Former Secretary of State Colin Powell weighed in on last month’s ‘not guilty’ verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial, telling “Face the Nation” moderator Bob Schieffer the judgment was “questionable.”
But Powell added that he didn’t think it would remain a burning issue.
“I think that it will be seen as a questionable judgment on the part of the judicial system down there,” Powell said. “But I don’t know if it will have staying power. These cases come along and they blaze across the midnight sky, and then after a period of time, they’re forgotten.”
Schieffer went on to ask if Powell thought President Barack Obama’s broader remarks after the Trayvon Martin verdict were appropriate. Powell insisted that they were and encouraged more leaders to follow in his footsteps.
“I’d like to see him be more passionate about race questions, and I think that was an accurate characterization of some of the things we are exposed to,” Powell added. “In my lifetime, over a long career in public life, you know, I’ve been refused access to restaurants where I couldn’t eat, even though I just came back from Vietnam. ‘We can’t give you a hamburger. Come back some other time.’ And I did, right after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I went right back to that same place and got my hamburger, and they are more than happy to serve me now. It removed a cross from their back. But we’re not there yet. We’re not there yet. And so we’ve got to keep working on it. And for the president to speak out on it is appropriate. I think all leaders, black and white should speak out on it.”