Dr. Condi Rice Says, We Are Not The Sum Total Of Our Life Experiences?
Written by Paul I. Adujie
A reading of Dr. Condi Rice’s almost-memoir titled Extraordinary, Ordinary People is not a happy read! It is almost-memoir, almost impersonal, almost-revelatory and too aloof to count as a family memoir.
There is of course no doubt that Dr. Condi Rice is an overachiever with superb intellect and who as a consequence or despite her accomplishments, manage to lack an ability to decipher the import and impact of race on how lives are lived in America between the races.
Dr. Condi Rice clearly lives in the parallel or alternate universe also known as the rather phantom nomenclature some call post-racial America or a race neutral society which is suppose to exist now, in the United States. Those of us, who still live in “reality-based” world, quite unlike Dr. Rice and others, that post-racial or race-neutral America is a fantasy, an illusion and a phantasmagorical daydream. Still.
An African American child born after the election of President Barack H. Obama, writing 50 years from now, should be questioned and scrutinized thoroughly, if she writes reflexively as if the election of persons who are not Caucasians have been the norm. A writer of nonfiction, writing fifty years hence, may even want to consult public pronouncements by racists in the aftermath of Mr. Obama’s election as president and equal public denunciations of such racialism by persons such as former President Jimmy Carter.
If fifty years hence, we may urge a writer born today, to dig deeper, clearly then, Dr. Rice who lived through segregation and all the indignities and inhumanity which racism imposed on her society, her parents and even herself personally, is remiss in her avoidance of the imports and impacts of race in America. Her almost-memoir feels like an exercise in deceit or at minimum, she is being economical with her true knowledge and experience about racism in America
President Jimmy Carter is Caucasian, a former president of the United States from the geographic south of the US just as Dr. Rice is, and yet, Mr. Carter is able to see the racial element and component in the stridency and vehemence of some of Mr. Obama’s critics, and yet, Dr. Rice wants the world to believe that race in America is either a thing of the past or that race have never have anything to do with anything! Race has no impact on life’s outcomes in America?
Dr. Rice book is at once lacking depth or it is an attempt at intellectual dishonesty and surely disingenuous. Dr. Rice came across as a person suffering from total denial of the reality own her life and she simultaneously comes across as a totally and completely brainwashed person or a well-trained pooch!
This Olympian neutrality about race and the impact of race on how lives are lived in America or the pretense that racism is dead and over, appear to be the revisionist new thing and it is quite maddening.
Revisionist pretend that the horrors and brutality of racism never mattered and that as such are of no consequence and that those of us who want to associate cause with effect, may have been thinking to hard or merely engaged in floozy conspiracy theories?
Extraordinary, Ordinary People confuses, conflates and lies overbearingly about the realities of Black lives in America. Dr. Rice has achieved so much, she is in fact an overachiever by any measure and by American standards or any standards at all.
But, because of the import and impact of race on lives in America, in which skin color compartmentalizes all aspects and facets of human endeavors and opportunities, it must be said that Affirmative Action Program was one of the many factors which contributed to Dr. Rice’s upward mobility.
And yet, Dr. Rice denigrates and rips Affirmative Action Programs, picks and chooses or demean its overall rationale, because, as she argues, we are no victims?
Dr. Rice’s arguments are illustrative of her complete dissonance on matters of race and it makes me wonder about her and others like her, such as Dr. Louis Gates of Harvard University, persons of African descent who have become apologist for those who subject continental Africans and peoples of African descent to checkered history as consequence of slavery, colonialism, apartheid, Jim Crow, Segregation and racism etc.
Dr. Rice and Dr. Gates have in sum, argued vociferously that continental Africans and peoples of African descent are not victims, or that, they are alternately complicit in the horrors, brutalities and tragedies which have been inflicted upon us. These sorts of arguments based on revisionists’ peculiar illogicality, turns historical evidence and facts of our history on its head.
A reading of memoir by Madeline Albright, an American Jew, the first female, immigrant, Secretary of State for the United States does not distance Madeline Albright from the import, impact, cause and effect of her gender, Jewish origins and overall background on her total experience and life’s outcome.
It is the case that in matters of race in America and much of the world, so much have been accomplished, so much have changed positively and yet, so much remains to be done in terms of racial equality and parity. So much remains to be done to ensure level playing field and equal opportunity.
Do revisionists-apologists for racism such as Dr. Rice and Dr. Gates really hope to wish away the tragedies of our collective checkered past by furiously denying the very existence of these well documented horrors, brutalities, tragedies of our checkered past?
Clearly, the harder they try at their revisionists-apologist futility, the more animated the evidence and factual showing of history’s cause and effect correlations. And in the end, despite the celebrity statuses of Dr. Rice and Gates, they merely come across as far from beguiling self-loathing phonies
As to the term African American, Dr. Rice continues to have silly philosophical arguments and rejection of this description of her origins or heritage, I suppose she is entitled to think herself android-American, while the rest of Americans are happy to be referred to as American Jews, Italian Americans, German Americans, Irish Americans. Dr. Rice should take an honest look at the woman in the mirror sincerely, and determine privately, whether she an Afghan American or an Iraqi American?
In the current recession and economic turmoil in America, it is the case that African Americans are disproportionately affected by vicissitudes imbued in these economic dislocations, such as higher rates of unemployment, higher rates of foreclosed homes and higher rates of evictions etc.
Dr. Rice and other revisionists continue to insist that race has nothing to do with the plights and predicaments of African Americans and peoples of African descent in America. African Americans who are poor, disadvantaged and underprivileged are that way because they chose and preferred victim-hood, instead of just picking themselves up by their bootstraps, get some college degrees and get a job at the White House or become the provost of a college!
This sorts of attitude comes from Dr. Rice, a person who played prominent roles, and can be said to be one of the architects of President George W. Bush wrongheaded invasion and occupation of Iraq, in which a trillion dollars have been spent, money which is enough to guarantee the elimination of poverty in the world or at minimum, it is money which is enough to fund improved education in inner cities and therefore ensuring better life outcomes for African Americans and the poor in general, in America.
There are many pointers to the fact that Dr. Rice’s education made a difference in her life, in comparison and contrast with millions of African Americans who were euphemistically referred to as being from rough neighborhoods, and yet, Dr. Rice is not making passionate pleas for more equitable funding for inner city schools in the United States.
The inequity and disparity in the allocation of resources in American schools and elsewhere, have direct effects and impacts in the eventual outcomes of African American lives.
In New York State, the inequity in education funding led to litigation which lingered for years and years, it went to the highest court until it was eventually resolved. The situation is not much different with issues regarding housing.
And fortunately, the United States Department of Agriculture, this week, finally settled discrimination complaint brought against it by African American farmers, and yet, we have persisting attitudes such as can be discerned from Dr. Rice’s almost-memoir, to the effect that race has no bearing on outcomes of American lives, because Dr. Rice is educated and she continues to be employed?
A reading of Dr. Rice’s almost-memoir gives more credence to the hypocrisy of conservatives, and the Republican Party, which are quick to squander tax dollars in pampering the rich and corporate interests while admonishing the rest of us to get ourselves up by the bootstraps even after they stole or deprive us of our boots. It is rather hilarious to read that some would rather be ignored or slighted by the Republicans than be taken for granted by the Democrats! The devil’s alternative is surely uninviting, unappetizing!
All things considered, Dr. Rice comes across as willfully engaging in deliberate falsehoods or blissfully aloof and removed from the daily drudgery and realities of African American lives!