Behind the Attacks on Susan Rice
Sign in support of Ambassador Rice and against the partisan, racist, and misogynistic attacks
The views expressed in this Op-Ed do not necessarily reflect those of Loop 21.
While many Americans were cooking up the good stuff to share in the spirit of love and thanks last week, some were brewing a pot of sour grapes. They were stewing in their misery over President Barack Obama’s reelection, and decided to take out their anger on Dr. Susan Rice, ambassador to the United Nations and the president’s likely choice for the next secretary of state.
When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves her post, the president will have to nominate someone to fill that position. The president has not made any announcement about who that will be, but rumor has it is that he will choose either Ambassador Susan Rice or Sen. John Kerry. But, despite the fact that the president hasn’t made an official announcement, Republican leaders have already started their posturing. When John McCain sat on “Fox and Friends” and made a declaration that he would do whatever he could to “block Susan Rice from being Secretary of State,” it was evocative of another statement made by Sen. Mitch McConnell, who said he’d do whatever it took to make President Obama a one-term president. We see how that ended.
That wasn’t the end of the story, however. When McCain continued to belittle and debase Rice as less than the intelligent, qualified person she is, it was shrouded in partisan politics. But what lies beneath the partisanship is the very essence of what has been at play since President Obama’s election in 2008, and that is racism. In addition, the attacks on women have been revived through this latest bout. Despite this, Ambassador Rice has tried to create some clarity and understanding about her position after the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, but the Republicans have still not been appeased. Reports in the media are that she seems to be too loyal to the administration and that Republican senators don’t feel she has been completely candid. But in reality, will they ever be at ease or feel they have enough answers? This is reminiscent of when there were questions about Operation Fast and Furious that resulted in a Contempt of Congress charge for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
The underlying theme is that there are some people who are still not comfortable with the thought of blacks, or women, in positions of power. The result is the unrelenting attack on Ambassador Rice. This attack included a letter to the president from 97 members of the House of Representatives, none of whom vote on cabinet members. It is completely and utterly deplorable, and as a community we should not stand by and watch it happen. The Black Women’s Roundtable, which some National Action Network leaders are part of, has started a petition to ask Senate to respect Ambassador Rice as a sitting cabinet member and as an intelligent and qualified individual and leader in foreign policy. If you want to sign in support of Ambassador Rice and against the partisan, racist, and misogynistic attacks being levied at her, please sign by going here.