The last time former Secretary of State Colin Powell made a big announcement was on Meet The Press, and it was there that the former George W. Bush cabinet member endorsed Barack Obama for president. Nearly as striking, though, were his words about anti-Muslim sentiment being pushed by the GOP, which stands accused of perpetrating the “Obama is a Muslim” farce. Said Powell: “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.”
Well brace yourselves, kids, because Mr. Powell is back on a Sunday morning chat show this weekend, and he’s expected to deliver yet another powerful message that breaks from the pack. And it concerns you homos.
Powell is the guest on CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria, and there he will come out against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Powell will say the homophobic policy needs to be “reevaluated,” according to preview clip of the interview. (You can tune in to CNN at 1pm EST on Sunday to catch the interview.)
Is it so shocking for Powell to so openly criticize DADT? Not so much — Powell has taught us to expect anything from him at this point. But also, that we should expect reasonable, competent conclusions from the man who tried convincing President Bush not to go to war with Iraq.
Keep in mind, of course, that Powell supported Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and tried eschewing the notion that endorsing such a policy was tantamount to homophobia. In a 2003 interview with Teen Ink, the decorated veteran said:
I think any form of discrimination has to be looked at. As you know, the military has the policy, “Don’t ask, don’t tell, ” so that somebody who is openly homosexual does not serve. I’m an advocate of that policy, I helped put that policy in place and I’m accused, therefore, of supporting homophobia.
But I think it’s a different matter with respect to the military because you’re essentially told who you’re going to live with, who you’re going to sleep next to, and it’s a different set of circumstances in a military environment.
Out of a military environment, in a school, I think any act that suggests someone should be discriminated against or in some way stigmatized because of their racial background, ethnic background or sexual preference is not appropriate.
Here in the State Department, sexual preference makes no difference; we have gay ambassadors and employees throughout the Department. I don’t know who they are and it’s none of my business, as long as they do their jobs.