Sunday, October 19, 2008

Powell to Republicans: Stop Dividing Us, Stop the Negative Campaigning

This is the photograph Colin Powell referred to this morning in his endorsement of Barack Obama. From the transcript of the Meet the Press appearance:

I'm also troubled by not what Sen. McCain says but what members of the party say and it is permitted 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.

But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is 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 this 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 were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother at 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, didn't have a 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 ourselves in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know but I'm troubled about the fact that within the party we have these kinds of expressions.

Powell was even more pointed in his remarks to the press after the Meet the Press appearance:

This is the brief clip of the crazy Congresswoman, Michelle Bachmann, with her McCarthy-esque claims.

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