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Gen Colin Powell on Trayvon Martin Verdict and Racism in America

25 Aug

Powell comes down on the side of rational people…

I think the verdict will have “staying power”, as I see it as an issue that will continue to strongly divide the country – argued and debated about much as the OJ verdict was for years. Further, unlike the OJ verdict, the issues of laws being passed by conservatives who in vast majority supported Zimmerman aren’t going to disappear anytime soon.

Colin Powell: Trayvon Martin verdict questionable

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday the jury verdict that freed the killer of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was “questionable.” But he isn’t sure it will have staying power in the public consciousness.

Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Powell said cases like Martin’s “blaze across the midnight sky” and are forgotten. George Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this summer of the fatal 2012 shooting in Florida

The first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and first black secretary of state, Powell says America has come a long way toward racial equality 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which came 50 years ago this week. Powell recalled being refused service when trying to buy a hamburger before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Minorities have many more opportunities today, but Powell says King would still demand work on education, housing and economic opportunities.

Powell also believes that the New Jim Crow voting laws in the red zone will backfire – which is the essence of why Trayvon won’t go away…

Colin Powell: Voter ID Laws Will ‘Backfire’ For Republicans

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell warned Republicans on Sunday that the strict voter identification laws they’re pursuing around the country will damage the party’s standing with growing blocs of voters.

“[H]ere’s what I say to my Republican friends: The country is becoming more diverse,” Powell told Bob Schieffer on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “You say you want to reach out, you say you want to have a new message. You say you want to see if you can bring some of these voters to the Republican side. This is not the way to do it.”

“The way to do it is to make it easier for them to vote and then give them something to vote for that they can believe in,” Powell added.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act, Republicans in states like North Carolina, Florida and Texas have sought voter restrictions that critics, including Powell, say will disproportionately hurt minorities at the polls. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed legislation earlier this month that requires voter identification, rolls back early voting hours and ends a state-supported voter registration drive. Powell condemned that particular law at an event in Raleigh last week.

Powell pointed out that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, the very premise of the identification statutes.

“You need a photo ID. Well, you didn’t need a photo ID for decades before,” Powell said. “Is it really necessary now? And they claim that there’s widespread abuse and voter fraud, but nothing documents, nothing substantiates that. There isn’t widespread abuse.”

Powell predicted that such measures will blow up in Republicans’ faces.

“These kind of procedures that are being put in place to slow the process down and make it likely that fewer Hispanics and African Americans might vote, I think, are going to backfire, because these people are going to come out and do what they have to do in order to vote, and I encourage that,” he said.

During the interview, Powell also reflected on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, recalling times when he couldn’t eat in certain places due to the color of his skin, even though he’d just served his country.

“In my lifetime, over a long career in public life, you know, I’ve been refused access to restaurants where I couldn’t eat, even though I just came back from Vietnam: ‘We can’t give you a hamburger, come back some other time,'” Powell recalled. “And I did, right after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, I went right back to that same place and got my hamburger, and they were more than happy to serve me now. It removed a cross from their back, but we’re not there yet. We’re not there yet. And so we’ve got to keep working on it.”

One of the genesis of the modern conservative movement was the treatment of Vets after the Vietnam War by the American people and anti-war groups. That left a large scar on our national psyche.  Apparently it never imprinted on the conservative mindless that their feelings of being disrespected…

Might just be the same as experienced by black folks when they are confronted by racism driven discrimination.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Domestic terrorism

 

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One response to “Gen Colin Powell on Trayvon Martin Verdict and Racism in America

  1. lwk2431

    August 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    “Powell comes down on the side of rational people…”

    I doubt it. “Rational people” who looked at all the evidence saw a case of justified homicide in self defense against an violent attack.

    lwk

    Like

     

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