Condoleezza Rice spent part of Thanksgiving Day counting her blessings on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” but not among them was a belief that America would ever be color-blind or race-neutral.

“We have a Black president. We’ve had two Black secretaries of state. We have Black CEOs. Obviously African Americans are pushing way into territories that, probably, my grandparents would never have thought possible,” Rice said, according to CBS News. “ gotten to a place race is not the limiting factor that it once was, we’re never going to erase race as a factor in American life. It is a birth defect with which this country was born out of slavery; we’re never really going to be race-blind.”

Rice also addressed the economic imbalance in the United States and its impact on the progress of minorities, especially in racially-disparate success in education, and suggested that the problem is worsening. According to, Rice said she is concerned that educational achievement gaps could erase the gains African Americans have made.

“I think it goes back to whether or not race and class—that is, race and poverty—is not becoming even more of a constraint,” Rice said. “Because with the failing public schools, I worry that the way that my grandparents got out of poverty, the way that my parents became educated, is just not going to be there for a whole bunch of kids. And I do think that race and poverty is still a terrible witch’s brew.”

Rice, on the show to promote her book, “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington,” also spoke about Hurricane Katrina and her early experiences with segregation in her home state of Alabama.