Sunday, October 19, 2008

Being Colin Powell II

It is very difficult to honestly claim that the reason General Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama was because he is black. Anyone who watched General Powell's endorsement could not honestly say that this very thoughtful decision was based on race. Barack Obama has been black since he announced his candidacy, no? Why not make the endorsement months ago? General Powell made this very astute point.

Senator Obama had been courting General Powell for months now. But he could not readily be swayed. General Powell is wise. He undoubtedly wanted to make a deliberate thoughtful decision not based on his long-term relationship with Senator McCain but on who is best suited in this particular time in history to lead our great country.

General Powell's comments later further explained how he came to this very thoughtful decision. In fact, to claim that he has endorsed Barack Obama based on race is dishonorable. Here is one who has served our country well in war and diplomacy. He understands the importance of diplomacy and respecting the cultures of others in the United States and abroad. He recognizes that how we are perceived internationally affects us nationally. It appears that conservatism has gone to far in General Powell's opinion.

There have been more than a few black Americans who did not get the support of the black community en masse. Among these are Clarence Thomas, Jessie Jackson, Carol Mosley Braun, and Alan Keyes. To suggest that black Americans generally endorse candidates simply because they are black is not true.

Personally, I know of a pastor who has about 60,000 people in his congregation, most of whom are middle class and black. This pastor ran for the Senate and his congregants did not support him. It is believed that if they had voted for him he would have been elected. But this did not happen. His political views were antithetical to the congregants' views. My family has a long history with this pastor and we know that he is held in great esteem as a pastor, but they did not want him as their senator.

Black Americans are by far more discriminating in their choices that go beyond race.

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