Great Respect – The Genius of Colin Powell

Frederick Douglass, Booker T Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama; all powerful uniters. On the day of the most historic inauguration in our Country’s history, I find it pertinent to write on a uniter in the black community that I admire most: Colin Powell.

In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, Powell wrote a plea for Americans to work together toward renewal. Government can only do so much. The Government can give a stimulus check to all Americans, but it still cannot force us to make smart decisions with that money. Nor can the government know how best to promote each individual communities needs best. As Powell states, “Particularly in hard times like these, we are charged with living up to our shared responsibility to one another.”

Colin Powell calls us out of our bunkers. Now is not the time to duck and cover. We’ve got to put on our boots, pick up our shovels, and dive in the shit. No one will do it for us. In times of true need, Americans have always come out in droves to help their neighbors. Powell notes this in the article: “It is the time to give more, to step forward and serve our fellow citizens, and to reach into the reservoir of this nation’s unrivaled capacity for good.”

Powell also goes further than many Republican and Libertarians are willing. Powell calls for those with more to give more. “Those of us with the power to ease or eliminate that suffering should come forward”, He says. I am a huge advocate of personal responsibility. I believe you can create, or destroy just about anything you want in your life despite circumstances. However, as humans we band together for mutual prosperity. The main point of government is to preserve that prosperity. So to deny your neighbor money or time when you have and they don’t is morally wrong.

Powell points out that Obama’s call for service to our country does not only extend to those in uniform. Like John Kennedy’s “ask not” speech, Powell reaches out to all Americans. We all have something to give in this time. “You don’t have to wear the uniform of this country to serve others. You don’t have to work in government. And you don’t have to start a foundation. At a time when so many of our countrymen are in need, everyone has the power to help.”

I have already had a profound respect for Colin Powell. I expressed to my wife on many occasions that I would have voted Republican had Powell run for President. I was disappointed for a while that he didn’t run. I know that he will continue to be a powerful voice of reason and moderation in his party and for the country. I would pray that Americans will heed his call to action, putting aside party and ideology. I can already feel a fire alight in the heart of this country, an electricity sparking. Americans are already marching down the path that Powell, Obama, and others have proposed. My heart will undoubtedly fill with pride tomorrow. Over the next months and years, after Americans band together to conquer hardship after hardship and my heart will grow ten times. I hate to be cliché, but all I can say is YES WE CAN!

The clip is almost a half hour. Powell comes in around 2 minutes.


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