Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the Trayvon Martin verdict was “questionable” during a recent appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation.
Powell, who is the The first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and first black secretary of state, also said that he was worried about the lasting impact of the case.
Powell said that the Trayvon Martin trial fueled a discussion about race in the United States but that he was afraid that the lessons would soon be forgotten.
Powell said: “I think that it will be seen as a questionable judgment on the part of the judicial system down there (in Florida), 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.”
The Trayvon case may soon leave the national spotlight but race problems in America will continue for years to come. Powell said that racial discrimination is still prevalent in the United States and that he hopes President Obama passionately addresses the issue before he leaves office.
Powell said: “In my lifetime, over a long career in public life, I’ve been refused access to restaurants where I couldn’t eat… 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 this issue… I’d like to see (Obama) be more passionate about race questions.”