Condoleezza Rice shoots down claims that America is more racist under Trump

The former Secretary of State says compared to what she experienced growing up in Alabama, the racial climate under President Trump is not worse

Condoleeza Rice
Condoleezza Rice visits ‘FOX And Friends’ at FOX Studios on November 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Condoleezza Rice says she doesn’t believe racism has gotten worse in America under Donald Trump’s presidency.

In an interview on The Today Show, the first Black woman to serve as Secretary of State said the claim that America is getting more racist and more racially divisive under Trump is “hyperbole.”

“It sure doesn’t feel worse than when I grew up in Jim Crow Alabama. So let’s drop this notion that we’re worse race relations today than we were in the past,” Rice told NBC News’ Sheinelle Jones in the interview. “I think the hyperbole about how much worse it is isn’t doing us any good. This country’s never going to be colorblind. We had the initial original sin of slavery. It’s still with us.”

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Jones prodded further, asking Rice how she would respond to people who say, “It’s top down, it starts with the president,” for which Rice replied: “Oh, come on, alright. I would be the first to say we need to watch our language about race. We need to watch that we don’t use dog whistles to people… but when we start saying, ‘Oh, you know, it’s worse today,’ no, they’re not.”

Notably, Rice was a child growing up in Birmingham, Ala., when a bomb was set off at the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four girls attending Sunday school.

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Jones also asked Rice to weigh in on a recent comment made by Trump about listening to foreign entities if they had dirt on political opponents, according to Fox News.

“Critics have suggested that he’s almost put a for-sale sign on the upcoming election,” Jones said. “Do you worry that he’s done that?”

Rice, who served as part of President George W. Bush’s cabinet, cautioned Jones against taking Trump’s “provocative” statements to heart.

“Let’s not overstate this, alright? People say things, the president has a tendency to want to say provocative things,” Rice said, explaining that existing laws would prohibit such a thing from happening.

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