Activists calling for the removal of all Confederate monuments are making a huge mistake, Condoleeza Rice said Monday morning.
In an interview on “Fox and Friends,” the former Secretary of State promoted her new book “Democracy,” and argued against the impulse to “sanitize” American history. The topic came up after co-host Brian Kilmeade asked her, an African-American, what she thought about the fact that many of the nation’s first presidents were slave owners.
“When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better, it’s a bad thing,” Rice said.
“I’m a firm believer in ‘keep your history before you.’ And so I don’t actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners,” she continued. “I want us to have to look at the names and recognize what they did, and be able to tell our kids what they did and for them to have a sense of their own history.”
Rice’s comments come in the wake of a debate over whether New Orleans officials should remove statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard. Supports of the statues have repeatedly clashed with protesters in the Louisiana city.
On Sunday, New Orleans police arrested three people connected to the protests over the Confederate monuments.