Condoleezza Rice defends Kanye West

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Former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stood up for Kanye West’s right to express himself amid a backlash against his recent comments about slavery and support of Trump. | AP file photo

Former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stood up for Kanye West’s right to express himself amid a backlash against the musician’s recent comments in support of President Trump and a controversial statement that implied African-Americans made a “choice” to suffer 400 years of slavery.

Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo asked Rice what she thought, “as a successful woman of color,” of the pushback against West’s remarks in an interview Wednesday.

“First of all, I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it,” Rice told the Mornings with Maria host. “But I can say, people ought to be able to express their views. Not all of us have to think politically the same way. I’ve said to people sometimes, ‘You know, I’ve been black all my life. You don’t have to tell me how to be black.’”

Rice said people should never assume they know someone’s mind based on a person’s race.

RELATED: Kanye West: ‘I think I’m in a stronger place than I ever was’

“I think we need to recognize that in some ways the height of prejudice is to look at somebody and think you know what they think because of the color of their skin,” Rice said. “I hope we get to the point that people get to express their views and you can agree with them or disagree.”

Bartiromo tried to conflate the controversy over West with the perceived intolerance of conservative views in American universities.

“You know I teach at Stanford and I have students who come from a wide variety of political views,” Rice said. “I always say to them, ‘Look, it’s not my job to tell you what to think. It’s my job to teach you how to hone your arguments.’”


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