It’s sad to see Colin Powell, appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State by Republican Presidents, continuing to attack Republicans as racist:

While continuing to identify as a Republican, former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday criticized the GOP for a series of racist attacks against President Barack Obama.

“There’s also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “What do I mean by that?  What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.”

(fyi, Palin’s explanation of her comment is here, h/t Gateway Pundit)

Powell’s history is just wrong.

How racist is the Republican Party?  So racist that in addition to his numerous appointments by Republican presidents, Powell could have been a serious Republican contender for President had he wanted it.  Referring to Powell and Obama, respectively, Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson wrote on December 30, 2006:

A black man has led the world’s most powerful military machine and stood a good chance of winning the presidency on the Republican ticket had he run; another is now a leading challenger for the Democratic nomination.

Of course, Powell did not run, for personal family reasons not because of Republican racism.  Powell was out of step with many Republican policy positions on social issues, but his race was not part of that opposition.  Powell rejected Republicans, not the other way around.

Powell also has current events wrong.  So wrong that he’s profoundly ignorant as to what is happening in the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement, and the rising stardom of non-whites within the party, something not matched on the Democratic side.

This  somewhat stunning column by John Avlon at CNN shows the GOP’s surprising edge on diversity (h/t @TheAnchoress):

Everybody knows the Republican Party is basically an all-white bastion, right? After all, even Colin Powell condemned the “dark vein of intolerance” that has flowed through his party since the post-civil rights era political realignment.

Now with President Barack Obama leading the Democrats into a second term — buoyed by overwhelming victory margins among African-Americans and Hispanics — it’s clear the GOP has some serious catching up to do.

This is why it might surprise you to hear that Republicans are by far the more diverse party when it comes to statewide elected officials such as senators and governors. On this front, they leave Democrats in the dust. And that’s why the GOP actually has a greater depth of diversity on their potential presidential bench looking to 2016 and beyond.

It’s counterintuitive but true. Numbers don’t lie. Let’s start with a look at the governors, the traditional launching pad of presidential ambitions.

Among the Republican ranks is Brian Sandoval, the Hispanic governor of Nevada. The 49-year-old former federal judge took on a corrupt conservative incumbent and is now racking up an impressive reform record in his first term. Likewise, there is New Mexico’s Gov. Susana Martinez, a former district attorney who remains popular in her state despite an otherwise Democratic tide.

How many Hispanic governors do the Democrats have in office? Zero.

Read the rest of the column for some more facts.  Here are some of the images from the CNN Column:

Sen. Tim Scott was appointed last year, representing South Carolina.
Sen. Tim Scott was appointed last year, representing South Carolina.
Ted Cruz celebrates his victory in U.S. Senate race in Texas.
Ted Cruz celebrates his victory in U.S. Senate race in Texas.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is considered a presidential contender for 2016.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is considered a presidential contender for 2016.
Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, is thought to be a potential presidential contender.
Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, is thought to be a potential presidential contender.
Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina is of Indian-American descent.
Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina is of Indian-American descent.
Republican Brian Sandoval is the Hispanic governor of Nevada.
Republican Brian Sandoval is the Hispanic governor of Nevada.

Also keep in mind that Democrats make a special effort to defeat non-white Republicans, like the focus on defeating Mia Love and Allen West.

None of this means that Republican outreach is over.  But to ignore what is going on is pure ignorance.  As Avlon put it:

But Democrats should not rest on their laurels after Obama. Their lack of statewide-elected diverse Democrats is striking and could provide an opening for Republicans in the next generation (if conservatives don’t keep alienating that community with anti-immigrant rhetoric and legislation).

The old stereotypes don’t hold when looking at the facts — Republicans have been quietly making inroads into communities of color, even if that hasn’t yet registered in overall voting patterns. And rising Republican stars such as Rubio, Jindal, Sandoval, Scott, Haley, Cruz and Martinez are reasons for optimism as we look toward the future of American politics.

Colin Powell has a deep vein of ignorance about what is happening in the Republican Party.

Notice I said “deep vein” because if I had said “dark vein” that would be racist, right Colin?

 
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