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Chris Cillizza. Washington Post, The Fix, January 14, 2012: Colin Powell’s (overlooked) call to action on race
Colin Powell was on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday and was asked by David Gregory to diagnose what ails the Republican party.
Part of Powell response:
“There’s also a dark — a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the Party. What I do mean by that? I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor say that the president is shuckin’ and jivin’, that’s a racial era slave term. When I see another former governor after the president’s first debate where he didn’t do very well, says that the president was lazy. He didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well, he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with it. Birther, the whole Birther Movement. Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the Party?”
Powell's comments are in reference to Sarah Palin, who said Obama was “shucking and jiving” in his answers to Benghazi, and to former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, who called Obama “lazy” after the first presidential debate. Also Donald Trump has been at the front of the birther movement.
Cillizza concludes that Powell is alleging a strain of racial intolerance existing within the GOP "that makes it more difficult for the party to transform itself to fit into the changed demographic reality in the country." This is a "very serious accusation that Republicans have long dismissed as an unfair charge leveled primarily by Democrats."
Will Republicans heed Colin Powell's advice, or will they try to further marginalize him as irrelevant?