Dr. Condoleeza Rice, a political scientist, and former secretary of state to the USA, is an ardent piano player and musician, and so developed in that art, that she played for Queen Elizabeth II in a private audience on Decembe  9,  2008. She qualified at Stanford University in Political Science, and has earned three degrees from Stanford in that subject, including a Master’s and a Doctorate.

She learned to play piano at the age of three. One of her memorable quotes:

“Education is transformational. It channels people to work so hard to become educated, and this is why education has always been the key to dreams, the force that erases arbitrary divisions of race and class and culture and unlocks every person’s God-given potential.”

She worked in the Bush Administration for his two terms totaling eight years, and the first black female to be America’s Secretary of State in 2005. Prior to that, she served as National Security Adviser.

She is the daughter of two Jamaican Parents, who taught as College Professors, after migrating to the United States, to Birmingham Alabama. She was never in the Civil Rights Movement, and stayed away from that part of political life in the USA; and did not join the Democratic Party, because they seemed helpless and poor; and consisted mainly of minorities. She proclaimed she would “rather be ignored than patronized”, and became Republican in 1982.  Condoleeza was never married though it appears she had a few boy friends in her life, but she enjoyed the best rewards life would offer.

She was well respected in the business and Arts circles, and was a director of many Corporate Entities, including Chevron, Schwab, Trans-America, Hewlett-Packard, and the Kennedy Foundation, American Arts and Sciences, the Millennium Challenge Corp. and others, too many to mention. It would seem that she was affluent in her personal life, but no public disclosure has been made.

Some of her comments, and achievements, as Secretary of State are now described; she expressed her view on Abortion, by saying.

“If you go back to 2000 when I helped the president in the campaign, I said that I was, in effect, kind of libertarian on this issue. And meaning by that, I have been concerned about a government role in this issue. I am a strong proponent of parental choice—of parental notification. I am a strong proponent of a ban on late-term abortion. These are all things that I think unite people and I think that that’s where we should be. I’ve called myself at times mildly pro-choice.”

Rice said she believes  President Bush “has been in exactly the right place” on abortion, “which is we have to respect the culture of life and we have to try and bring people to have respect for it and make this as rare a circumstance as possible” However, she added that she has been “concerned about a government role” but has “tended to agree with those who do not favor federal funding for abortion, because I believe that those who hold a strong moral view on the other side should not be forced to “fund” the procedure.

Rice experienced firsthand the injustices of Birmingham’s discriminatory laws and attitudes. She was instructed to walk proudly in public and to use the rest facilities at home rather than subject herself to the indignity of “colored” facilities in town. As Rice recalls of her parents and their peers, “they refused to allow the limits and injustices of their time to limit our horizons.”

. While  Rice was mostly kept by her parents from areas where she might face discrimination, she was very aware of the civil rights struggle and the problems of Jim Crow laws in Birmingham. “I missed many days at my segregated school because of the frequent bomb threats.”

Reverend Rice called local civil rights leader, Fred Shuttlesworth and his followers “uneducated, misguided Negroes.”  Reverend Rice instilled in his daughter and students that black people would have to prove themselves worthy of advancement, and would simply have to be “twice as good” to overcome injustices built into the system. Rice said “My parents were very strategic, I was going to be so well prepared, and I was going to do all of these things that were revered in white society so well, that I would be armored somehow from racism. I would be able to confront white society on its own terms.” While the Rice’s supported the goals of the civil rights movement, they did not agree with the idea of putting their child in harm’s way.

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer from California has criticized Rice in relation to the war in Iraq: “I personally believe—this is my personal view—that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth.”

The New York Post and White House Press Secretary Tony Snow called Boxer’s statement an attack on Rice’s status as a single, childless female and referred to Boxer’s comments as “a great leap backward for feminism.”

Rice has also been criticized by other conservatives. Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard accused her of jettisoning the Bush Doctrine. Other conservatives criticized her for her approach to Russia policy and other issues. Many criticize Rice in particular for her opposition to the change of strategy in Iraq and surge in U.S. forces that began in 2007.

Rice’s popularity decreased following a heated battle for her confirmation as Secretary of State and following Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.  Rice’s rise within the George W. Bush administration was well appreciated by the black community. In a 2002 survey, then National Security Advisor Rice was viewed favorably by 41% of black respondents, but another 40% did not know Rice well enough to rate her and her profile remained comparatively obscure. As her role increased, some black commentators began to express doubts concerning Rice’s stances and statements on various issues. Other writers have also noted what they perceive to be a distance between Rice and the black community black allies.

Stan Correy, an interviewer from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, characterized many blacks involved with civil rights and politics as viewing this rhetoric as “cynical.” American musician, actor, and social activist Harry Belafonte, who serves on the Board of Trans-Africa, referred to blacks in the Bush administration as “black tyrants.” Belafonte’s comments received mixed reactions.

Rice has defended herself from such criticism on several occasions. During a September 14, 2005 interview, she said, “Why would I worry about something like that? … The fact of the matter is I’ve been black all my life. Nobody needs to tell me how to be black.”(1,121 Words)


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