Condoleezza Rice Says Removing Monuments Is ‘Sanitizing History’ But Gives Slave-Owning Presidents a Pass

Americans continue to feel divided over the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans and Condoleezza Rice indicated she’s supportive of letting them remain.

“I’m a firm believer in keep your history before you,” the former Secretary of State tells “Fox and Friends” when asked about the presidents who were proponents of slavery. “And so, I don’t actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners. I want us to have to look at the names and recognize what they did and be able to tell our kids what they did and for them 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.”

Rice, who stopped by to promote her new book, “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom,” out Tuesday, May 9, begins the political work by discussing the constitution. On Monday, Rice elaborated on the way Americans have expanded the document’s meaning due to the changes in government, from an enslaved Black person being considered three-fifths of a person to Rice being sworn in as Secretary of State by a Jewish woman in 2005.

When asked if Americans should think less of slave-owning presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, Rice said, “They were people of their times.

“I wish they had been like John Adams, who did not believe in slavery,” she says. “I wish they had been like Alexander Hamilton … I wish all of them had been like that. … But they were people of their times. And what we should celebrate is that from the Jeffersons and the Washingtons as slave owners, look at where we are now.”

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