Condoleezza Rice, a former U.S. Secretary of State, spoke out about the United States’ troubled past in an interview that aired on Sunday.
While speaking with CBS’s Jane Pauley about her latest book, “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom,” Rice, who was the first African American woman to serve as Secretary of State, referred to the civil rights movement of the 1960s as “the second founding of America.”
She first explained that she believes the U.S. was born “with a birth defect.”
‘We forget in the United States how long it has taken us to make “We the People” mean people like me. And indeed, I do think that America was born with a birth defect; it was slavery.’
She then went on to speak about the country’s “second founding.”
‘And so I do think that when we were finally able to deliver the promise of the Constitution to people like me, little girls growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, when finally my father was able to vote without difficulty, yes, it’s the second founding of America. The first founding wasn’t quite complete.’
Rice also spoke about Russian President Vladimir during the interview, specifically focusing on the way that he “systematically unraveled” democracy in Russia with his attacks on the press.
Rice clarified that, while she thinks attempts at silencing the press were the beginning of Putin’s attacks on Russian democracy, there was more to it than that.
‘What was really first was the assault on the press and particularly the electronic press. He went after his own opponents, and more lately there are adversaries who’ve ended up dead. But I don’t believe that it is one man. What you’re seeing is that the institutions just didn’t get a very firm foundation in Russia.’
She went on to confirm that she doesn’t think the same thing will happen in the United States, even with President Trump’s repeated attacks on the “fake media.” Rice explained that she thinks this is the case because “the United States has such a DNA about not having executive power be too great.”
Watch a clip from Rice’s interview in the video below, available via YouTube.
Featured image via Scott Halleran/Getty Images for KPMG.