A salute to General Colin Powell

There is abundant evidence that this will be a close contest between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

For many people who have already voted early or who plan to go out to the polls in record numbers on Tuesday, the campaign endorsements by various public officials does have a significant impact.

Even though former Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell explicitly stated the public policy issues and leadership qualities of President Barack Obama as the reasons for his endorsing the re-election of President Barack Obama, one of Mitt Romney’s most senior campaign officials, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, asserted that General Powell’s endorsement of President Obama was based on race.

Sununu knew
Sununu’s racially motivated slur to attack General Powell for having the political courage as a Republican statesman to endorse President Obama was not just some random rhetorical misstatement.  Sununu knew exactly was he was doing a few days before the election.  Sununu deliberately interjected the issue of race into the presidential campaign hoping to make a “backward” political gain to assist Mitt Romney’s ambition to defeat President Obama.

It is important to state for the record that General Colin Powell not only made the right move, but also he did it with admirable courage and brilliant statesmanship.  As the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State who has served Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, General Colin Powell is an iconic, retired four-star general, veteran leader and seasoned visionary admired by millions of Americans.  Thus, Powell’s endorsement is important, timely and very significant.

‘Full of racists’
In the aftermath of Sununu’s charge that Powell endorsed President Obama because both are Black, the general’s former chief of staff, retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, candidly stated that the Republican Party is “full of racists.”

Wilkerson went on to explain, “And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin.  And that’s despicable.”

Both Democrats and Republicans should be voting to re-elect President Barack Obama.  The old plantation tricks, divisive mischief and vile rhetoric of the past will not suffice in diverting our attention and responsibilities from pressing “forward” in 2012.

We, therefore, are resolute in our expressions of recognition and tribute to General Powell’s courage on the battlefield for freedom, justice and equality.  In short, we salute General Powell and vote for President Obama.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis is senior advisor to the Black Alliance for Educational Options and president of Education Online Services Corporation.



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