over the weekend in which he warned students about enduring racism, Beckel said on Monday’s The Five that he saw “a lot of truth” to Holder’s remarks, including his 2009 “nation of cowards” comments. While “we have made a long and determined road away from Jim Crow,” Beckel said racism still exists.
“Let’s also keep in mind: She grew up in a middle-class black family, and we’re talking here about people in the inner city,” Beckel said on Monday. “I’m not sure Condoleezza Rice is the person I would necessarily turn to as a symbol for these people who live in the ghetto.”
Rice grew up in Birmingham, Ala. in the segregated South, and went on to graduate from college at age 19, become a provost of Stanford University, national-security adviser, and secretary of state.
Later, co-panelist Andrea Tantaros confronted Beckel for downplaying Rice’s experience as not being reflective of the black community, as well as for diminishing her accomplishments.
”I think it’s really unfair for you, Bob, to codify the black community,” Tantaros said. “If you start in a middle-class family, your message isn’t worth it — ‘Sorry, Condoleezza Rice, you didn’t have to overcome anything’ — that’s not fair.”
Beckel largely stood by his statements, saying that she benefited from coming from a family with a mother and a father.