It's about our community and our spirituality!

Colin Powell Is No Undercover Brother

By any and every measurable way former Secretary of State General Colin Powell has secured his place in America’s history books.  A stint as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan followed by service as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with President George H. W. Bush and capped off as President George W. Bush’s first Secretary of State, Mr. Powell has been a busy man.  He’s also a devoted conservative and a devoted member of the Republican Party.  He’s also the highest profile Republican who has come out endorsing Senator Barack Obama for the presidency.

Now that Mr. Powell has made his political endorsement of Mr. Obama public knowledge, the Republican Party faithful have come out against Mr. Powell.  Within hours of the announcement, high profile talking heads have dismissed Mr. Powell as nothing more than a black man incapable or unwilling to overlook his obvious racial affiliation to Mr. Obama.  Essentially, these people are saying that Mr. Powell is nothing more than another black man out to get the man.  Rush Limbaugh said, “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.  Ill let you know what I come up with.”

Mr. Powell is no undercover brother.  He is a black man ready to stand at the ready for his Republican President.  When Mr. Bush turned his back on the black community Mr. Powell said nothing.  When Mr. Bush turned his attention to more important things while New Orleans drowned in water and neglect Mr. Powell didn’t say that the government was neglectful of black people, but neglectful of poor people.  It was just a coincidence that the majority was black.  Mr. Powell is not a man who spends a lot of time with the Nation of Islam or the NAACP.  Mr. Powell is no community organizer.  Colin Powell is a black community organizer like Mother Teresa was a pit bull with lipstick flying in a helicopter to shoot polar bears.

Last year, Mr. Powell donated the maximum amount allowed by law to his good friend Mr. McCain’s campaign for the presidency according to an article written for CNN’s political blog by its correspondent Ed Henry (click here to read the article).  The big dollar endorsement from Mr. Powell gave Mr. McCain a great deal of political clout and significantly improved his chance to cinch the nomination.  Earlier this year, it was even rumored the Mr. Powell might be a potential running mate for Mr. McCain.

But when Mr. Powell announced his endorsement of Mr. Obama during his latest interview on Meet the Press, Mr. Powell cited his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities, in addition to his style and substance.  Mr. Powell called Obama a transformational figure.  And while Mr. Powell had nothing but praise for Mr. Obama and his campaign, he condemned the political strategy of his friend Mr. McCain.  Mr. Powell was troubled by the false intimations that Obama was Muslim.  Mr. Powell later stated, over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party has become narrower and narrower.  And now, we’re supposed to believe that the only reason Mr. Powell is endorsing Mr. Obama is because he’s black.

There are a lot of white people endorsing the white candidate.  I guess they couldn’t ignore their racial inclinations as well.  And with white people making up seventy percent of the population while black people only make up less than thirteen percent, there’s little doubt that there are a higher number of white people who are too white to cross the racial divide.

Prior to this election, virtually every black person who ever voted for a President voted for a white man.  Black people have been crossing the racial divide ever since our ancestors and elders won the right to vote like their white peers.  But now that we have a black candidate, a black candidate that most black people, like Mr. Powell, feel is the superior candidate, we just can’t put blackness aside.  If black people simply wanted a black candidate Alan Keyes would’ve done a lot better when he made his stab at the presidency.  But obviously, it takes a lot more than just having a common melanin levels.

I’ve given Mr. Obama and Mr. Powell my fair share of criticism.  Neither one is my idea of a role model for the young and impressionable in the black community.  But a brother can do a lot worse than these two, like voting for Mr. McCain.  More black people need to take note how quickly some people can dismiss black people as little more than an unthinking, single minded collective force of blackness out to stick it to the man.  Dismissing Mr. Powell as nothing more than a black man jumping at the chance to endorse another black man, especially after everything he has done for his country and for his Republican Party, should remind black people how quickly our standing in the dominant community can be called into question when we don’t toe the line the way the dominant community leaders feel we should.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black Men, Black People, Democrats, Life, Racism, Thoughts


  1. Another great post,
    I share your feelings whole heartedly. Powell was wounded in combat during Vietnam, what courage has Limbaugh showed under fire? This is a perfect example of what happens to Black men when we show any type of independent/collective thought. An independent intelligent Black man with power is threatening to many white folks.

    Comment by truth | Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the feedback truth,

    When a black man of authority does anything that goes against the established pattern of thought he must be relegated and controlled. Can’t have a black man blurting out anything like Mr. McCain don’t care about black people.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | Reply

  3. Black or white, Republican or Democrat, I think some people see their affiliations as exactly who they are. Unfortunate, how that reality has shown itself. Mr. Powell, it is obvious to anyone with intelligence and a rationing of common sense, endorsed who he thought was the better man. As he said, if he was endorsing Obama due to them both being black he had 7 or 8 months to have come forward. Powell has a staunch republican and purveyor of true conservatism for decades now. His detaching from the party to endorse a democrat has nothing to do with race, but rather, the nature of the candidates and party directions. While I’m no real Obama fan, I can definitely say I haven’t been thrilled with the McCain campaign. If I vote Republican this November it will be with a clothespin tightly attached to my nasal structure. I’m still considering a third party vote. Afterall, if it costs the republicans a vote, at least it will be a vote of pureness that they lose.
    The republican party has seeemed to have derailed itself, and let fringe elements force us to look only at predetermined issues, like it’s some type of powerpoint presentation. While the past of Ayers troubles me, and the fact that Obama and his campaign havent been candid, specific or held a stable position in regards to responding to such secondary issues also troubles me, the problems we need fixed right now are much bigger issues to be dealt with. It’s as if the republicans just don’t want to deal with the real issues. While I think a lot of McCain’s plans have better suited numbers overall, I think even he fails to see and understand them, thus he wont stick to the only real strength he has, and reduces his campaign to a barrage of ad hominem attacks.
    I guess he fails to realize that the left leaners have always had the lock on emotional appealling issues, and building up movements on that precept alone. Unless you get some young people in the republican side, with actual solid ideas, the atmosphere isn’t going to overtake that of the democrats functions and movements. I don’t know why they even try. And then, when they lose a huge endorsement, instead of learn from their mistakes, or in the case of the hard rightwing electorate, take an honest look at things, they just increase the scope fo their attack on a man who for all intents and purposes has been one of the best republicans you could ever know.

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | Reply

  4. Thanks for the feedback Mike Lovell,

    It should be obvious to anyone who’s paying close attention to this political race that the Republican effort has been seriously derailed. Although I’ve never been a fan of the Republican Party, I was a fan of Mr. McCain. I was appalled to see the way Mr. Bush and his handlers railroaded Mr. McCain back in 2000. I actually thought Mr. McCain was an honorable man. Unfortunately, nothing about his campaign has anything to do with honor. The treatment of Mr. Powell has become par for the course.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | Reply

  5. I’m really disheartened by those who claim that Powell endorsed Obama simply because Obama’s black. I’d like to believe it’s because Obama’s the better candidate and running the better campaign (and with the better running mate).

    On a slightly different note, I found this article by Tim Wise about white privilege quite interesting.

    Comment by Deirdre Saoirse Moen | Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | Reply

  6. Thanks for the feedback Deirdre Saoirse Moen,

    This country is really beginning to devolve along racial lines. More of us are willing to tolerate these blatant demonstrations of racism. And it is quickly getting worse. White people are holding up stuffed monkeys as effigies of their next president. People are printing food stamp cartoons with Mr. Obama and kool-aid and fried chicken and everything else that’s a racist slur and we condone it because they say it’s just a joke. Just like the white boys that hung the nooses in Jena, Louisiana. It’ll be a joke until someone gets hurt.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | Reply

  7. The one good thing to come out of the show of racism against Obama is that more white people are aware that it is happening than ever before. What’s been invisible to many of us has been put in the spotlight, and many of us don’t like what we’re seeing.

    Some of these things took place in California. In Sacramento, even.

    Comment by Deirdre Saoirse Moen | Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | Reply

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