The Trayvon Martin case “will be seen as a questionable judgment on the part of the judicial system down there, but I don’t know if it will have staying power,” said former Secretary of State Colin Powell to Bob Schieffer during Sunday’s CBS’ “Face the Nation” according to an Aug. 25, 2013, Orlando Sentinel report. “These cases come along and they blaze across the midnight sky and then after a period of time, they’re forgotten.”
While looking back at the 1963 March on Washington during Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” Bob Schieffer asked Colin Powell what he thought about the Trayvon Martin case, the George Zimmerman verdict, and what the fallout from the Trayvon Martin case will be.
In response to Bob Schieffer’s question, Colin Powell spoke about his own experience of being discriminated against, of not being able to buy a hamburger at a restaurant of his choosing, and about the historical significance of the Trayvon Martin case.
“These cases come along and they blaze across the midnight sky and then after a period of time, they’re forgotten.”
Unfortunately, while Colin Powell gave the Trayvon Martin case a historical perspective and a political perspective, saying that President Obama is right in speaking about Trayvon Martin, Colin Powell did not elaborate specifically about the “questionable judgment of the judicial system.”
George Zimmerman was tried in the Trayvon Martin case by his peers, a tradition that goes back longer than the 1963 March on Washington. Does the questionable judgment of the judicial system only apply to verdicts that involve two different races, or is the United States overdue for a change in several aspects of its justice system?
When talking about change, Colin Powell stated that President Barack Obama could be more passionate about race issues. ”I’d like to see him be more passionate about race questions.”
What about becoming “more passionate” about all race questions?
In his discussion about the Trayvon Martin case, Colin Powell emphasized that “Obama should speak out on the issue because he’s the president, not because he’s the first black president.”
When listening to Colin Powell talk about the judicial system and the Trayvon Martin case, the phrase “melting pot” came to mind.
“I used to refer to myself as the secretary of state who happens to be black, not the black secretary of state. So he [Obama] has a responsibility to the whole country. Racial problems affect the entire country, not just black America.”