In a move that has some on the left outraged, Condoleezza Rice urged caution in embracing the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and their witch hunt-like methods in ousting sexual harassment in the workplace.
The former Secretary of State under President Bush didn’t mince words when CNN host and former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod asked what she felt about the recent social movements. During an interview on CNN’s The Axe Files January 11, Rice warned that a movement that embraced women as victims did a disservice to both women and men. “Let’s not turn women into snowflakes, let’s not infantilize [them],” she advised.
Axelrod began by asking Rice if she had ever experienced harassment in her career, in the mostly male “corridors of power.” She admitted she had been asked “inappropriate things” before, but had never faced blackmail for not complying with someone’s advances, nor had faced assault.
“I don't know a woman alive who hasn't had somebody say or do something that was inappropriate at best and aggressive at worst,” she acknowledged. But, Rice, added, she feared the movement was not making things better for women in the long run, because it put all the onus for creating a respectful environment onto men, by treating women as victims:
I think that the movement to expose these circumstances is a good thing. Let's clear the air about it. I do think we do have to be a little bit careful. Let's not turn women into snowflakes, let not infantilize women and what I really don't want to happen is I don't want it to get to a place that men start to think, well, maybe it's just better not to have women around. I've heard a little bit of that and it worries me.
Rice has a reputation for her tactfulness, so of course, this answer didn’t sit well with liberals, who view anyone not in 100% agreement with their methods a traitor to the #Resistance. Black media site The Root complained Rice had “mansplained” the movement, which begs the question, does the left even understand what their own made-up derogatory terms, mean?
But #MeToo wasn’t the only social justice movement that Rice was leery of. During a discussion on race relations in America, Axelrod brought up the NFL anthem protests inquired with Rice about her thoughts.
While applauding the initiative to “send a message” in order to further better society, she criticized the movement for their methods. “[W]hen you want to lead on an issue, you find a way to do it in a way that doesn’t isolate people and turn people off. To lead is to bring people to your point of view,” Rice responded. She explained that the average American didn’t watch football to see a protest, and by protesting the flag in particular, any “good” message the players may have been trying to send, was “lost in the means.”
“To have it get to the point that it became about whether or not you support the flag was a problem,” she said, adding: “They didn't come to watch you protest. They come with their families and they spent their entire week's salary on one of those expensive NFL tickets and they want to enjoy the game.”
“But the impetus to want to say something about these events I think was a good one. I just think that the message got lost in the means that they chose,” she explained.
Furthermore, Rice disagreed with Axelrod that race relations were now going backwards in this country.
“I just don't buy it. I don't buy that race relations are worse,” she said. “We have to recognize that we have come a very, very long way. We have to recognize that in everyday interactions, blacks and whites do just fine,” she stated. Rice recognized poverty as a huge factor that still needed to be worked on to further improve society:
But we do have some circumstances that are making it very difficult for us to continue to improve. For instance, there's no worse mix than poverty and race. To be stuck in a inner city with no way out of the worst neighborhoods is going to get you into a bad situation and the color of your skin is going to contribute. Because when the police go into that neighborhood, they're already going to have certain assumptions about what's going on there, so if you're in that neighborhood, you’re at risk.