Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Colin Powell on Gates-gate

This one is not going away soon. Good to get different perspectives.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday that he has been the victim of racial profiling but believes Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. could have been more patient with the police officer who arrested him.

At the same time, Powell also faulted the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Police Department for escalating the situation beyond a reasonable level.

"I think Skip [Gates], perhaps in this instance, might have waited a while, come outside, talked to the officer and that might have been the end of it," Powell said in an interview with CNN's Larry King.

"I think he should have reflected on whether or not this was the time to make that big a deal.

"I think in this case the situation was made much more difficult on the part of the Cambridge Police Department," Powell said. "Once they felt they had to bring Dr. Gates out of the house and to handcuff him, I would've thought at that point, some adult supervision would have stepped in and said 'OK look, it is his house. Let's not take this any further, take the handcuffs off, good night Dr. Gates.' "

Right on both counts.

The former secretary of state said he has been racially profiled "many times," including an incident that took place while he was the national security adviser to President Reagan.

"Nobody thought I could possibly be the national security adviser to the president. I was just a black guy at Reagan National Airport," Powell said. "And it was only when I went to the counter and said, 'Is my guest here waiting for me?' that someone said, 'Oh, you're Gen. Powell.' It was inconceivable to him that a black guy could be the national security adviser."

Interesting interview.

Video Watch what Powell would advise Gates »

Video Watch Powell talk about Limbaugh and the GOP »

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