Sunday, April 09, 2006

Condoleeza Rice's Official Response to Coon Comment By St. Louis,Mo. Radio Personality

Here is Condoleeza Rice's official response to the coon remark directed towards her by David Lenihan, a radio personality in St. Louis...She gave the response while appearing as a guest on "FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace" on March 26,2006:

WALLACE: I want to turn to a difficult subject. I'm sure you heard this week that a radio host in St. Louis made a racial slur in talking about your becoming possibly the NFL commissioner, and he was immediately fired for that.
As someone who grew up in the segregated south, are you surprised that in the year 2006 this kind of thing still happens?
RICE: Well, first, let me say that my understanding is that he apologized, said he didn't mean it. I accept that, because we all say things from time to time that we shouldn't say or didn't mean to say. And so I accept it.
We all carry, I think, deep scars of how the United States came into being with slavery as an initial birth defect for this country, of years and years of racial separation, of racial tension, of years and years of not being able to come to terms with what "we, the people" really meant.
And what it says to me is that even mature democracies like the United States — we still have our difficulties.
And it reminds me that when people say well, why haven't the Iraqis achieved this, or why haven't the Afghans achieved this, that maybe Americans should be a little bit more humble about how hard it is to build democracy, particularly to build multi-ethnic democracy.
WALLACE: How serious a problem do you think this country still has with racism?
RICE: Oh, I think the United States still bears the scars of our founding and still bears the scars of how hard it has been to overcome it.
But, Chris, anyone who says that we haven't come a very, very long way, and that for the most part Americans interact with each other as Americans, I think is also not giving you the full picture.
I was just recently in Australia, and I noted for the students in Australia that should I serve to the end of my term, it would have been 12 years since there was a white man as secretary of state in the United States.
Given our history, we've come a long way.
WALLACE: Finally, and you'd be disappointed if I didn't, our 2008 question, because it's who we are and it's Sunday morning.
Laura Bush, the first lady, said about you on Friday — and let's put it up on the screen — "She'd make an excellent president, but I don't think we can talk her into running. I think she sincerely does not want to run, but I wish she would."
A couple of questions. First of all, have you ever discussed the idea of a presidential run with Laura Bush?
RICE: I've generally said to the first lady, who is a dear friend as well, exactly what she said, that it's not something I want to do.
WALLACE: Has she urged you to do it?
RICE: No, we've not had discussions at that level. I think my friends know that I see my life differently, and I know that there is a lot of speculation, there's maybe going to continue to be a lot of speculation, but I know what I want to do with my life, and that isn't it.
WALLACE: And what do you say to the first lady, who may be watching this morning, about her wish, despite all of this, that you run for president?
RICE: Well, I'm really honored that she would think so, but I know that we're going to — whatever happens in 2008, we're going to have a good candidate in the Republican Party. We're going to elect a good president and, like all Americans, I'll be there to try to support them.
WALLACE: But it won't be you.
RICE: Won't be me.
WALLACE: Secretary Rice, as always, a pleasure. Thank you for coming in today. Pleasure to have you.
RICE: Thank you. Pleasure to be with you.

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