On NBC’s Meet the Press, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served under Republican President George W. Bush, endorsed the Obama administration’s Iran deal and said he doesn’t “mind” the #BlackLivesMatter slogan — agreeing with many positions of the movement.
When prompted on the Iran nuclear reduction deal, which is under fire from many Republicans and a few Democrats, Powell said that he felt the deal was “pretty good.” He defended the deal against critics that say Iran will be able to make nuclear weapons in a few years. Powell noted that the country was capable of producing weapons before any deal was in the works.
“Here’s why I think its a good deal: One of the great concerns the opposition has is that we’re leaving open a lane for the Iranians to go back to creating a nuclear weapon in 10 or 15 years. We’ll, we are forgetting the reality that they’ve been on a super highway, for the last 10 years, to create a nuclear weapon — or a nuclear weapons program — with no speed limit.”
Powell believes the deal will slow down Iran’s nuclear capability and discourage Iran’s heavy investment in a nuclear program. Additionally, Powell believes the Obama administration has negotiated an impressive agreement, citing the concessions that Iran will take as “remarkable.” Unsurprising, since the deal is reducing thousands of centrifuges and placing those that exist under supervision by the international community.
Chuck Todd then asked Powell about #BlackLivesMatter, to which Powell came out against the disproportionate killing of black men at the hands of police officers. Powell even said “I don’t mind it,” when asked about the #BlackLivesMatter slogan.
After he was shown a clip of President Obama speaking at the church where the Charleston shooting occurred, Powell conceded that there was much progress left to be made on racial issues in the United States. However, Powell optimistically said the country has made meaningful progress on race.
“We do have a ways to go, but let’s not overlook how far we’ve come. Fifty years ago, nobody would’ve dreamed that we’d have a black president making the statement just made. Or that a black guy could be Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor. So, we’ve made great progress, but within that progress some people have been left behind.”
Powell reminded us that we shouldn’t forget there are people in this country who will judge you by the color of your skin.
[Image via Getty Images/Olivier Douliery]