A prominent African American politician is calling out President Obama for not speaking out more on issues of race. Former secretary of State Colin Powell called the jury verdict in the Trayvon Martin case "questionable" and said that Obama has a duty to be more vocal about the nation's history of racial injustice. Powell made his comments during an appearance on CBS's “Face the Nation.”
Washington marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s march that included the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech over the weekend.
"If Dr. King was here, I'm quite sure he would say, 'Congratulations on all the progress that's been made, but let's keep going. The dream is not fully achieved yet,'" said Powell.
Powell questioned a Florida jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman and speculated about the impact that it would have on civil rights discourse.
"I think that it 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," Powell said. "These cases come along and they blaze across the midnight sky and then after a period of time, they're forgotten."
Powell said Obama should not stay silent about the issue of race, USA Today reported.
"I'd like to see him be more passionate about race questions," Powell said of Obama, Powell endorsed Obama during the 2008 and 2012 presidential election. "For the president to speak out on it is appropriate. I think all leaders, black and white, should speak out on this issue,” Powell added.
He said that there is still a long sway to go in order to achieve racial equality.
"A lot has been accomplished, and we should be so proud of our accomplishments," he said. "But at the same time, that mirror should show us that there are still problems in this country, that there is still racial bias that still exists in certain parts of our country."
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