I believe deeply in our democratic process and the need we, as Americans, have to participate in our electoral process. I’ve written about this current presidential more than most. This, I think, is the most important election of my relatively brief life (34-years). That’s why I thought what Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.) said Sunday morning on Meet The Press was both beautifully articulate and powerful. Please note, Gen. Powell is endorsing a candidate, but I am not. What I’m interested in is what he says about the American Experiment. Embedded in his words are the hopes and dreams of our founders. He rejects narrow politics, racism and heralds inclusion and conversation. I continue to find Colin Powell a singular man, worthy of respect from all.
I’m not ashamed to say that I cried when I heard Powell tell the story of the young Muslim man who was killed serving this country, my country. It was simply beautiful, stirring in me the deepest aspirations, and love for what we can be as a country. It was clear — in these days of sound-bite politics, robocalls, negative campaigning and slanderous accusations — that Gen. Powell is a focused, thoughtful and deliberate man, whether you like and agree with what he says or not. What he says, and the way he said it, indeed says a lot about him.
Of course, folks like Rush Limbaugh fired off their belief that Powell endorsed Obama merely out of racial considerations. Limbaugh wrote, “Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race. OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.” With all respect to Mr. Limbaugh, are we really expected to believe that Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is incapable of seeing past his own race? Are we supposed to believe that a man of his stature makes decisions based on one factor? Do you sincerely believe that black people align with other black people simply because of our shared race. If so, you are wrong. And I urge you to spent 5 minutes in your local African-American barbershop. Mr. Limbaugh, you are surely insane. You are insane if for no other reason than if Colin Powell was that desperate to see a black President, then he could have already. It could have been him! Sadly (and I do mean sadly), I’m listening to Pat Buchannon say much of the same things Limbaugh says. Is this what white Americans thinks about black Americans? Race is ALL that we are capable of considering. I fear that is the case. I can’t tell you how many people have assumed that since I’m black I am voting for Obama. Apparently — to some people — I am little more than a skin color.
To Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Buchannon, I say this: If you think that black people are incapable of voting for a black person for reasons other than race, then that says more about you — and your views about race — than ours.