... a courageous and honest statement ... from an honest and courageous Statesman.
I was pleased to hear that Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama but that is not the theme of this blog entry. What really thrilled and impressed me when I heard his words was that someone finally had the guts to bring to the surface the underlying problem that faces our country today ... in my opinion.
For some reason we’ve forgotten that our nation is made up of as many ethnic backgrounds as are to be found in the world. This diversity was always our strength and our joy ... but no more.
Now it has become the norm to ridicule and even defile anyone who does not fit in to the “white, faith-based Christian” box. I don’t know how or why this happened but it’s very frightening as far as I’m concerned.
Here is the excerpt that I refer to in Mr. Powell’s speech, in
reference to Obama being called a Muslim:
“Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. 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 seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could go serve his country, and he gave his life.
Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way.”
Aren’t those amazing words? Colin Powell brings back, in a few simple phrases, what our country was and could be again. I pray that we have the courage to make it happen.