Colin Powell: Redeemed?

Gen. Colin Powell after Meet The Press

Did former Secretary of State and Gen. Colin Powell redeem his membership in the Nelson Mandela Circle of Honor, by his appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” October 19?

Most emphatically yes!

Gen. Powell did not just ceremonially endorse Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), patting him on the back with one hand while handing him his curriculum vitae with the other hand. No, he described the Democratic nominee as a potentially “transformational” figure…as in maybe Barack Hussein Obama really was born on the Planet Krypton, and was sent to Earth with Super Powers beyond those of mortal men.

More importantly, he walked off Ol’ Massa’s Plantation like a grown man, back straight, no hat in hand, no apology, and said what was on his mind, on his heart.

Ol’ Massa didn’t like it either. Gen. Powell was “ungrateful,” said one pundit who unapologetically argues “a brief for Whitey” whenever he gets a chance. He never was much of a Republican anyway, complained another.

Gen. Powell was voting for Black Democrat Obama to express his own racial solidarity, rather than out of any patriotic sense of what’s best for his country, let alone what’s best for his Party, said others. “Benedict Powell…Race Patriot,” Gen. Powell was dubbed in a cartoon caricature, as traitor Benedict Arnold.

During the interview and to reporters outside the studio afterwards, Gen. Powell took his comments (not just “a step further,” but) to another “dimension.” “Which mouse will put a bell around the cat’s neck, so in the future, all the mice can hear the cat coming?” so-to-speak. No racism. No xenophobia.

Burning bridges behind him, Gen. Powell complained that Republican leaders permit to be said “such things as, ‘Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian.”

There’s more. “But the really right answer is what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be president?” he declared.

Now, that’s what I’m talking about!

Did Colin Powell redeem his membership in the Nelson Mandela Circle of Honor, by his appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Oct. 19?

Most emphatically yes!

Back in July, before either party had officially nominated a presidential candidate, I sardonically, but painfully questioned: “What’s wrong with being a Muslim? Did I miss a memo? A meeting? I can’t see anything worse about being a good Muslim than there is about being a good Christian. A good Jew. In fact, some of my best friends are Muslims. And all of them are really fine people, excellent neighbors. They’re downright decent human beings, if you ask me.”

Since July, I have asked that question repeatedly. Now I know a good answer.

Muslims are not America’s problem, I tell you. But Muslims are at the heart of the successful resolution of America’s problems, and they’ve been The Answer to America’s problem for a long time.

Did Gen. Powell redeem his reputation on “Meet The Press,” Oct. 19?

You bet he did!

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