Condoleezza Rice Urges Americans to Stop Calling Each Other 'Racist,' Says Elites Must Address Global Populism

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice commended the Trump administration for its foreign policy work in dealing with North Korea and Iran, but said the White House needs to have a far more sensitive tone in terms of the "raw" power of race within America.

Rice addressed issues of race, foreign policy and populism in a wide-ranging interview with Face the Nation on Sunday. Rice said the country is drifting toward a "systemic crisis," although she declined to pin any racial or political problems squarely on President Donald Trump. In terms of race, Rice said she is concerned with nativist principles pitting "you against them," and she said "elites" can't sit back and assume populist movements in England, Italy, Brazil and the U.S. will go away without real solutions.

Rice said the populist Five Star Movement in Italy, Jair Bolsonaro's election in Brazil and the Brexit movement in England should serve as a warning that Trump's seemingly anti-establishment campaigning has support in other parts of the globe.

"The question is why are we getting this response?" Rice told CBS News' Margaret Brennan in the interview broadcast Sunday. "Elites can't sit back and say 'oh you're just wrong. There has to be some self-evaluation of how late-stage capitalism is dealing with new challenges."

Rice addressed the rhetoric and language of such discussions, saying she uses the word "nativism" instead of "nationalism" because Americans have a deep sense of pride in their country. However, she said "nativism" is what "pits you against them" and stifles conversation.

Rice, who grew up in segregated Alabama, said the White House "needs language that recognizes how raw race is as a factor in America."

"But I think we could all be better in the way that we deal with this very raw nerve which is race," she continued. "I think it's time to stop labeling each other and using explosive terms like 'she's a racist, he's a racist,' that stops the conversation. When you say that, that's mean to stop the conversation."

Rice, who served as Secretary of State from 2005 until 2009 in the administration of former President George W. Bush, said she supports how much progress Trump has made in starting negotiations with North Korea. She also said the Trump administration is "pushing back correctly on an Iranian regime that is the most dangerous and disruptive in the Middle East."

She said she has "no problem" with Trump trying to negotiate with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and that negotiations with the Taliban should only be had from a position of strength. Rice previously touted Trump's former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who the president fired in March 2018, for making great strides with North Korea that previous administrations had been unable to do.

condoleezza rice university at buffalo young democratic american socialists torturer war criminal
Former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks at the Watermark Conference for Women at San Jose Convention Center on February 1, 2017, in San Jose, California. On Wednesday, Rice spoke at the University at Buffalo and ahead of her speech the Yougn Democratic Socialists of America campus chapter criticized the school's decision to invite her, calling her a torturer and war criminal. Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images