I was blessed by parents who had come from pretty limited, modest circumstances, and had risen to the top of their fields. My father, in the field of economics, became a governor of the Federal Reserve. My mother coming from Jamaican immigrants to Maine, rose to be a leader in the corporate world, and a person who was known as the mother of Pell Grants. So I was blessed to have parents who taught me from a very early stage that I could do what I set out to do. And while I lived in a society, you know, having been born here in Washington in the 1960s, where clearly racism and prejudice were a major factor, they taught me in a very unusual way not to allow that to diminish my own sense of self. So whether I was a rare minority in a predominantly white elite girls school here in Washington D.C., or at Stanford or Oxford where I did my graduate studies, I was accustomed to not being in any way oblivious to the fact that I was a minority. I was very conscious of that, but I didn't allow it to diminish my sense of worth and my sense of commitment to doing my best…
Well I was concerned, back even at that early age of not quite 28, that as an African American woman entering the field of national security and foreign policy for the first time, that if I accepted a job in African policy at that stage without having demonstrated my ability to work on a wider range of issues, I feared, I think legitimately, ... that I might well get pigeonholed in Africa. That people in this predominantly white national security establishment would see me as black working on Africa — and therefore not capable of, or suited to do, anything else. And I made that choice. Looking back on it, it was quite a bracing thing to do to turn down at that age a substantive policy job.
I was close to President Obama and he was a target…I'm an African American woman. I don't take crap off of people. And I'm confident in my own skin… Putting all that together, put it in a political context of the campaign, and maybe I was an attractive target.
There is particular danger at the moment that powerful political alignments in the United States are pushing strongly to exacerbate the developing crisis with Russia. The New York Times, which broke the story that the Kremlin had been paying the Afghan Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers, has been particularly assiduous in promoting the tale of perfidious Moscow. Initial Times coverage, which claimed that the activity had been confirmed by both intelligence sources and money tracking, was supplemented by delusional nonsense from former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who asks “Why does Trump put Russia first?” before calling for a “swift and significant U.S. response.” Rice, who is being mentioned as a possible Biden choice for Vice President, certainly knows about swift and significant as she was one of the architects of the destruction of Libya and the escalation of U.S. military and intelligence operations directed against a non-threatening Syria.